Lee Beach inspires Newport sea change
A TONGUE-LASHING at half-time by Newport captain Lee Beach seemed to do the trick last Friday after his side staged a remarkable comeback to beat Neath.
The Black and Ambers skipper hopes he won’t be forced into giving his troops another verbal hammering during this weekend’s league derby at Rodney Parade when they entertain Bedwas.
The former Ospreys and London Welsh back row forward was exasperated a week ago when his team looked as if they were about to suffer the ignominy of being the first side to lose to Neath this season.
Newport were not only 15-3 down at The Gnoll last week but they were playing with just 14 men after lock Adam Brown was sent off in the 32nd minute for a second technical yellow card.
Starring down the barrel, and after Beach’s interval rant, Newport showed great character to rally and record a tremendous 26-15 victory, their points coming thanks to tries by wing Elliot Frewen and outside-half Ethan Davies, and the boot of full-back Geraint O’Driscoll who ended up with 16 points.
“We were awful in the first half to be honest, there is just no getting away from it,” Beach said. “There were a few choice words said at half-time – I blew my top.
“It’s so frustrating. We just aren’t playing to our potential. How can I put this nicely? We have a lot of boys who don’t talk when the ball is in play, but you can’t stop them when it isn’t.
“At half-time they seem to say things for the sake of it instead of getting on with their jobs during the game.
“Another thing is that we tend to blame the referee, which is little bit difficult for me when I’m trying to get him on our side.”
Speaking about the positives to emerge from their triumph over the Welsh All Blacks, Beach said: “I thought Ethan Davies really stood up. He is a young kid who hopefully has a big future ahead of him.
“The thing he has to do now is to keep learning and moving forward.
“And our defence was outstanding against Neath to keep them out at the end. But putting our bodies on the line is something we have to do from the first whistle.
“We are our worst enemies at times. We seem to follow a good passage of play with something bad.”
On their next encounter, he said: “We could be underdogs going into this game because Bedwas have been playing a little bit better than us in the last few weeks, but anything can happen in a derby.
“It’s my first derby with Newport, so I’m really looking forward to it.”
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