Keys eyeing another big scalp against Leinster A
AFTER recording one of the great Premiership away wins Cross Keys have been challenged to go up another level for Saturday's Dublin date with Leinster A.
The Pandy Park outfit have enjoyed the perfect build-up to the crunch encounter in Pool One of the British and Irish Cup at Donnybrook (kick-off 2.30pm).
They have won their last seven games and travel to Ireland on the back of superb bonus-point Premiership wins on their travels to Cardiff and Pontypridd.
That second success was particularly noteworthy with Keys ending Ponty's 30-game unbeaten run at Sardis Road in style by running in four tries in a stunning 38-17 demolition job.
And backs coach Morgan Stoddart has called on his charges to rise to the occasion for the third time in eight days.
"It's been a great week and to beat Ponty in Ponty shocked a lot of people, especially winning by that score," said the former Wales full-back, who joined the Keys coaching staff last summer.
"It was a great performance but this is an even bigger challenge against a Leinster side that will be full of plenty of players who have been in RaboDirect Pro12 action recently.
"Everyone played brilliantly at Ponty and we will need the same again; it's going to be a massive test but the boys love a challenge."
Victories against the English pair of Moseley and Ealing sees the two rivals topping the table on nine points with the Irishmen having a slight edge by virtue of their superior points difference.
If Keys can keep their winning run going at Donnybrook this weekend – repeating Newport's triumph at the venue in the 2009/10 tournament – then their qualification hopes will be more than 'alive, alive, oh' ahead of the Pandy Park reunion next Saturday.
"We're in good form, confidence is high and these two games have come at the right time," said Stoddart.
"Things seem to have been clicked recently and if we can get something from Dublin and win at home then we give ourselves a great chance to try and get through the group."
Keys make four personnel changes to the side that triumphed at Sardis Road with Newport Gwent Dragons fly-half Steffan Jones starting along with regional teammate Jevon Groves, who slots into the back row.
Dorian Jones moves from 10 to full-back with James Cordy-Redden slotting into midfield.
Ollie Hodge returns to partner his brother Danny in the second row while Ryan James edges out Rhys Dyer for the start at scrum-half.
Cross Keys: D Jones, K Baller, L Andrews (captain), J Cordy-Redden, E Jones, S Jones, R James, R Cornock, G Price, A Lott, D Hodge, O Hodge, J Groves, S Matthews, A Powell. Replacements: D Hughes, L Garrett, C Gould, R Tucker, T Lampard, N Trowbridge, R Dyer.
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