New boy Goodfield struck by Ebbw's professionalism

7:01am Friday 6th December 2013

NEW forwards coach Duane Goodfield hopes that Ebbw Vale's eye for detail will ensure they finish the job and secure a return to the Premiership, writes Chris Kirwan.

The Steelmen appear to be romping to glory in the Swalec Championship – a prize that will earn promotion to the top flight of Welsh club rugby.

They have won all 10 games and have a 13-point lead over second-placed Narberth.

But it hasn't been all plain sailing at Eugene Cross Park; their success led to forwards coach Geraint Lewis catching the eye and earning a role at Premiership champions Pontypridd.

His departure led to the Steelmen turning to former Newport Gwent Dragons and Cardiff Blues hooker Goodfield, who will be on the sidelines for the first time when they host Bridgend Athletic tomorrow.

"There is a very talented squad here but it is the environment that is most impressive," said the 28-year-old, who was forced to retire by a shoulder injury in 2011 and is now a player development officer with the Blues region.

"Even though they only train twice a week it is all very professional; everything is very structured from the moment the players turn up to the end of the sessions.

"That is impressive and I will look to thrive on that, it is nice to step into what is already a very well organised set-up. Hopefully we'll be a Premiership club next season and that was a massive attraction."

Goodfield headed to Eugene Cross Park from Championship rivals Beddau – who were smashed 43-3 by Ebbw a fortnight ago.

While the Steelmen power away at the head of the table, Blackwood are struggling near the basement.

The Glan-yr-Afon Park outfit host Gwent rivals Newbridge this weekend, looking for a win that would see them stretch away from bottom club Bonymaen.

They 13th of 14 but can take encouragement from their last performance when they edged out Tondu 17-12.

'Bridge have struggled for consistency this season after a summer rebuilding job but are also looking for back-to-back wins following their notable home success against Cardiff Met a fortnight ago.

It has been a frustrating couple of months for Pontypool, who have been hindered by the break for international fixtures and have lost three of their last four games.

Sixth-placed Pooler will aim to return to the form they were showing at the start of the campaign when they host Tondu tomorrow, the first of three home fixtures in December.

Other fixtures: Bargoed v Bonymaen, Cardiff Met v Tata Steel, Narberth v Beddau, RGC 1404 v Llanharan.

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