NEWBRIDGE will be looking for their third successive triumph when they entertain big Gwent rivals Pontypool in the Swalec Championship tomorrow afternoon, writes Iwan Gabe Davies.
The Welfare Ground outfit got their away monkey off their backs last week when they won their first match on their travels this campaign.
They emerged as 18-11 victors in another Gwent derby, Blackwood their victims in a close encounter at Glan-yr-Afon Park to follow up an impressive 10-9 success at home over the capable students from Cardiff Met.
Newbridge forwards coach Andrew Gibbs has his fingers crossed the away day win is a defining moment for his side this season.
“Dare I say, we may have turned the corner at Blackwood last week,” the Wales international said.
“It was very pleasing to get that first away win of the season even if it came by hook or by crook.
“It was a typical away performance in many ways with two counter attack tries and we were highly clinical when we had opportunities to score.”
On entertaining Pooler, who hammered struggling Tondu 40-10 at Pontypool Park last weekend, Gibbs added: “We face an even bigger challenge with Pontypool coming to us.
“With their financial backing this season, they have been able to recruit better quality players and their big strength is their pack. But we are looking forward to the challenge of another derby.”
Newbridge have been weakened recently by the departure of centre Arron Pinches to Neath and scrum-half Luke Crane to the Welsh All Blacks’ Principality Premiership rivals Bedwas.
They will also have to make do without captain Matthew Llewellyn long-term with the number eight undergoing knee surgery.
Elsewhere, Ebbw Vale look to continue their domination of the league by stretching their 14-point gap at the top over Narberth in second.
The Steelmen chalked up their ninth bonus victory out of 11 so far this season when they brushed aside Bridgend Athletic 43-24 at Eugene Cross Park last Saturday.
Today they head to mid table Llanharan who must be still licking their wounds after last weekend’s 64-7 mauling in North Wales to the claws of RGC1404.
Blackwood are still embroiled in their dogfight in the twilight regions of the Swalec Championship and will be desperate to pick something up at Tata Steel, the Gwent Valleys side just four points better off than basement boys Bonymaen.
Bargoed v Tondu, Beddau v Cardiff Met, Bonymaen v RGC1404, Bridgend Athletic v Narberth, Llanharan v Ebbw Vale, Newbridge v Pontypool, Tata Steel v Blackwood.