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  • "Have always though that Newport have their hands tied when it comes to strengthening the side. They must feel under pressure to avoid NRFC becoming the strongest club side. It's always seems that way as when ever there is a spate of young talent on the Dragons books they seem to end up at Bedwas and then we have to watch Dragons players scoring tries against Newport. Always found that a little odd too. Newport have some good players. They lack consistency. Which always comes back to the coaches I know. Until there is an improvement in form, the coaches will continue to get the flak."
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Newport chairman Will Godfrey backs head coach Sven Cronk

NEWPORT RFC chairman Will Godfrey has moved to back his under fire head coach Sven Cronk although he admits some of the Black and Ambers’ performances this season have been “inept”, writes Iwan Gabe Davies.

This week the team and their backs coach Jon Bryant parted company, the ex-Wales centre leaving due to what the club stated was his “increased pressure of work”.

His departure came days after Newport slumped to their eighth defeat in 11 competitive starts this season following an insipid 31-20 setback to Gwent rivals Bedwas in a Rodney Parade derby.

The great club are again languishing in the lower regions of the Principality Premiership with their greatest rivals Cardiff looking to do the double over them in the league this campaign when they visit Newport tomorrow.

This is the third season in a row the club has failed to mount a meaningful league challenge.

Black and Ambers chief Godfrey though has defended Cronk, the target of some fierce criticism from a number of fans for some time now, and his current number two, forwards coach Dai Gray, against any detractors.

The chairman did however accept that things are far from rosy at the moment.

“I’m not happy because some of the performances this season have, on occasion, been inept,” Godfrey said.

“If we look at the Bedwas game in isolation last Saturday, we won 62 per cent possession and 65 per cent territory but still we weren’t able to win the game.

“We make silly errors and we lose it – we recognise there has to be some change and that things have got to get better. We are also looking for players in a number of key positions.”

On Cronk and Gray’s futures, Godfrey said: “I believe our existing coaches are working extremely hard – they are working their socks off.

“Our lineout last week was extremely effective and some of our back play was fantastic but we made three silly errors which cost us.

“It’s crazy – we are so anxious to go out and win that we are hammering away at opponents’ try-line instead of cooling down.”

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