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  • "After today's very poor game by both sides something must be done or the drop looms. Newport were worse than Cardiff to be fair, even with two yellow cards Cardiff held Newport out and even scored a try when a man short. Cronk's position must be in doubt after such a poor performance, but where do you get a top class head coach this time of year. Newport dropped the ball on numerous occasions or knocked on in crucial places. Newport scored a good try at the Heath but rarely looked like getting the tries they really needed. Perhaps they are trying a bit too hard and are all tensed up because the head coach's job is on the line, flowing rugby is something of a rarity from Newport this season (as last season). On paper Newport have a very good side but arn't clicking so that may be why they don't want Dragons players to supplement them. What ever the reasons Mr Cronk is on borrowed time and another performance like today it will be goodbye to his term of office no doubt."
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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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