ERRATIC Newport are doing a good impression of the French this season – you never know which side is going to turn up, writes Chris Kirwan.
The Black and Ambers leave Gwent for the final time this season when they take on title hopefuls Llanelli at Parc y Scarlets tonight (kick-off 7.30pm).
Newport have blown hot and cold this season; a fortnight ago they were scorching when beating playoff-chasing Carmarthen Quins on their own turf but last weekend they were perishing at Swansea.
The relegation-threatened Whites bagged just their second win of the campaign and eighth-placed Newport didn't even leave St Helen's with a bonus point following a 24-10 defeat.
On the face of it Sven Cronk's side have little to play for between now and April as they sit well clear of the all-Ospreys clubs relegation battle.
But the head coach wants his charges to show some steel in the run-in, which after tonight sees them take on leaders Llandovery and third-placed Llandovery at Rodney Parade as well as home and away derbies against fifth-placed Cross Keys.
"We need to get back on the horse because what happened at Swansea just wasn't good enough," said the former prop.
"Swansea battled for everything but we should have put them to bed only to make errors that are unacceptable at semi-professional level.
"Frustrating is too mild a word and we have to toughen up mentally. At this time of the season there are always people that are playing for contracts and they need to show that they are worth it."
Newport are still without captain and number eight Lee Beach because of a shoulder injury while dangerous wing Elliot Frewen is back in training following a broken ankle but not quite ready for a return to the field.
Flanker Rhys Jenkins' injury curse has struck again and the 23-year-old former Dragons academy openside, who returned to action in November after being sidelined for a year and a half because of a knee problem, will miss the rest of the season because of a torn bicep.