Cronk confident Newport will bounce back in derby
NEWPORT head coach Sven Cronk is confident his players can turn things around in time for their local derby with Bedwas after suffering two humiliating defeats.
Tomorrow sees the Black and Ambers looking to stop the rot when they entertain Steve Law’s men at Rodney Parade.
Newport have shipped 108 points in their last two matches and scored just 23 in return.
Hammered 46-6 at home to Llanelli just over a week ago, Saturday saw a 62-17 whipping away at the hands of deadly rivals Cardiff.
In mitigation over the Arms Park disaster, Cronk believes the fact the home side contained several Cardiff Blues players was a decisive factor in the whole misadventure. It is true the Blue and Blacks reinforced their side with some experienced older heads with regional experience because they had been struggling badly – two heavy league defeats to show for out of two league games – with their policy of giving youth a chance.
“It was like playing a regional A side and they were clearly out to impress (Blues director of rugby) Phil Davies, who was watching the game,” Cronk said.
“Cardiff had full-time Blues players like Wales international (tighthead prop) Scott Andrews and (No 8) Rob Copeland, who was outstanding.
“They also had Rob Lewis (scrum half) and I don’t think I’ve seen (outside-half) Gareth Davies play as well as he did on the weekend. I’d like to see if they play a side as strong as that again this season.”
Cronk added: “But I’m not going to gripe about it. We have to get our house in order in time for Bedwas, who are a tough side with the top end of the Dragons Academy backs.
“I’m always confident we can turn things around with the players I’ve got in my squad.”
Newport will be without two key players in centre Dan Robinson (knee) and prop Gethin Robinson (bicep) who picked up their injuries in the Cardiff loss.
Cronk said of the pair: “We’re not certain of the extent of their injuries at the moment but it’s been another bitter pill to swallow.”
Bedwas are on a roll after Saturday’s impressive 34-17 home win over Swansea which moved them to fifth.