BEDWAS v NEWPORT
NEWPORT will be attempting to avenge a Bedwas burglary when they head to take of the Premiership leaders at Bridge Field tonight.
It was a classic away day smash and grab when the teams met at Rodney Parade in mid-September.
Newport bossed matters despite being down to 14 men for the second half following Hywel Stoddart’s red card.
But it was Bedwas that took the spoils courtesy of a last gasp Jack Dixon try and fly-half Richard Powell’s nerveless touchline conversion.
Head coach Sven Cronk hopes that it’s a case of lesson learnt as his charges bid for a sixth win on the bounce.
“We’ve not really spoken in detail about that game but we have talked about Bedwas’ ability to stick on in there,” he said.
“It doesn’t matter who deserved the win, the scoreboard at the end is the thing that counts and this is a Bedwas side that have proved time and time again how tough they are to crack.
“Any side has to go for 80 plus minutes when they are playing them and discipline is key because they have a great kicking 10 who will punish any penalties.”
The Black and Ambers did not play last weekend after a waterlogged pitch forced the postponement of their home Premiership encounter with Aberavon.
That was a source of frustration for a side that have found a rich vein of form to climb to seventh.
“We’ve done a lot of pleasing things over the past few weeks but we are fully aware that there remains plenty to work on,” said Cronk.
“But one aspect that really did make me proud was when we were leading 19-9 at the end of our win at Neath.
“There was real desire to stop them crossing our line and that spirit of doing it for the jersey is something that I enjoy as much as watching us play good attacking rugby.”
Bedwas, meanwhile, are the surprise leaders thanks to a determined run of five games without defeat.
A fortnight ago they shrugged off a red card that was shown to Powell in the first half at Cardiff to take the spoils 29-20.
And last week they dug deep to edge out Carmarthen Quins 18-17 thanks to their fly-half bisecting the posts with the last kick.
“There was two minutes and 14 second left when they went ahead but the boys didn’t panic,” said head coach Steve Law.
“As a group they never give up – they have plenty of ability and talent but spirit is a big part of their success.
“We’ll need that tonight because I doubt there will be much between the sides. The small margins will decide who takes the points and it should be a great game.”