NEWPORT know that they are going to have to rack up the points on the plastic pitch at Sardis Road if they are to stand a chance to toppling in-form Pontypridd tomorrow.

The Black and Ambers head to the ‘House of Pain’ (kick-off 1pm) aiming to repeat their excellent 29-27 win at Rodney Parade in the third round of Principality Premiership East fixtures.

But since that success in Newport, earned by tries from Morgan Burgess, Jonathan Morris, Wes Cunliffe and Corey Howells plus nine points from the boot of Matt O’Brien, Ponty have hit ominous form to move to the top of the table.

Justin Burnell’s men have won their last six and in the process have racked up 225 points at an average of 37.5 per game.

That means the Black and Ambers will have to defend tenaciously and take their chances to stand a chance of bursting Ponty’s bubble.

“The win at Rodney Parade feels like a long time ago and since then Pontypridd have been in great form, winning games and scoring a lot of points,” said forwards coach Ty Morris.

“The key to our win was stopping Ponty’s possession because they have a strong midfield and a dangerous back three who can score from anywhere.

“We have to starve them of the ball if we can and be clinical in attack; we have to score plenty of points because Ponty certainly do.”

Newport make the trip to Sardis in high spirits thanks to last week’s late victory over Bedwas.

“I don’t think it was much of a spectacle but it was an important win,” said Morris. “We have to get our attack going and improve our all-round performance if we are to stand a chance of beating Ponty.”

Newport are still hindered by the absence of key players but are hopeful lock Dan Partridge, speedster Elliot Frewen and wing/centre Wes Cunliffe will be back around the festive period, when east and west becomes one.