Newport and Keys braced for potential phoney war

South Wales Argus: OLD FOES: Keys’ Garry Horrigan, who will be skipper tomorrow, goes on the charge in the October clash with Newport OLD FOES: Keys’ Garry Horrigan, who will be skipper tomorrow, goes on the charge in the October clash with Newport

TOMORROW’S British and Irish Cup fixture between Newport and Cross Keys at Rodney Parade is an unpredictable encounter.

On the surface it will be a clash between two sides that are already out of the competition because Newcastle are romping to Pool Four top spot.

The squads will be tinkered with and niggles will be protected.

One would imagine it is a Gwent derby that will lack the spice of the Premiership fixture that takes place on the same ground on the last weekend of March.

But you wouldn’t bank on that – the prospect of the two familiar foes going through the motions is unlikely even when more important challenges lie ahead.

“It’s a funny one,” admitted Newport head coach Sven Cronk. “There is technically nothing on the game but you still have to address the players in the same way.

“There is a balance to be found between trying to get a derby victory against rivals and looking ahead to games that might be considered more important.

“It is still a useful game for us coaches and we will be looking for progress from last weekend’s game against Llandovery (a 18-18 draw).

“We want to see an improvement in both our attacking and defensive patterns which let us down for a variety of reasons.

“Keys are a good side that are going well, so it will be a really good test for us and it will be up to us to get our game going. We fell apart against them in the second half at Pandy Park last month (losing in the Premiership 29-9 after trailing 7-6 at the break) and I want to see a response to that.”

Key will be adopting a similar approach with a raft of their mainstays putting their feet up.

Head coach Greg Woods believes the tinkering could lead to an open encounter with players desperate to impress.

“There is a lot at stake for some of our boys,” he said. “There are contracts to play for and places in future matchday squads.

“This is the biggest game of the season for some of them and they will be champing at the bit.

“Perhaps the tournament structure needs to be looked at and it should go back to two teams qualifying, but we are still grateful for the opportunity to give some youngsters a go in a proper game.

“It may be a dead rubber but it’s still a derby match and we are putting a side out that we know is capable of winning the game. They know that there is still the expectation on them to perform.”

Newport will be without lock Adam Frampton and flanker Craig Attwell who have been carrying bumps for a number of weeks and will be rested.

Cross Keys will be led by hooker Garry Horrigan and an interesting sub-plot will be the duel between two teenage opensides.

Newport’s Ollie Griffiths, 17, will be locking horns with Keys’ Scott Matthews, 18, at the breakdown.

The Black and Ambers won 24-20 when the teams met at Pandy Park earlier in the tournament.

Comments (8)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

12:19pm Fri 11 Jan 13

Oddjob says...

Keys by ten.
Keys by ten. Oddjob
  • Score: 0

1:55pm Fri 11 Jan 13

Robert Shillabeer says...

A very tight game I think, Newport played well against Llandovery but let in silly tries. If we can stop those silly lapses we could pinch it by about three points. A very god tussle ahead I hope.
A very tight game I think, Newport played well against Llandovery but let in silly tries. If we can stop those silly lapses we could pinch it by about three points. A very god tussle ahead I hope. Robert Shillabeer
  • Score: 0

3:01pm Fri 11 Jan 13

JWeaver says...

No contest! Keys front 5 will dominate and keys will win without breaking sweat. Gethin Robinson will still be having nightmares about Richard Cornock after the last game, he will not enjoy Saturday!
No contest! Keys front 5 will dominate and keys will win without breaking sweat. Gethin Robinson will still be having nightmares about Richard Cornock after the last game, he will not enjoy Saturday! JWeaver
  • Score: 0

7:53pm Fri 11 Jan 13

Robert Shillabeer says...

The only thing at stake is local bragging rights. Lets hope at least it's a good game with a close result.
The only thing at stake is local bragging rights. Lets hope at least it's a good game with a close result. Robert Shillabeer
  • Score: 0

9:39pm Fri 11 Jan 13

risca dragons says...

It was like watching men vs boys the other week. Keys will boss the pack again and win by at least 10!
It was like watching men vs boys the other week. Keys will boss the pack again and win by at least 10! risca dragons
  • Score: 0

2:19am Sat 12 Jan 13

Newport Dave says...

3 - 3 Final score ;-)
3 - 3 Final score ;-) Newport Dave
  • Score: 0

5:11pm Sat 12 Jan 13

Robert Shillabeer says...

risca dragons wrote:
It was like watching men vs boys the other week. Keys will boss the pack again and win by at least 10!
Umm never looked like winning by ten. The ref spoiled the fights in the first half but it soon settled down after Keys took of their number 5. The second half was quite an arm wrestle with Newport holding out vey well. Overall a fair result.
[quote][p][bold]risca dragons[/bold] wrote: It was like watching men vs boys the other week. Keys will boss the pack again and win by at least 10![/p][/quote]Umm never looked like winning by ten. The ref spoiled the fights in the first half but it soon settled down after Keys took of their number 5. The second half was quite an arm wrestle with Newport holding out vey well. Overall a fair result. Robert Shillabeer
  • Score: 0

1:11am Sun 13 Jan 13

Robert Shillabeer says...

risca dragons wrote:
It was like watching men vs boys the other week. Keys will boss the pack again and win by at least 10!
Wrong all round a tight tussle yes but a fair result.
[quote][p][bold]risca dragons[/bold] wrote: It was like watching men vs boys the other week. Keys will boss the pack again and win by at least 10![/p][/quote]Wrong all round a tight tussle yes but a fair result. Robert Shillabeer
  • Score: 0

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

Get Adobe Flash player
About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree