A THREE-WEEK break from Principality Premiership action awaits Cross Keys and Newport after tomorrow’s meeting at Pandy Park – and both will be desperate to go into it celebrating a win.

The eastern conference table doesn’t make for pleasant reading if you support either of the Gwent rivals, with Keys seventh of the eight sides and the Black and Ambers a point better off in sixth.

Consistency hasn’t been easy to come by for the two teams so far this term and they face each other this weekend following defeats last time out.

While Keys suffered a 26-12 reverse on the road against Pontypridd a week after beating leaders Bedwas, Newport lost 35-14 to Bargoed at Rodney Parade.

There are no league fixtures after tomorrow until Newport go to Cardiff on October 27, so ousting a local foe tomorrow (kick-off 2.30pm) will give the victors a much-needed confidence boost.

“We always relish the opportunity to host Newport and we’re glad to be back at home,” said Keys director of rugby Jonathan Westwood.

“Historically, we have a more than decent record against them so we’re looking forward to it.

“It’s a local derby between two sides who probably aren’t where they want to be in the league.

“There is a lot to play for and you tend to find in these fixtures that form goes out the window because there’s a lot at stake – we know we have to come out on top.

“Probably like everyone, we’ve got an injury list we could do without but that’s rugby and we have to get on with it.”

He added: “We haven’t had an ideal start to the season and we’re certainly looking for more consistency in our game.

“As well as results and performances, we need consistency in selection, which we haven’t been able to get so far.

“This is probably the fourth side that myself and Greg Woods (head coach) have built since we’ve been at the club so it’s certainly a transitional period.

“The Bedwas result is where we want to be, playing at that level week in week out, but it’s difficult to get that without consistency in selection.

“It’s a learning curve for everybody and we’ve been here before as a coaching team.”

Something else Keys have been getting used to is the east and west split for the first half of the season – all 16 Premiership clubs come together on December 30 for 15 more matches each.

“Whether the east and west set-up is an ideal scenario is probably up for debate,” Westwood said.

“I think you get the same amount of games as if you were all in one league to start with and playing everyone home and away.

“But there is plenty of rugby to engage the supporters and it’s nice to have a lot of local derbies, because if you lose one you haven’t got long to wait to make amends.”

Keys captain Scott Matthews continues his comeback from injury tomorrow after coming on for Joe Thomas at Sardis Road last Saturday.

Meanwhile, hookers Evan Whitson and Henry Palmer both reached 50 appearances for the Black and Ambers last weekend and are set to continue their rivalry for the number two jersey.

“Bargoed was really disappointing,” said Newport chief Craig Warlow.

“We knew exactly what they were going to bring but, for whatever reason, we weren’t good enough on the day.

“It’s great for everyone that we’ve got Cross Keys tomorrow.

"It’s definitely nicer to win a game before a down period but it’s just important we win as many games as we can.

“I don’t think we’ve won there since I’ve been here so it would be nice to end that run this weekend.

“We have to give the squad rugby in the first block of the season but we’re certainly not going up there with that our primary concern.”