CROSS KEYS V BRIDGEND (Tomorrow)
CROSS Keys attack coach Mark Ring expects a ferocious backlash from his troops when they go back into battle against Bridgend after last weekend’s heavy home defeat to Pontypridd.
There are cool heads in the Pandy Park camp now the dust has settled after the champions’ 28-3 demolition of the Swalec Cup holders.
Few would have predicted such a trouncing, particularly after the Gwent side did such a big number on Ponty in May’s majestic 32-19 cup final triumph at the Millennium Stadium.
Ring insists there is no need for hysteria after last Saturday’s major setback, but does admit things have to get better – and fast.
Commenting on the sending off of their openside flanker captain Rob Nash and the yellow card which saw second row Dan Hodge sit out ten minutes, Ring said: “Our discipline let us down against Ponty and we also didn’t bring a lot of width to our game – we need to improve and improve quickly.
“People can be quick to jump on the bandwagon and criticise but we have a stronger squad now than we did last season.
“It’s still early days and we remain quietly confident.”
Ring said the backroom staff have taken a clinical approach in training to last weekend’s defeat rather than shouting and balling and putting the players through the pain barrier.
“As coaches, we could have beasted the players in training on Tuesday but we spent a lot of time on DVD analysis instead,” he revealed.
“We trust the players’ knowledge and we anticipate a big reaction. I expect us to turn in a big performance and if we do, the result will take care of itself.”
Bridgend will be buoyant after kicking off their season with a fine 25-23 home victory over Llanelli.
Ring said: “They’ll come here with plenty of confidence after such a good win.
“Tomorrow’s match is a big one for both sides.”