NEWPORT head coach Sven Cronk is expecting a “huge response” from his players in tomorrow’s big derby clash against Cardiff after last week’s hammering from Llanelli.
A showdown away to their fiercest rivals gives the Black and Ambers a great opportunity to get their show back on the road after the car crash of seven days ago.
Last Friday’s 46-6 horror show drubbing saw stand-in skipper and prop Dai Pattison sent off in the 53rd minute and yellow cards dished out to No 8 Craig Everett and hooker Ryan Prosser in the first half.
The Black and Ambers have no beef with referee Rhys Thomas with supremo Cronk insisting his side must get its own house in order, and fast.
“We gifted Llanelli four or five tries from our own mistakes last week so we have to look at ourselves,” he said.
“We missed 26 tackles and committed 61 unforced errors.
“I’m expecting a huge response and I’m looking for a really quick turnaround from the players who can’t fail to get up for this game.”
One of the few pluses for Newport from last week’s game was the performance of 17-year-old Newport Gwent Dragons Academy wing Ashton Hewitt, likely to miss tomorrow’s game after sustaining a shoulder injury.
“Ashton played very well and I’ve told our senior players that leadership shouldn’t be coming from an Academy player,” Cronk said.
There’s great news on the injury front for Newport with club captain Gethin Robinson due to return to action this weekend.
The popular 29-year-old tighthead prop is back after an eight-month absence because of an ankle injury.
And gifted centre Dan Robinson, who joined from Pontypool over the summer, is due to feature after recovering from a dead leg.
Bottom of the table Cardiff are struggling badly this season having lost 48-22 to Llandovery at home and 35-25 at Carmarthen Quins.