Newport’s Craig Attwell hoping for Millennium magic
NEWPORT openside flanker Craig Attwell says having a good Swalec Cup run is the Black and Ambers’ big aim for the rest season.
The 1977 and 2001 winners entertain Swansea at Rodney Parade in the second round of the competition tomorrow afternoon.
Newport breezed past Swalec Championship outfit Bonymaen 95-14 at home earlier this month during a record cup win.
The hosts scored 14 tries, the mismatch apparent early on despite the Swansea side taking a shock 7-0 lead.
Whatever the arguments about Bonymaen’s merits, Attwell was delighted to get back to winning ways.
“It was great to get that victory after not winning for seven matches, although we’d drawn three of those and lost two of them to (a strong) Newcastle,” he said.
“We were pleased with the win but we’re not going to start patting each other on the back.”
Making the Premiership play-offs would be something of a miracle for Newport which leaves them with the huge incentive of trying to make their first Swalec Cup final in ten years.
The Black and Ambers contested the last ever final before the regional era when they lost 32-9 to Llanelli at the Millennium Stadium.
“This is a massive opportunity for us – we couldn’t have had a better cup draw with our two games so far at home and we are only three games away from a final at the Millennium Stadium,” former Pontypool player Attwell said.
“Our focus is to get a really good cup run and get something out of this season.
“We have bags of talent, good strength in depth and the potential to be a quality side.”
Bottom of the table Swansea are having a terrible season in the league with just a solitary win and 12 defeats so far.
They have won their three other competitive games this season in the British and Irish Cup and last month’s round one Swalec Cup success over North Wales’ RGC 1404 at home.
When Newport entertained the All Whites at Rodney Parade in the Premiership in early November, it ended up being a 39-17 bonus point win for the hosts.
But Newport will not be taking the visitors, coached by Wales’ 2005 Grand Slam winning hooker Mefin Davies, lightly.
“We beat them comfortably earlier in the season and played very well in the first half but they came back at us and they are capable of playing some good rugby,” Attwell said.