Keys looking for titanic effort against champions Ponty
7:01am Saturday 21st September 2013 in Latest Rugby
CROSS Keys head coach Greg Woods has issued a rallying cry to the Pandy Park faithful, calling for the fans' support as they seek a morale-boosting victory over Pontypridd this afternoon.
Keys face the acid test at home when they welcome a serious outfit in imperious form, the league and cup double champions having won their last 21 games.
Woods' side showed last year that Ponty certainly aren't invincible after their superb 32-19 2012 Swalec Cup final victory at the Millennium Stadium.
But they know it will take another titanic effort to overcome them today, Keys rewarding the talented Wales Under-18s outside-half Angus O'Brien with the responsibility of controlling matters for them again at fly-half.
The teenager was superb against Swansea away last week in his side's 19-13 win, kicking 14 points.
The ambitious Keys, who missed out on the Principality Premiership play-offs this year by a point, were blown away 28-3 by Ponty at home in the opening league fixture of last season.
But they came agonisingly close to exacting revenge in the return fixture away, the visitors sucker punched by an interception try as they were on the verge of scoring, consigned instead to a 37-24 defeat.
Woods wants the Keys fans to neutralise Ponty's fanatical following: "I want to call on all our supporters to come and support us this weekend because Ponty have a fantastic travelling support.
"I'm pleading with the Keys fans to come because we've probably never had a side as good as the one we've had over the last couple of years and these boys deserve to be watched."
Newport look for a vital win this afternoon but it won't be easy as they welcome last season's Premiership runners-up Llanelli to Rodney Parade.
The Black and Ambers came unstuck 21-7 away at Aberavon last weekend and, as well as looking to get back to winning ways, will look to avenge two league hammerings last season at the hands of their old West Walian foes who triumphed 46-6 on their travels before winning 41-17 at Parc y Scarlets
Craig Attwell returns at openside flanker following a wrist injury while 18-year-old centre Tyler Morgan is rewarded for a fine showing off the bench against the Wizards with a start at inside centre.
Bedwas were desperately unlucky to not have anything to show for their efforts against champions Ponty last weekend, two tries in the last eight minutes seeing them go down 42-31. They will hope to get up and running when they welcome Cardiff to Bridge Field.
Cross Keys: A Bramwell, E Jones, L Andrews (captain), A James, N Trowbridge, A O'Brien, R Dyer, R Cornock, D Hughes, N Buck, D Hodge, O Hodge, R Peebles, S Matthews, A Powell. Replacements: A Lott, G Price, C Gould, T Lampard, R Tucker, R James, P Williams, C Driscoll.
Newport: G O'Driscoll, A Hewitt, D Robinson, T Morgan, E Frewen, E Davies, J Leadbeater, D Pattison, D Rogers, A Jeffries, Adam Brown, A Frampton, I Jones, C Attwell, L Beach (captain). Replacements: S Parry, G Robinson, D Rosser, J Greenfield, S Waldron, M O'Brien, A Quick, D Franchi.
Bedwas: S Thomas, W Harries, L Gadd, S Williams, E Jones, A Humberstone, R Downes, A Coundley, E Dee, J Mills, P Rees, C Lodge, J Thomas, S Grainger (captain), D Crimmins. Replacements: M Pettit, I George, R Wilkes, L Connolly, J Sawyer, L Jones, D Dearden, S Cullen.
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