NEWPORT look to build on last week’s dramatic win at Carmarthen Quins but have a tough mission on their hands tomorrow when they visit league leaders Llandovery, writes Iwan Davies.
The Drovers are the Premiership’s form team with four bonus wins out of four as they lead Gwent boys Cross Keys and Bedwas by one point at the summit.
The Black and Ambers take enormous heart out of their last-gasp gutsy 28-25 victory over the Quins.
It was a case of better late than never when man of the match Elliot Frewen scored a fine individual try, the wing sprinting the length of the field before crossing in the corner in the dying seconds.
Newport coach Sven Cronk praised his players for their gritty determination and character after they came back from a three-match losing streak, which included two heavy defeats at the hands of Llanelli and Cardiff.
But although his side have silenced the critics, at least for now, he maintains he doesn’t spend too much time worrying about their detractors.
“You are always going to have critics but we are just focused on looking after ourselves and looking to play some rugby,” Cronk said.
“The players showed great spirit against Carmarthen Quins on Saturday, especially after our defeat to Bedwas a few days before (14-man Newport losing 26-25 in injury time to their near neighbours at Rodney Parade).”
Newport continue to have worrying injury problems, particularly in the front row and midfield.
They will be without captain and tighthead prop Gethin Robinson, who is not expected back until late October after he tore a bicep in the defeat away to Cardiff earlier this month.
Fellow tighthead James Jones is also absent, the 28-year-old still being monitored after a back injury sustained in the 46-6 thrashing at Rodney Parade by Llanelli.
At centre, Adam Davies is out until at least December after breaking his ankle against Bedwas, Dan Robinson is still absent with a knee injury while Will Richards (leg) is a doubt.
Good news however is that loosehead prop Dai Pattison will be available. His disciplinary still hasn’t taken place after he was sent off in the defeat to Llanelli at the beginning of the month.