NEWPORT hunt a Gwent derby double over Ebbw Vale and top seeding in the Premiership Cup at Spytty Park tomorrow afternoon.

The Black and Ambers cemented a home quarter-final in the competition with a stunning eight-try win at Merthyr last weekend.

If they beat the Steelmen then they will host either Swansea or Bridgend, who are scrapping for fourth spot in the west, while if they slip up and Cardiff leapfrog them then it will be Carmarthen Quins, who are guaranteed to finish third.

The knockout stages are at the end of the season.

Newport have enjoyed a superb campaign since losing their opener at Pontypridd and are building nicely ahead of the December 11 start of the league.

Team manager Mark Workman said: “It would be great kudos to finish top because it’s such a tough group.

“Credit to Ty (Morris, head coach), he has assembled a really good squad, the strongest in terms of competition for places for quite some time.

“He has created a really good culture because it’s always difficult to manage a large squad but he is doing it really well.

“We had a blip against RGC but responded really well against Merthyr and will need another big performance against Ebbw Vale, who will always raise their game against us.”

Ebbw have been hit hard by injuries to key figures and last weekend endured the frustration of a last-gasp home defeat to 14-man RGC.

The Steelmen won their first two fixtures but are on a seven-game losing streak and are guaranteed to prop up the eastern group.

It’s two from three for the away quarter-final places with Merthyr and RGC currently in the qualification spots.

Ponty will leapfrog RGC with victory in the north while the Ironmen head to Cardiff needing a point.

The Championship returns with a humdinger at the Gnoll when Pontypool take on Neath.

Pooler started the defence of their title with a 42-3 hammering of Maesteg Quins but things go up a notch against the Welsh All Blacks.

“We’ve had some great battles down there in the past and I’m sure this week will be the same,” said captain Scott Matthews.

“They are going to be one of the teams that will be in the race for the top spots at the end of the year so it’s good to have one of the better teams in the league early and see where we’re at as a squad.”

Bargoed are expected to have another tussle for the title, which doesn’t carry the prize of promotion, with Pooler.

The Bulls, 32-10 winners over Beddau on opening weekend, travel to face a Bedwas side that won 20-0 at Ystrad Rhondda.

The sides met in the Championship Cup when Bargoed sneaked a pair of wins 13-7 and 24-22.

Cross Keys were edged out 21-14 by Trebanos and will aim to chalk up their first win when they welcome Ystrad Rhondda to Pandy Park.