EBBW Vale attempt to upset the odds and become the first side to topple double-chasing Cardiff in the Premiership this evening.

The Steelmen play part one of a double-header against the Blue and Blacks (kick-off 7.30pm), with the league encounter swiftly followed by a clash in round two of the WRU National Cup.

Ebbw are underdogs against a Cardiff side well coached by former Bedwas supremo Steve Law and who added to an already strong squad over the summer.

The men from the capital ensured their perfect start to the season with a bonus-point success against RGC in the north last weekend and boast former Dragons Sam Beard, James Thomas, Barney Nightingale, Thomas Davies in their ranks.

Cardiff are tipped by many to go one better than last season, repeating their 2009 triumph to deny Merthyr a fourth title on the spin.

Meanwhile, Ebbw head to the Arms Park on the back of two disappointing displays.

They salvaged a consolation bonus from an under-par performance at Pontypridd but got nothing last weekend from a home game against previously winless Llanelli, who enjoyed a 29-10 triumph at Eugene Cross Park.

"We definitely need a response to a disappointing performance," said assistant coach Lewis Roberts.

"Cardiff are the cup holders, are top of the league and have a strong squad so we are under no illusions about what we will face.

"They are well coached and have experience throughout the squad – James Thomas and Sam Beard were Dragons regulars a few years ago while the likes of Evan Yardley and Gareth Thompson have plenty of Premiership experience.

"This will be a tough test and we need to be much better than last week if we are to get anything from the game.

"Llanelli executed their game plan but we just made too many errors that they were able to capitalise on.

"The boys have dusted themselves off and worked hard this week because they know that performance doesn't represent them as a group, and the beauty of rugby is that you get the chance to right the wrongs the following weekend."

South Wales Argus:

Newport are back on their travels tomorrow afternoon when they head to Llandovery (kick-off 2.30pm).

The Black and Ambers enjoyed home comforts for the first time in the league when they entertained Merthyr on Sunday, although there was little that was comforting about the scoreline.

The Ironmen powered their way to a 29-17 victory at Rodney Parade with the champions securing the spoils late on with a try that earned them a bonus and denied Newport one.

Nonetheless, team manager Mark Workman believes there was plenty of encouragement from the display ahead of the trip to the Drovers.

"We made a slow start to go 14-0 down but we played some really good stuff and scored a great try," said the former lock.

"Discipline and game management are the things that have cost us a bit this season but they improved, while the set piece was good.

"We've just got to win more moments. We've matched both Aberavon and Merthyr but they have won those key moments.

"It's always tough at Llandovery, and they are one of the most consistent sides in the league, but we'll head there with confidence."

The Drovers have beaten RGC and Bridgend at Church Bank either side of a defeat at Ebbw Vale.

Newport, who are set to be boosted by the return of centre/wing Jon Morris, last won at Church Bank in April 2011 when they took the spoils 29-18 thanks to tries by wing Owen Broad, number eight Hugo Ellis (2) and hooker Andrew Brown.

Fixtures: Cardiff v Ebbw Vale (tonight), Carmarthen Quins v RGC, Llandovery v Newport, Pontypridd v Aberavon, Swansea v Merthyr