ANOTHER tough away day awaits Ebbw Vale this weekend, but the Steelmen head to Colwyn Bay with a new sense of hope following their response to the cup drubbing in Cardiff.

Head coach Greg Woods felt his men were unlucky not come away from last Saturday’s match against Carmarthen Quins with more than a losing bonus point.

But while they may have been on the wrong end of a 26-20 scoreline at Eugene Cross Park, the Steelmen did their best to put that 78-12 thrashing by the Blue and Blacks behind them.

Woods knows his troops must improve again tomorrow if they are to return from RGC 1404 (kick-off 2.30pm) with just a second Premiership victory of the season.

“The boys put pride back in the shirt last weekend,” he said. "It was a much-improved performance from the Cardiff game.

“It was always going to be tough in the cup after going down there the week before in the league and playing really well.

“It’s another hard trip to RGC this weekend. We’ve got to make sure that we are on the money in every department and put in a performance like we did in the second half last weekend.

“I couldn’t fault the effort of the players last Saturday, especially the forwards.”

He added: “When things go against you it can get you down, so you’ve got to dig in and keep fighting.

“We had a few boys playing out of position in the cup and we didn’t have a full allocation on the bench due to injuries and unavailability.

“I was disappointed with the last three or four tries when our tackling went, but we’re a proud bunch and we’ve put that to bed now.

“It’s my job to provide support and guidance to the team and not put any pressure on them.

“It’s about creating an environment where we learn from our mistakes and navigate our way through a tough league.

“We know we’re in a battle at the wrong end of the table, so all we can do is keep fighting.

“The first aim in any season is to get enough points to stay up, and this one is no different.

“The fixture list has been tough for us with away games against Pontypridd, Merthyr, Cardiff and now RGC.”

Focusing on tomorrow’s encounter, Woods said: “It’s always exciting to play up in Colwyn Bay.

“I was fortunate to be in charge of a winning side there last season and some of the boys from that game are still with us.

“I’ve got confidence in the team to challenge again, but we need to be on it mentally and physically.”

Meanwhile, seventh-placed Newport go to a Llanelli side eight points and three places behind them in the standings.

However, while the Black and Ambers suffered an agonising 37-35 home defeat to Pontypridd last weekend, Llanelli stunned second-placed Aberavon at the Talbot Athletic Ground.