Matt O’Brien Believes Newport Will Have To Be At Their Best Against RGC . . . As The Indigo Premiership Continues To Simmer

The Indigo Premiership returns with a bang.

Matt O’Brien Believes Newport Will Have To Be At Their Best Against RGC . . . As The Indigo Premiership Continues To Simmer

By Harry Corish

Matt O’Brien insists his side must learn from mistakes made against Ebbw Vale but hopes they can get back to winning ways against a resurgent RGC side, to put themselves back in the top six of the Indigo Premiership.

It is a huge game for both sides, with RGC currently sit in sixth place, just two points in front of Newport, albeit having played a game more than the Black and Ambers.

The Wales under 18’s head coach insists his side are eager to get back to winning ways this weekend against a difficult RGC side, following a disappointing loss against Ebbw Vale on Boxing Day.

The Newport fly half is well aware that the Black and Ambers will have to be at their best, to get the win against a well organised and dangerous team in RGC.

O’Brien said: “We need to look at the kicking game, RGC kick well. We will be without Will (Reed), so we will have to look at the balance of our kicking approach, especially with the weather that is expected, we need to be smart and clever with what we do.

“RGC have a lot of different threats behind the scrum. They have experienced half backs in Efan (Jones) and Dion (Jones), Danny Cross is always a threat and their back three have been causing issues all year.

“But we have a dangerous backline too and hopefully we can get the ball to our wingers, and they can to the business.

“Ebbw came in with a plan to kick to us a lot, and the errors we made allowed them to get back into the game.

“We are disappointed with the performance, but we had a review during training, and we have picked up 16 points from the last 20 available, so we can’t be too disappointed with ourselves.

After four losses at the start of the season, Newport had gone on to win five games in a row. A loss against Ebbw Vale and a few games cancelled due to the cold weather in December has ultimately slowed their momentum down.

O’Brien hopes his side can learn their lessons quickly, as they are set to face a well organised RGC side, under the leadership of a former Newport, Harlequins and Wales International player Ceri Morris.

“It is going to be a difficult game, RGC are a well drilled side under Ceri (Morris) and they did a bit of a job on us last season at home, especially at the break down, so we are expecting a fierce contest there.

“The forward battle will be a massive area where the game is one and lost, alongside the breakdown. They have got a good pack, and an excellent openside in Ethan Fackrell who has impressed against us before with his work over the ball.

Ebbw Vale started the weekend by completing a bonus point victory over Llanelli, in front of the S4C cameras on Thursday night.

The Steelmen continued their fine form, scoring four tries on their way to a 36-26 victory, which now sees them in joint third, as they await the result from Llandovery’s game against Pontypridd.

League leaders Cardiff head to the Wern to face Merthyr, who have looked a much stronger side this year. There are 18 points that separate the two sides in the league, but Merthyr sit just eight points outside the play off positions, with two games in hand on Ebbw Vale, who sit in fourth spot.

Cardiff have won ten of their eleven game this season, and with Aberavon and Llandovery chomping at their heels, the Rags will be looking for the win this weekend to ease that pressure.

Second placed Aberavon edged out bottom side Bridgend 18-15 on Boxing Day. It was a difficult day for the Wizards, but they still got the job done

Aberavon host Swansea this weekend, who currently sit eighth in the league, with four wins from their ten games. The Whites will be looking for a big scalp this weekend, as they hope to push back up the table.

There is a huge clash at the foot of the table between Carmarthen and Bridgend, at Carmarthen Park. The two sides have just two wins between them and take up the bottom two positions in the league. But both teams will be hoping to kickstart their season with a win this weekend.

Elsewhere Llandovery head to Sardis Road, eyeing up another win on the road. With just one tight loss this season, against leaders Cardiff. The West Walian side will be looking to keep the pressure on the top two sides.

The Drovers sit just ten points behind the league leaders, and with two games in hand, Euros Evans’ men will be hoping they can continue their rich vein in form this weekend against a struggling Pontypridd side.

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