Cross Keys v Newport Preview and Team News
By David Glastonbury | 06/10/2017
Cross Keys welcome Gwent rivals Newport to Pandy Park this Saturday for the latest Gwent Derby in the Principality Premiership East Conference.
Both sides have made largely frustrating starts to the season, which have seen both Keys and the black and ambers pick up just 2 victories from their opening 6 games played so far. Newport have, however picked up one more bonus point than Keys so currently sit in 6th place in the table with Keys a point and one place behind in 7th. There is no doubt that both sides will want a win as they go in to a fortnight break from the Principality Premiership as the British & Irish Cup takes over.
Last season saw the 2 sides meet on 4 occasions, with Keys grabbing a league double and the honours going the way of the home side in each of the Fosters Challenge Cup group games. In the ‘pre-split’ Principality Premiership fixture at Pandy Park on Boxing Day last year it was Keys who comfortably claimed the victory winning by 23 points to 8, with the dominant pack paving the way with 2 penalty tries, both converted by Josh Prosser who also kicked a hat-trick of penalty goals. The black and ambers replied with an unconverted Elliot Frewen try and a penalty by Matt O’Brien. At Rodney Parade in Tier 2 of the Principality Premiership in the penultimate game of the season in May it was Keys who won an entertaining clash by 29 points to 22, picking up a bonus point in the process. Keys tries came from Leon Andrews, Darren Hughes, Nathan Trowbridge and Ieuan Jones. Josh Prosser added 3 conversions and penalty. Newport’s points came from a pair of tries by James Little and one for Dan Mock, who transferred to Pandy Park over the summer and is named in the Keys squad to face his former side on Saturday. Matt O’Brien kicked a pair of conversions and a first half penalty for the black and ambers. The Fosters Challenge cup fixtures resulted in a 17 points to 11 win for Newport at Rodney Parade last October but Keys got their revenge in December with a 33 points to 27 win at Pandy Park.
The Keys have named their side for Saturday’s game as they again make several changes to the side that started at Sardis Road last week. Leon Andrews moves back to full back after a start in the centre last week, with Phil Williams partnering Barney Nightingale in the centre. Up front Keys change their two props with Corey Hewlett and Nathan Buck coming in for Lewis Smout and Richard Cornock respectively. There are also changes in the back row as Liam Davies comes in for Taine Basham and skipper Scott Matthews starts only his second game of the season after his comeback as a replacement from injury last week. He swaps places with Joe Thomas who moves to the bench.
The Cross Keys side in full for Saturday’s game is:-
15. Leon Andrews
14. Mathew Powell
13. Barney Nightingale
12. Phil Williams
11. Lloyd Lewis
10. Josh Prosser
9. James Leadbeater
1. Corey Hewlett
2. Rob Jones
3. Nathan Buck
4. Tom Lampard
5. Josh Skinner
6. Liam Davies
7. Scott Matthews (c)
8. Adam Powell
Replacements: 16. Gary Carpenter, 17. Lewis Smout, 18. Richard Cornock, 19. Dan Mock, 20. Joe Thomas, 21. Nathan Trowbridge, 22. Ross Pritchard, 23. Ben Snell.
Cross Keys v Newport Principality Premiership East
Date: Saturday 7th October 2017
Venue: Pandy Park
Kick Off: 2.30pm