2017/2018 Principality Premiership
Newport 19 v 35 Cross Keys
05 May 2018 - Rodney Parade, Newport
Cross Keys

Match Preview

Newport v Cross Keys Preview & Team News

Cross Keys take on local rivals Newport in the final away game of the 2017/18 season this Saturday at Rodney Parade.

The black and ambers have enjoyed an excellent season so far, which has seen a big improvement of their fortunes compared to recent years. They are currently sit in 8th place in the Principality Premiership table, with 7 wins and 5 defeats from their 13 games played so far. If results go their way they may find themselves somewhere near the top 5 or 6 come the end of the season. Their good season is perhaps best recognised by the fact that they were finalists in this season’s WRU National Cup but last weekend they came up against a fully functioning Merthyr side who put the black and ambers to the sword by winning the final at the Principality Stadium by 41 points to 7. Keys will certainly need to be at their best if they are to take anything from this game as the black and ambers will probably be looking to give their supporters something to shout about given their defeat in the Cup Final.

Earlier this season when the 2 sides met in the East conference of the Principality Premiership the honours went the way of the away side on each occasion. Back in October at Pandy Park the black and ambers were victorious winning by 21 points to 12. Points for Keys came from a try apiece for former Newport pair Josh Skinner and Barney Nightingale with Josh Prosser adding a single conversion. The Newport points came from a Haydn Palmer try together with a converted penalty try. Haydn Simons added a pair of penalties with Geraint O’Driscoll also adding a penalty for the visitors. Keys gained revenge for that defeat when they won the festive derby between the 2 sides just before Christmas at Rodney Parade. The Keys ran out 32 points to 24 after an entertaining clash. Keys’ crossed for 4 tries which came from Leon Andrews, Mathew Powell, Barney Nightingale and Scott Matthews. Josh Prosser added 12 points through 3 conversions and 2 penalties for Keys. Newport crossed for 3 tries via former Keys hooker Henry Palmer, Jonathan Morris and Tom Piper. Matt O’Brien kicked 2 conversions with Haydn Simons also adding 1 conversion and 1 penalty for the home side.

With Keys suffering with a mixture of injuries and unavailability they have announced their team which has a slightly different look to it, particularly in the backs. At half back Owain Leonard, makes his 50th appearance for Keys at scrum half and he partners James Leadbeater who moves to number 10 from his regular number 9 slot. In the centre, Keys bring in Newbridge’s former Newport man Scott Williams to start against his former side on permit and he partners Mathew Powell who moves in from his regular wing slot to start at outside centre. Up front Scott Evans replaces Richard Cornock on the tight head with Darren Hughes starting at hooker where he swaps places with Zac Hewlett who moves to the bench. On the bench Keys include academy half back Iwan Burgwin and there is also the inclusion of Tredegar Ironsides back Ben Watkins on permit.

The Cross Keys side in full is:-

15. David Richards
14. Lloyd Lewis
13. Mathew Powell
12. Scott Williams
11. Nathan Trowbridge

10. James Leadbeater
9. Owain Leonard

1. Gary Carpenter
2. Darren Hughes
3. Scott Evans
4. Tom Lampard
5. Josh Skinner
6. Scott Matthews (c)
7. Joe Thomas
8. Ieuan Jones

Replacements: 16. Zac Hewlett, 17. Taylor Hansen, 18. Richard Cornock, 19. AN Other, 20. Garin Price, 21. Ben Watkins, 22. Iwan Burgwin, 23. Ben Snell.

Newport v Cross Keys Principality Premiership
Saturday 5th May 2018
Venue: Rodney Parade
Kick Off: 2.30pm