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Howells Calls On Ponty Under Dogs

Howells Calls On Ponty Under Dogs

Pontypridd coach Lynn Howells is hoping his side can cast off their tag as under dogs in a bid to clinch European glory.
He takes his self-proclaimed valley commandos to The Kassam Stadium, Oxford where they will lock horns with English side Sale Sharks.
Having already secured one piece of silverware following their Principality cup triumph over Llanelli, Howells is calling for one last effort.
But he acknowledges his side will once again be second favourites in their quest to land a unique domestic and European cup double.
“There is no doubt that we are the under dogs,” he admitted.
“Sale are probably the form team in England at the moment and you have only got to look at their recent performances to see that we are facing a very good side.
“But that is the way we like it and we are hoping that the Ponty team spirit will carry us through.
“They might be a young side but they are a sensible bunch who have been professional in their attitude.
“They know this game poses different problems and if they lose any concentration at all then they will not come away with a result.”
The Sardis Road side can become the first Welsh team to shower themselves in European glory, while in the same vein secure a spot in next season’s lucrative Heineken Cup.
And Howells concedes that victory would flash a strong message that Welsh rugby is still alive and kicking.
“It would certainly make a big statement for Welsh rugby. I think just to be in the final is a statement that Welsh rugby isn’t as bad as everyone is making out.”
Meanwhile, kicking wizard Brett Davey has revealed he wants to avoid the spotlight despite booting Ponty to a Welsh cup victory last weekend.
The flame-haired full back, who has been earning the plaudits in recent weeks, hopes that it doesn’t come down to a last-gasp pressure penalty.
He said: “I certainly hope it doesn’t come down to me again.
“I would like to think we could get in front this time and not have to play catch up.
“But Sale possess a lot of problems that Llanelli didn’t last week, and we know how difficult it is going to be.
“They are a good side and we will have to be right at the top of our game. We will have to raise our performance levels by about 30 per cent if we are to win.”

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Pontypridd side: Brett Davey; Gareth Wyatt, Sonny Parker, Jon Bryant, Richard Johnston; Ceri Sweeney, Paul John (captain); Gethin Jenkins, Mefin Davies, Duncan Bell, Brent Cockbain, Robert Sidoli, Nick Kelly, Richard Parks, Michael Owen

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