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Thomas Dedicates Bridgend Win To Coach

Thomas Dedicates Bridgend Win To Coach

That was for Allan! Buoyant Bridgend skipper Gareth Thomas dedicated his side’s sensational opening night victory at Rodney Parade to coach Allan Lewis, who was released by the black and ambers midway through last season.
Newport’s domination of the game should have led to a comfortable victory, but Thomas and his team were like tigers in defence and kept the home side at bay to notch a notable victory.
“That’s the best win we’ve had since I’ve been back at Bridgend. All the hard work we have put in during the pre-season paid off,” said Thomas.
“We knew that winning at Newport would mean a lot to Allan after what happened to him last season and it was out of respect for him that we dug so deep. That victory was for him.
“When you think that we had seven players making their full debuts for Bridgend I think it shows we have a lot of potential. But the best thing for me was the way the players all played for each other.
“We can’t afford to get carried away with one victory, but it has certainly set a standard for us this season.”
Newport were non-plussed by the aggressive Bridgend defence and have now gone four games under new coaches Leigh Jones and Richard Hill without a win – three friendlies and the 13-5 reverse to Bridgend.
Jones and Hill will be hoping to get Canadian prop Rod Snow back from Canadian World Cup duty and former All Black scrum half Ofisa Tonu’u fit again before they travel to Pontypridd on Saturday.
“I’m a bit alarmed that the players seemed to lose their confidence. This is something we are all going to have to work through,” admitted head coach Jones.
“Having 80-90% possession is some achievement, and something to build on, but we have got to learn to take our chances. Bridgend had one chance and scored a try.”
Wales and Lions wing Dafydd James, playing at centre with Thomas, romped 25 metres to score a try 32 minutes into the first half on what was Bridgend’s second incursion into the home 22. The rest of the damage came from the boot of Craig Warlow, who added the conversion and kicked two penalties.
Newport’s only points came from a front of the line peel by back row man Jason Forster, although at least half-a-dozen players could have scored before him.

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