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Newport Warned – “no Repeat!”

Newport Warned – “no Repeat!”


Frédéric Michalak is adamant that Toulouse will not make the same mistake twice when they take on Newport under the Rodney Parade floodlights on Friday night.

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A year ago Newport won 21-20 and Michalak recalls: “It was a huge morale blow to lose out in the last minute because of Shane Howarth’s try, especially as, in retrospect, a win then could have meant a quarter-final spot.

“We’d like to turn that result around this time out so we will make sure we concentrate right up to the final whistle. An away win at this stage would certainly go down well.

“The game at Newport last year was my first full appearance in the Heineken Cup but we had huge injury problems and I ended up playing full back – which is not at all my position.

“Newport are a very physical team and Shane Howarth was the master at No 10 last season, both with his goal and tactical kicking, so we’ll be expecting more of the same on Friday. Now that we’ve played them once already there will be less apprehension ahead of the match and the team who wants it most will take the points.”

Twenty-one-year old Vincent Clerc scored two tries in his first Heineken Cup match for Toulouse last Saturday, in their 28-23 victory over London Irish, and his speed and touch has already earned him accolades and recognition as one of the new players to watch on the Heineken Cup circuit.

“I didn’t expect to be making the starting line-up so soon after my arrival and to be playing in front of a full crowd and a super atmosphere was great,” he said.

“I am discovering the Heineken Cup along with the French championship – new challenges are coming up all the time. For both tries I was able to take advantage of my team-mates’ work. We had two chances to score and we did that.

“I don’t really know what to expect myself from Newport but the players have told me how disappointed they were last season to lose there and they are determined to make up for that.

“If we produce the same performance as against London Irish we should be OK because it is imperative that we get a win. Our objective is to finish first out of our Pool so that has to start with a win on Friday.”

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