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Newport Looking For Derby Win Over Cardiff

Newport Looking For Derby Win Over Cardiff

Newport skipper Simon Raiwalui knows the burden of history will be weighing heavily on the shoulders of his players when they march out to face the auld enemy Cardiff at Rodney Parade on Wednesday night (kick-off 5.30pm),
Clashes between the two hooped rivals – black and amber against blue and black – are etched in the annals of rugby history. It remains one of the longest running derby matches in the world game.
But with the wind of change set to blow through Welsh rugby in the new year there is every liklihood that tomorrow night’s (Wednesday) fixture could be the last between the two professional teams representing Newport and Cardiff.
Next year could see the Gwent Steelers taking on the Cardiff Bay Warriors at Rodney Parade with both teams wearing very different strips. That is the WRU’s way forward, with four provincial teams taking over from the current nine clubs in the Welsh Premiership at the top of the game.
That’s why Raiwailui is hoping for a huge turn-out for the second game between the two clubs at Rodney Parade this season in order to give his players the boost they need to ensure the old fixture goes out with a bang if it is to be its swansong.
“This is a huge game for the club. The fact it might be the last derby match at Rodney Parade between Newport and Cardiff means it is an evern more important game for us all,” said Newport skipper Simon Raiwalui.
“Cardiff always come to play a good brand of rugby and that will make it an exciting contest. There is an edge to the squad at the moment and we have had a good build up in training.
“There were a few home truths spoken after the game at Llanelli and we all have to take the pressure like men, not hide away in the corner. This is a big game for the players and the club and we have to go out and do the business on Cardiff.”
The first game between the two clubs was played on Newport marshes on 2 December, 1876. A crowd of 200 turned up, gate receipts were £5 and Newport won convincingly in what was Cardiff’s first competitive game as a club.
Since then, the two sides have met 395 times, although Cardiff only count 389 in their record books. Of the 395 meetings between teams representing the two clubs, Cardiff have won 192 and Newport 143, with 60 draws.
Newport head coach Leigh Jones had a number of niggling injury worries to check on before finalising his side. Matt Mostyn was prevented from taking part in the Boxing Day clash with Llanelli due to a groin strain while Jason Jones-Hughes suffered a hamstring strain in that game.
“We haven’t beaten Cardiff for a while now even though we have come close. We are playing the game on the first day of the new year so hopefully a win will get our season back on course. After all, every game is now of utmost importance,” admitted Newport team manager Jim McCreedy.
Newport had the chance to win the first meeting between the two sides this season, in the Celtic League at Rodney Parade on 28 September, but a last gasp Shane Howarth penalty slipped past the post and Cardiff stole the honours 27-25.

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Newport: Percy Montgomery; Haldane Luscombe, Jon Pritchard, Andy Marinos, Alex Cadwallader; Jason Strange, Ofisa Tonu’u; Rod Snow, James Richards, Adrian Garvey, Ian Gough, Mike Voyle, Gareth Gravell, Jason Forster, Steve Ojomoh.
Replacements: Ceri Jones, Paul Young, Simon Raiwalui, Andrew Powell, Dale Burn, Shane Howarth, Luke Nabaro.

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