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Vale On Course For Victory

Vale On Course For Victory

Ebbw Vale fans will hope that the 26 point advantage that Mike Ruddock’s side gained at Newport’s Rodney Parade ground will be enough to see The Steelmen progress through to the PARKER PEN SHIELD semi-final.

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Pau, Heineken Cup semi-finalists in 1997/8, have a European pedigree that suggests they would not be happy to bow out at this stage, so Vale can expect a blood and thunder battle at the Stade du Hameau.

Bryan Shelbourne was the hero of Ebbw Vale’s classy win over Pau by kicking 19 points, and coach Mike Ruddock will be looking at the little scrum-half to kick the goals in the return leg as his side looks to defend a healthy 26-point lead.

Ruddock said: “It’ll be different when we get out there – they have three or four top players, including their big No 8 Imanol Harinordoquy, to come back.

“But we did a good job in the first leg and we’re taking a big lead out there. We’re happy that we achieved our targets at Rodney Parade, and now we have to use our momentum for the return leg.

“I’ve never won in France, so it’s a personal target for me,” said Ruddock.

Ebbw Vale: R Davies; A Takarangi, R Shorney, E Binham, A Bevan; S Mitchell, B Shelbourne; A Black, J Evans, M Jones, O Booyse, P Sidoli, C Billen (capt), T Morris, K Tuipulotu
Replacements: D Penisini, P Jones, K Crawford, W Thomas, N Wakley, M Meenan, T Bagg

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