From the match programme:-
"WELCOME TO THE PARADE"
"Like ourselves, tonight's visitors to Rodney Parade - Ebbw Vale - have had more than their share of injuries during the first two months of the season. Captain Sid Wharton has been one of the main sufferers, for after missing five out of his team's first six games he was once again injured versus Bedford and his team mates and Club Officials are hoping that his absence will not be as long this time. Another player who our visitors will be looking to for an early return from a serious ankle injury is full back Arwel Parry. His prodigious goal-kicking feats are a bonus to any side he plays for and that massive penalty he struck to give the Black and Ambers their last victory over Pontypool will always be remembered by those privileged to be present at Rodney Parade. As well as Arwel, this season's Ebbw Vale team contains a number of players who spent a period of time here at Rodney Parade during their careers, namely outside half Colin Watkins, inside half Ceri Jonathan, a vital member of our last Snelling Sevens winning team, prop Peter Hrastelj and lock David Fryer. If any of them are playing this evening we are confident that they have the incentive to display all their skills and prove that Ebbw Vale's gain is Newport's loss. Another player whose injury problem probably cost him a place on the Wales 'B' subs bench is hooker Ian Watkins. A former 'B' international he must have been looking forward to last Saturday's game along with team mates Wayne Matthews and Ceri Jonathan, all members of the Wales 'B' Squad. Unfortunately, no Ebbw Vale player made the final 21, although their initial Squad Selection gave everyone at Eugene Cross Park great satisfaction."
"Last Saturday "Ebbw" defeated Gwent neighbours Cross Keys at Eugene Cross Park by 16pts to 12pts with Wales'B' international Carl Dennehy captaining the team, and the evergreen Gary Lawrence, now captain of Ebbw Vale Athletic, making his 325th 1st XV appearance. The Red, Green and Whites will be anxious to enhance their current position in the Whitbread Merit Table and victory here tonight - a ground where their fortunes have never been very high - will ensure they move up the table as they are currently in 8th position, while the Black and Ambers are 7th."
"While the "Injury Bug" has been causing problems on the field of play, major activities have been taking place off the field at Eugene Cross Park with the construction of a new grandstand and dressing rooms accommodation, together with new floodlights. When completed, the facilities will be of the highest order and of benefit to rugby football in the Heads of the Valley area. Everyone here at Rodney Parade wishes them well in their venture and looks forward to visiting Eugene Cross Park later this season. In view of the current lack of facilities, our visitors have made arrangements with the Newport Committee for their Sponsors and Guests to be present here at Rodney Parade tonight. We welcome them, together with the Players, Officials, Members and Supporters of Ebbw Vale Rugby Football Club and are confident that the game will produce rugby of the highest quality."
"Last Saturday the Black and Ambers continued where they left off against Gloucester and produced a fine performance at the Memorial Ground Ely, not only to inflict the first Merit Table defeat of the season on Glamorgan Wanderers, but to relieve them of an 18 month old ground record. In scoring 4 tries, Newport maintained their record of recent games and it is worth noting that in their last three games the team have scored 97 points including 16 tries. It is also worth noting that of those, 14 tries have been scored by the backs - not bad for a team continually referred to as "a forward orientated" team. Captain Michal J. returned to lead his team with his usual inspiration last Saturday, and as tonight's game marks his 200th 1st XV appearance for Newport he will be keen that his team retain their winning run and continue to produce fine attacking rugby. Congratulations, "MJW", but Rhys Morgan and David Waters are sure to remind you that you are "only a boy yet!" The "Injury Bug" still persists here at Rodney Parade although not as severely as a few weeks ago. Full back Paul Rees, who has been in fine form since his return to Rodney Parade, hopes to be considered for selection this week, as does inside half Nigel Callard. Centre Paul Daniel returned with the United last Saturday, while Roger Powell and Wayne Rendall are still receiving treatment. When all these players, plus Shaun McWilliam and last Saturday's Wales'B'sub -Jason White - return, coaches Tony Faulkner and Roy Duggan are looking forward to the commodity of "consistency" being part of the team's make-up."
"Last Friday, the W.R.U. Cup Competition Committee made the draw for the 1st Round Proper of this season's Schweppes Cup Competition, and the Black and Ambers have been drawn to visit Laugharne, with the winners being at home in the 2nd Round to the winners of the all-Gwent tie between Talywain and Blaina. Let's hope that "MJW" and his team commence the path to Cardiff successfully and keep "cockles" off their menu until after November 15th."