One game at a time for Bob Adams
Director of rugby Bob Adams claims Newport are focused on playing the game rather than the occasion when they visit fellow promotion contenders Sheffield tomorrow.
Newport head to Yorkshire hunting a fifth straight victory which could move them within three points of the second-placed hosts in the Midlands Premier standings.
The match is the first of three potentially season-defining fixtures for Adams’ men, who take on leaders Bournville and rivals Bridgnorth, who are fourth in the table, before the month is out.
But while Adams admits his team are well aware of what is ahead of them, he says they are determined to stick with the approach which has seen them win seven of their last eight fixtures.
“The lads have spoken about it this week and the message is we want to keep concentrating on what we are doing well,” he said.
“We are well aware of what is to come, but let’s not worry too much about the permutations.
“All we can do is go and perform and if we do that, to the levels we have recently, it is going to take a pretty good team to stop us. We are just trying to get better each week.”
Adams has been delighted with performances since the turn of the year, with Newport having reeled off four straight wins after ending 2019 with a nightmare 24-19 loss to Doncaster, when they blew a 19-0 lead.
That result increasingly looks like a turning point for a team now with a renewed focus. Though Sheffield still hold an eight-point advantage heading into tomorrow’s game, Adams believes the role of chasers is one which suits his team.
“We have been up near the top of the league the last two seasons and we’ve experience of both scenarios,” he explained.
“Two years ago we won the last nine matches and narrowly missed out. Last season we were in the top two until falling away in the final weeks.
“When you are chasing, I do believe it is easier. You are always looking just to the next game and trying to play well.
“When you are in front, as much as you say you aren’t looking over your shoulder, you do tend to look over your shoulder. I never felt we were as comfortable in that position. We play an open game and it is better suited to the players being relaxed, which they are now.”
Bridgnorth, who ended a three-game losing streak when they won 12-7 at Burton last weekend, host Doncaster.