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Newport's Bob Adams ready to boost his pack despite latest victory

Director of rugby Bob Adams is hoping to boost his Newport pack with another signing.

Newport rugby
Newport rugby

Adams saw his side record their second National League 2 West win of the season on Saturday when they saw off visiting Barnstaple 25-18.

But Adams was forced to play a few players out of positions due to a lack of front row options and it’s a situation he hopes to address with a new arrival.

“We are short on numbers in the front row and having to play players out of position,” said Adams.

“At the moment we are having to put square pegs in round holes and it’s difficult.

“I can’t fault the effort of the players who are stepping in but they are specialist positions in the front row.

“It’s something that needs addressing but it won’t change until we bring someone in or get some injured players back.

“We need another tight head prop and I am hopeful that we can agree a deal to sign one in the next week or so.”

Despite the front row issues, Newport produced an improved performance on Saturday as they ran in five tries, with Kiefer Laxton, Hendy Vaka, Kieran Forbes, Charlie Gamble and Rhys Morgan the men touching down.

And the victory of margin of victory would have been greater had their kickers not suffered an off day.

“It was a good win. We actually out-scored them five tries to two but we had a bad day with the boot and missed all our kicks,” said Adams. “We left a few points out there with the boot.

“But the performance was pleasing. We looked a lot better but still not perfect.

“The lads had trained well in the week, they had rocked up on Tuesday and Thursday ready to learn.

“We improved on the week before. We looked more compact and more like a unit.”

Open side flanker Laxton set Newport on the way against Barnstaple with his first try for the club following a perfectly executed catch and drive.

But Barnstaple looked lively and were certainly well-drilled up front where they caused Newport problems in the scrum – a point highlighted when the visitors were awarded a penalty try after shunting the home pack backwards.

A couple of repeat penalties then took Newport into the Barnstaple 22 and from the resultant line out Connor Adams combined with Vaka in what was clearly a well-rehearsed move straight off the training ground to make it 10-7.

Barnstaple hit back with a try from Ryan Smale.

The second period didn’t start well for Newport with Jake Murphy knicking over a penalty to increase the visitors’ lead to 15-10.

But the hosts hit back to level through Forbes before losing Sam Brown to a yellow card. A Murphy penalty then put the visitors back in front (18-15).

Gamble then went over in the corner to put Newport back in front and a hard fought victory was wrapped up when Morgan powered over late to to make it 25-18.

Newport make the long trip to Cornwall on Saturday to face Redruth.

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