Boxing Day challenge for Anscombe

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    24 Dec 2017     Getty Images

After celebrating a Kiwi exiles Christmas Day by hosting Johnny McNicholl, Kieron Fonotia, Nick Williams and recent Welsh cap Hadleigh Parkes, it will be down the road to Newport where a tough contest is in prospect.

Anscombe told, "They are pretty parochial and a pretty intense crowd that like to get stuck in.

"They are a pretty special breed out there, that's for sure. They are pretty fierce and any mistakes you mike they will let you know about it. It's nice to be hated, in a way, at times like that," he said.

Anscombe said the Rodney Parade environment reminded him of playing in Invercargill back in New Zealand.

"That was a tough, nasty place to go. They were a bit different to the people I encountered," he said.

"It's a good challenge for us to encounter that. The Dragons are definitely on the up and it's good for them that they get the home crowd behind them.

"I am sure it's going to be quite testing and niggly and those are the ones the boys like playing in," he said.

Anscombe said it could be quite humorous at times with the odd comment being picked up on the field. But the Blues would prefer to do their talking on the field.

"You have just got to be pretty positive in everything. You have got to flush mistakes and don't let the crowd get on top of you. I enjoy it.

"We have got to stick together as a team and ride the momentum. The boys are well up for it and really looking forward to it," he said.

Newport are battling in the PRO14 with only two wins and sitting in second to last in their Conference. The Blues are fourth but with only two more wins, and are 10 points behind leaders the Cheetahs.

A much-anticipated aspect of the contest is his first head-to-head battle with Gavin Henson, the Dragons first five-eighths.

"I actually bumped into him a few weeks ago and he's a top bloke. You can see his experience has really helped settle them down a little bit by providing a cool head to guide them round the park. He does that tremendously well," he said.