Newport 32 Cardiff 38

New Year wishes can come true, a first win over Ponty in nearly a decade, safely through to round two of the cup and a double over Newport. That’s how it panned out at Rodney Parade this afternoon as the Blue & Blacks beat their oldest rivals in an entertaining game.

With a strong wind behind the home side in the first half the Black & Ambers would have been looking to take advantage. But it took ten minutes to come as both defences got into their work early. Cardiff were having the better start and should have scored at least twice before Newport struck. In the end Elliot Frewen was the man to touchdown for a converted try. Cardiff were playing in the right areas but could not unlock the Newport defence, that was until they left the door wide open, Gareth Thompson intercepting on half way to score under the sticks to level the score. But as last week the restarts were an issue and Newport quickly got the ball back and regained the lead. This time Matthew Reed the scorer, and when David Richards scored three minutes later the Black and Ambers were on a roll and went in 19-7 ahead at the break.

Cardiff needed a severe talking to at half time and the way they came out it looked like they had had one. Within three minutes they had scored. Edd Howley was put though by Ben Thomas and when the wing met the last man Martin Roberts was on hand to score. Thompson converted. And when Thomas burst out of defence and gained a penalty Cardiff used the wind to send the ball into the home twenty-two. The line out drive was stopped but Morgan Allen broke clear and the big back row muscled his way over to send Cardiff in front for the first time.

And that was where they stayed. Thompson added a penalty to extend the lead. Newport stormed back and landed a penalty to come back into it and when Will Evans scored, they were back in front. But Martin Roberts second put Cardiff ahead again and when a rolling maul was driven over from 20 metres out the whole Blue & Black team joined in and it was the smallest man on the field, Gareth Thomson, claiming the touchdown. All that was left was for Newport to claim a losing bonus point with a try on the whistle but Cardiff will be pleased with a bonus point win away from home.

Viv Jones

Viv Jones

TEAM P W D L PF PA PTS
Merthyr 30 23 0 7 885 593 117
Cardiff 30 22 1 7 991 660 111
Pontypridd 30 22 0 8 1015 580 110
Llandovery 30 21 1 8 856 551 104
Ebbw Vale 30 20 1 9 762 594 95
Aberavon 30 18 2 10 698 603 90
Newport 30 17 2 11 759 700 88
Rygbi Gogledd Cymru 1404 30 14 1 15 852 650 85
Swansea 30 16 0 14 674 594 81
Carmarthen Quins 30 13 1 16 637 584 71
Bridgend Ravens 30 12 0 18 689 714 66
Llanelli 30 12 1 17 679 723 63
Bedwas 30 12 1 17 681 830 62
Cross Keys 30 5 1 24 586 1093 36
Bargoed 30 6 0 24 576 1003 35
Neath 30 1 0 29 406 1274 3