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
Cardiff 6 6 0 0 149 88 27
Aberavon 5 5 0 0 112 89 20
Merthyr 6 3 0 3 139 117 17
Newport 6 3 0 3 117 102 16
Rygbi Gogledd Cymru 1404 6 3 0 3 140 139 15
Pontypridd 6 3 0 3 124 132 15
Carmarthen Quins 5 3 0 2 108 90 13
Swansea 6 2 0 4 110 112 12
Llandovery 4 2 0 2 93 79 11
Ebbw Vale 6 1 0 5 122 168 7
Llanelli 5 1 0 4 96 147 6
Bridgend Ravens 5 1 0 4 77 124 6