Black and Ambers halt losing streak in style – Newport 52 Swansea 28 match report
NEWPORT got their season back on track with a bonus point victory over Swansea in an entertaining encounter at Rodney Parade which saw them score six tries.
The Black and Ambers halted their three-match league losing streak – which had seen them prop up the Principality Premiership table – in some style.
Both backs and forwards played their parts as they ran riot in the second half after they’d led just 25-20 at half-time during a keenly contested opening 40 minutes.
Swansea outside half Sam Davies, the Wales’ Under-20s star who was named the International Rugby Board’s young player of the year in the summer, opened the scoring with a penalty after three minutes.
But that was cancelled out soon after when Newport full back Geraint O’Driscoll slotted over a close range effort.
But the Black and Ambers conceded a soft try within the first ten minutes, All Whites full back Nicky Thomas crossing all to easily after some poor defensive work by the home backs, Davies nailing the touchline conversion for a 10-3 lead.
But the pack made up for this lapse when a neat lineout move from five metres out which saw hooker Dale Rogers crash over for a well worked try, O’Driscoll missing the tricky touchline conversion.
The visitors hit back when Davies kicked his second penalty in a feisty and free-flowing opening.
A brilliant break by the hosts’ scrum half James Leadbeater got the crowd roaring and the move he started ended with Newport earning a penalty deep in the Swansea 22.
After a couple of phases, outside half Matt O’Brien crossed for a try after his side had battered the Swansea line and O’Driscoll drilled over the difficult conversion to give Newport the lead for the first time, going 15-13 ahead after 23 minutes.
A fantastic break by the highly promising centre Tyler Morgan again caused pandemonium in the visitors’ defence and gave Newport more prime territory in the Swansea 22 but referee Ben Whitehouse gave a free kick against Leadbeater for a crooked throw in the ensuing scrum.
Newport’s slick lineout was giving them quality possession and they used the catch and drive to wear Swansea down, Dai Pattison getting his second try in the space of six days (he crossed in the away defeat to Pontypridd) from this effective aspect of the home team’s game plan.
O’Driscoll’s conversion stretched their lead to a well-deserved cushion of a nine-point 22-13 advantage approaching half-time.
But yet more sloppy defending allowed the All Whites back in the game and the burly blindside Rob Dudley-Jones scored under the posts, Davies converting.
Again Newport looked menacing and threatened to score their fourth try just before the interval but had to settle for an O’Driscoll penalty as a breathless first 40 minutes ended with the hosts 25-20 up.
A faltering lineout early in the second half ended with Newport conceding a penalty nearly in front of their posts which Davies kicked.
Swansea were fortunate not to have a player yellow carded when a promising Newport move was halted by a deliberate knock on.
A penalty was given however and a fine kick by O’Driscoll put his side 28-23 up.
But the visitors hadn’t learn their lesson because lock Rhodri Hughes was carded just seconds later when he committed another deliberate knock on, O’Driscoll again making no mistake with his fourth penalty after 50 minutes.
The hosts failed to press home their advantage when Swansea were down to 14 men but came agonisingly close through their potent catch and drive weapon.
But as soon as Hughes was back on the field, the excellent Morgan showed great strength to power over for the hosts’ bonus point try, O’Driscoll adding the extras to make it 38-23.
Swansea butchered a great chance to get back in the game but some tenacious defending kept them out.
Home wing Ashton Hewitt killed off any prospect of a Swansea comeback when he finished well with ten minutes to go, O’Driscoll converting his try.
The All Whites went in search of a consolation score but they were undone by a super interception try by wing Elliot Frewen who had plenty to do before burning off the desperate efforts of the visiting defenders.
Centre Aled Jenkins did get a very late consolation try and Newport held out as they vainly hunted for a bonus point fourth touchdown.
Newport: G O'Driscoll, A Hewitt, T Morgan (D Robinson 70), D Franchi (L Robling 47), E Frewen, M O’Brien, J Leadbeater (A Quick 68), D Pattison (N Williams 70), D Rogers (Andrew Brown 39), G Robinson (J Monck), Adam Brown, A Frampton (D Rosser 73), S Waldron, C Attwell (O Griffiths 64), L Beach (capt).
Scorers: tries – Dale Rogers (13), Matt O’Brien (23), Dai Pattison (32), Tyler Morgan (63), Ashton Hewitt (70), Elliot Frewen (73), conversions – Geraint O’Driscoll (23, 32, 63, 70, 73), penalties – G O’Driscoll (5, 39, 47, 50)
Swansea: N Thomas, A Claypole, A Jenkins, D Watts, J Hammer, S Davies (C Clement 60), J Cole (J James 64), T Sloane (N Smith 51), P John (S Otten 58), A Mason (R Thomas 67), T Price, R Hughes, R Dudley-Jones, M Davies (capt), Dan Baker.
Replacements: T Hughes, S Pailor, J James, J Evans.
Scorers: tries – Nicky Thomas (8) Rob Dudley-Jones (36), (Aled Jenkins 76), conversions – Sam Davies (8, 36), penalties – S Davies (3, 16, 42).
Referee: Ben Whitehouse (WRU)
Argus star man: Tyler Morgan
Comments are closed on this article.