4:49pm Sunday 2nd March 2014
NEWPORT completed the season's double over Bridgend Ravens with a six try bonus point victory in a high tempo Principality Premiership game at the Bridgendford Brewery Field.
The Ravens' had a nightmare of a game as tackles were missed, high kicks dropped and a glut of handling errors kept them on the back foot and to make matters worse, they were completely outmuscled up front by the aggressive Newport pack and deservedly sent back into the relegation zone of the Principality Premiership.
Particularly evident was the aggressive counter-rucking of the Newport forwards which won several valuable turnovers and they contested every lineout and won several from Ravens' throw-ins.
Newport had a great start as Darren Waters broke from a maul near the Ravens line to get Newport's first try after only five minutes and outstanding full back Geraint O'Driscoll converted.
In the 19th minute, Newport ran back a kick and created an overlap for Owen Broad and an inside pass put O'Driscoll over for a try he also converted.
Eight minutes later, a Ravens' lineout was overthrown and a defender went for an interception leaving a huge hole in their defence gifting O'Driscoll his second try which he again converted.
Glen George got a close range Ravens try from a driving maul converted by James Dixon but an O'Driscoll penalty made it 24-7 at half time.
Captain Lee Beach crossed from a close range scrum and winger Owen Broad made the most of some dreadful home defence to extend the Newport lead in the third quarter before the Ravens came back with a brace of tries by replacement winger Ashley Evans, his second converted by outside half James Dixon.
O'Driscoll kicked a penalty as the game moved into the final quarter but yet another mistake gifted centre-cum-winger Tyler Morgan a long range try converted by O'Driscoll to take his match tally to 26 points.
The Ravens had the last word, however, and snatched an unlikely four try bonus point when substitute hooker Ashleigh James broke from a close range maul to score four minutes from time.
Bridgend Ravens: O Howe (R Jones 49), T Grabham (A Evans 40), R Evans, A Williams, R Owen (A Field 65), J Dixon, C Williams, J Thomas (M Thomas 49), G George (A James 55), C Lewis, G Knoop, B Jones, B Carey, A Ellis (Captain)(A O'Driscoll 53), L Evans (K Evans 55).
Scorers: Tries – A Evans (2), G George, A Jmes; Cons – J Dixon (2)
Newport: G O'Driscoll, A Hewitt, T Morgan, D Franchi, O Broad (T James 70), E Davies (M O'Brien 70), A Quick (J Leadbeater 68), D Pattison (J Greenfield 55), D Rogers (A Brown 71), G Robinson (A Jeffries 68), A Brown, A Frampton, C Attwell (S Waldron 55), D Waters (O Griffiths 60), L Beach (Captain)
Scorers: Tries – G O'Driscoll (2), D Waters, L Beach, O Broad, T Morgan; Cons – G O'Driscoll (5); Pens – O'Driscoll (2)
Referee: Mr Kelvin Shorte
Man-of-the-Match: Geraint O'Driscoll
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