Newport 95 Bonymaen 14
NEWPORT smashed their seven-match winless streak with an emphatic victory over Bonymaen that came close to re-writing the record books and set up a home Swalec Cup third-round tie with Swansea.
It was annihilation on a monumental scale at Rodney Parade that nearly had Black and Ambers’ club historian Mike Dams having to amend his records for most points scored.
But this hiding of Swansea side Bonymaen didn’t quite match Mike Watkins’ team’s 96-0 hammering of Penarth at home on October 13, 1984, (and you have to remember tries were only worth four points in those days) but it came close.
The Premiership side outscored their opponents by 14 tries to two – and it made you fear for the quality of the Championship that the visitors play in.
Newport did show some excellent handling skills and clinical finishing but this encounter was little more than a training run.
There was to be no early shock Swalec Cup exit after Ebbw Vale lowered their colours last year.
It’s hard to believe but some Newport fans might have groaned and thought, ‘Oh no, not again,’ when the visitors took an early lead after fly-half Tom Hancock gave the hosts a good start with an early penalty.
Hancock’s opposite number Mike Thomas went over for Bonymaen after some good driving play by their forwards.
Centre Richard Cunliffe’s fine touchline conversion made it 7-3 after ten minutes.
The little number 12 left soon after in a dazed state, barely able to walk after being hurt in a collision.
Newport then rolled up their sleeves and simply blew Bonymaen away.
They regained when loosehead prop Jamie Jeune was driven over from a driving lineout and centre Dan Robinson demonstrated the difference in class as he tore through the Bonymaen defence from the restart, touching down underneath the posts.
Hancock made no mistake with the conversion to give his side a 15-7 advantage.
Bonymaen tighthead prop Greg Cunliffe was sent to the sin bin after 20 minutes and scrum-half Stuart Allen joined him soon after when he was penalised for kicking the ball out of a scrum.
A penalty try from a dominant scrum followed, and with Bonymaen reduced to 13 men, the Premiership side were cutting them to pieces, scrum-half James Leadbeater almost strolling over for try number four.
Bonymaen had been broken, hooker Ryan Prosser cantering over for Newport’s fifth try.
Touchdowns were being scored at will, openside Craig Attwell showing impressive pace to keep up with full back Geraint O’Driscoll and take his scoring pass.
Wing Owen Broad got their seventh try just before the interval, Hancock’s conversion bringing up the 50 points and his colleague Elliott Frewen piling on the agony with try number eight on the stroke of half-time.
Hancock had his kicking boots on and drilled conversion number seven to give his side a 57-7 lead at the halfway stage.
There were further tries scored by Leadbeater, Rhodri Jones, Robinson, who got two more for his hat trick, and Alan Awcock (2) as the rout continued in the second half.
The crowd wanted 100 points but it was the exotically named Barret Dufour who got the last, and somewhat hollow, laugh, with a late consolation try for Bonymaen, which he converted.
There was some bad news for Newport after replacement tighthead prop Tim Ryan left the field in some discomfort with what looked like a bad knee injury.
Newport scorers: Tries – Jamie Jeune, Dan Robinson (3), penalty try, James Leadbeater (2), Ryan Prosser, Craig Attwell, Owen Broad, Elliott Frewen, Rhodri Jones, Alan Awcock (2); conversions – Tom Hancock (11); penalty – T Hancock.
Bonymaen scorers: Tries – Mike Thomas, Barret Dufour; conversions – Richard Cunliffe, B Dufour.
Referee: Neil Perkins (WRU).