EBBW Vale started life under new head coach Greg Woods with a defeat by Newport at Rodney Parade, writes Jay Bayford.

The Steelmen made a strong start but a red card for flanker Cameron Regan swung the game in Newport’s favour and the Black and Ambers went on to claim their third win over Ebbw this season.

Ebbw were ahead inside the opening minute as fly-half Dai Langdon forced his way over the line. Full-back Dan Haymond added the extras to give the Steelmen the perfect start.

That gave the visitors early momentum and they took advantage of that to crash over for a second time, with skipper Ronny Kynes this time claiming the try after a powerful driving maul.

Haymond hit the resulting conversion horribly wide but Ebbw still had control of the game.

But their early start was undone on 16 minutes when Regan was red carded for a challenge on prop Garin Harris, which gave Newport a way back into the game with plenty of time still to play.

Their comeback started six minutes later when fly-half Matt O’Brien got the Black and Ambers on the scoreboard with a penalty.

Despite their numerical disadvantage, Ebbw managed to deal with the Newport attack and, after weathering a small storm, they extended their lead with an expertly taken penalty from Haymond.

Ebbw looked confident and went on the hunt for a third try, but Newport hit back and, after an excellent run from Jon Morris saw them gain plenty of yards, the ball was played from left to right where prop Nicky Boyce stretched out to ground the ball over the whitewash.

O’Brien was unlucky to see his conversion come back off the post but the fly-half reached the 400-point mark for Newport with an early second-half penalty.

The hosts asked plenty of questions but Ebbw remained resolute at the back, but Newport finally broke through after a moment of magic.

With the hosts just metres from the try line, Tom Pascoe produced a spectacular pass to find Adam Sabri behind him and the wing wriggled through the scrambling Ebbw tackles to put Newport ahead.

O’Brien made no mistake with the conversion to seal the win.

Newport: Tries: N Boyce, A Sabri; Con: M O’Brien; Pens: M O’Brien (2).

Ebbw Vale: Tries: D Langdon, R Kynes; Con: D Haymond; Pen: D Haymond.