2009/2010 Principality Premiership
Newport 23 v 17 Cardiff
07 November 2009 - Rodney Parade, Newport

Match Report

Newport RFC 23 Cardiff RFC 17 (HT:16-3)

Newport went into this game with yet another new centre partnership and a late withdrawal by Dan Griffiths with flu meant that Nathan Williams was joined by Tom Riley back from the Dragons  with Chris Wannell switching back to outside-half to face a strong looking Cardiff RFC team which featured a number of former B&A players. Cardiff hadn’t lost away this season while Newport hadn’t lost at home so which record would go? A further incentive for Cardiff was the fact that they have never won at Rodney Parade since the semi-pro era in 2003/4 and they even lost in the previous season 2002/3.

A first min penalty by No 10 Chris Wannell was missed but he made amends on 6 mins to put Newport 3-0 ahead. Two mins later Cardiff No 10 playing his 58th consecutive match since Jan 2008 dropped a neat goal to tie the scores. On 11 mins Newport captain Andrew Coombs left the field for a blood injury and Cardiff’s back row Dan Godfrey was yellow-carded to be followed two mins later by hooker Garry Horrigan for punching. This put the Cardiff pack under tremendous pressure and on 15 mins dangerous wing Mike Poole crossed for a try after neat passing from Newport. 20yr old Wannell, who looks a very good prospect, converted for a 10-3 lead.

Coombs returned on 23 mins to play a captain’s role even though he was limping at times during the match and on 25 mins Cardiff returned to full strength but Gareth Wyatt added a penalty for Newport on 28 mins and Wannell another one on 33 mins. There then came a period of sustained pressure from Cardiff and the fact that desperate Newport defence kept them out until half time probably won them the match in the end.

7 mins after the restart, Gareth Davies added a penalty and former Newport wing Ryan Howells went over on the right on 52 mins. The conversion was missed but Cardiff were back in the game at 16-11. Paul Williams went off with a nasty looking eye injury on 60 mins and a Gareth Davies’ penalty on 61 mins brought the score to 16-14.  Cardiff had brought on Jamie Ringer and Newport Richard Dale, Kyle Barrett and Mike Leaman to try to stem Cardiff’s pressure. The changes appeared to be working as Newport got back into the game. Wannell missed a drop goal attempt on 70 mins but former Cardiff hooker Mike Leaman scored on 72 mins just 3 mins after coming on. He forced his way over after nice work by Barrett, Riley and Pattison

Gareth Davies’ penalty, with the last kick of the match, gave Cardiff a loser’s bonus point.

Head coach Sven Cronk, said: Cardiff came back well to cut that advantage to 16-14, but I was pleased with our overall performance. Our defence was very good after Cardiff had reduced that lead.”

Cardiff head coach Paul Moriarty said: “A lapse in defence was costly as it brought Newport’s second try of the match. Down to 13 in that first-half spell made life hard, but we did get back into the game well.”

The win now moves Newport up to 4th place ahead of  champions Cardiff.

Newport : G Wyatt, M Poole (D James 80), T Riley, N Williams ( R Payne 78), A Awcock, C Wannell, D Walsh ( K Barrett 62), D Pattison, A Brown (M Leaman 69), G Robinson (L Hunter 75), D Rosser (M Workman 78), A Jones, S Waldron, A Coombs capt (R Dale 11/23), P Williams (R Dale 60).

Scorers :  Tries - M Poole, M Leaman and C Wannell 2c,2p, G Wyatt 1p.

Cardiff : James Loxton (C Morgan 71) Ryan Howells, Gareth Chapman, Darren Ryan, Jimmy Norris; Gareth Davies, Tom Slater; Ian George, Garry Horrigan, Kristian Gay (D Preece 71) Matthew Veater (N Hampson 78) Ashley Sweet, Adam Powell (L Davies 21/25 and J Ringer 57), Dan Godfrey, Rhys Shellard (capt)

Scorers : Try – R Howells and G Davies 3p 1dg.

Yellow cards : D Godfrey 12/23 and G Horrigan 14/25.

Referee : Phil Fear

Pictures courtesy of Ron Sutcliffe, FoNR

Attendance: 1431

Official : Phil Fear (Wales)

Newport Cardiff