Plymouth Albion
2010/2011 British & Irish Cup
Plymouth Albion 13 v 24 Newport
25 January 2011 - Brickfields Recreation Ground, Plymouth

Match Report

Plymouth Albion 13 Newport RFC 24 (HT: 5-12)

Newport continued their recent impressive form with a 5th consecutive win. They deservedly won at Brickfields as they dominated all facets of play. Newport's 8 reigned supreme with everyone doing their bit. Scotty Williams once again proved a real handful in mid-field and Newport's tackling had stepped up a gear from  the Pirates match as they continually knocked Albion out of their stride. Newport ran in 4 tries for a bonus point win, Dai Pattison got a brace and the other tries were from Adam Frampton  - who did an excellent job as a stop-gap No 6 and covered acres of ground and was on the lefft wing to run in his try - and in-form winger Owen Broad.  Dai's two tries came from driving mauls as Newport's pack drove Albion over the line. Albion's first 8 pts came from two dropped high balls - a try for Sprangle and a penalty for offside by Lee. Their other score came on 71 mins when Tripcony scored a try after Albion for once pushed the Newport 8 back.

Andrew Coombs made his 100th official appearance for the Black & Ambers and the only negative was some injuries picked up. Arthur Ellis, Dai Pattison, Gareth Bowen and Adam Frampton all left the field but the good news was that Frampton was only badly winded.

Newport : M Evans (A Awcock 55), O Broad, T Cooper, S Williams, G Bowen (C Wannell 68), J Leadbeater (Josh Davies 55), D Pattison (G Robinson 64), A Ellis (Andrew Brown 47), G Robinson (D Way 57), D Rosser, A Jones (capt) (Adam Brown 71), A Frampton (L Burgess 81), S Waldron, A Coombs.

Scorers : Tries : D Pattison 33, 53, A Frampton 16, O Broad 66 and G Bowen 2c.

Missed kicks : 2c (G Bowen 17, A Awcock 67).

Referee : Leo Colgan (IRFU)

Attendance : 762.

Chris Kirwan (SWA) writes:

NEWPORT ended their British and Irish Cup campaign on a high by deservedly beating Plymouth Albion 24-13 on their own patch last night. The Black and Ambers outscored their hosts four tries to two at a soggy Brickfields to continue their winning streak in 2011. Last season’s clash with Albion – a 3-3 draw at a rain-lashed Rodney Parade – was probably the most disappointing encounter of the campaign and in truth last night’s won’t linger too long in the memory either. That is partly because it came four days after a cracker against Cornish Pirates, a game that the Black and Ambers won 34-32 with two tries in injury time. But it was also because it was a dead rubber with the second qualification spot left to the winners of the clash between Worcester and the Pirates. As such Plymouth rested most of their front-liners ahead of a vital Championship clash with Doncaster as they bid to avoid the relegation play-offs.
The midweek fixture was about as welcome for the hosts as the presence of Andy Gray at a Women’s Institute gathering and the sparse crowd seemed to sense that – the atmosphere was lacking the usual spice of an Anglo-Welsh battle. Nonetheless, Newport had plenty to gain from the clash ahead of their weekend Swalec Cup tie at Felinfoel.

They headed into the game happy in the haze of four straight wins and Devon knows they’re ecstatic now. That is because they made it five on the spin and remained on the upward curve when it would have been so easy to shrug the shoulders and go through the motions given they had a lengthy midweek bus trip with many of the squad back in work this morning.

Sven Cronk and his coaching team wanted to see improvement in performance ahead of victory.
In truth they didn’t quite hit the heights in Plymouth – it was more a case of grinding it out a la Bedwas and Currie rather than playing terrific stuff as they did against the Pirates – but there were more ticks than crosses. The most pleasing aspect would have been the way that they defended, albeit against rather limited opponents. Plymouth had plenty of possession in the first half but never threatened the Newport line with a conservative, narrow game plan of pick and drives. The hosts’ only points of the first half came on 19 mins and that came through a mistake by the Black and Ambers, who failed to gather a high ball and allowed blindside Wayne Sprangle to sprint over. That effort was sandwiched by Newport tries, the first on 16 mins thanks to deft finishing and the second on 33 thanks to brute force.

For number one a powerful charge by No 8 Andrew Coombs – a frequent occurrence – allowed the visitors to set up camp in the 22 and the ball was worked wide to the left where centre Tom Cooper and full-back Matt Evans put Frampton over in the corner. Number two would have delighted the pack after they spent much of Friday’s encounter with the Pirates being marched backwards by rolling mauls from lineouts. Last night the boot was on the other foot and loosehead prop Dai Pattison was the man to profit against a Plymouth pack that was a man down courtesy of a yellow card for a high tackle by openside Sam Matavesi. Gareth Bowen added the extras and they led 12-5 at the break.

That lead was reduced on 45 mins when Albion won a penalty from one of their many hopeful punts down field. Evans spilled the ball and James Leadbeater picked it up from an offside position to allow Mark Lee to strike three points. But on 53 mins Newport scored a replica of their second try with Pattison and Bowen again adding their names to the scoresheet. That was all grunt but the fourth try that sealed a bonus point on 66 mins was slick piece of work finished off magnificently by speedster Owen Broad. Direct running set Newport a platform, albeit one 10 metres inside their own half, and they struck. Centre Scott Williams ran hard and offloaded to Alan Awcock, who showed nice hands to put Broad in flight and the winger made beating full-back Max Venables look easy. A Plymouth pushover try by lock Jamie Tripcony gave the hosts a sniff at 24-13 with nine mins (+ stoppage) left but Newport safely closed out the game.

Argus star man : Scott Williams

Attendance: 762

Official : Leo Colgan (Ireland)

Plymouth Albion Newport