This was Newport RFC's first visit to Mennaye Field since Geoff Evans' team won there in April 1974 by 5 tries to 0 (22-0) . Newport's tries were scored by David Rogers (2), Derek Hadden (2) and David Burcher.
Newport gave a brave performance before going down by 4 tries to 2 against their professional opponents from the English Championship but in truth the score slightly flattered the Pirates and it could so easily have ended 3 tries apiece. Newport eventually replaced 14 of their 15 starting line-up and brought on some youngsters from the Academy but the score was still only 25-18 at 75 mins but inexperience showed as Burgess stripped the ball on Newport's 10m line and cantered over for a try converted by Penberthy much to the relief of the home supporters. Newport still had a chance to score when replacement winger Owen Broad was put into space - who would forget his 80yd dash againt the Pirates in the BICC at Rodney Parade in 2011 to snatch the win 34-32. There was to be no repeat as the winger seemed to lose his way and veer inside for the chance to be lost.
However Newport can feel reasonably happy with their performance when their "A" pack more than held their own against the English 8 although the line-out struggled at times. Perhaps the difference was that the Pirates took their chances and looked sharper behind.
15 J. Nowell 14 E. Tellwright 13 T. Riley 12 T. Bedford 11 T. Kessell 10 K. Hallett 9 G. Cattle © 8 D. Ewers 7 K. Marriott 6 G. Johnson 5 D. Barry 4 D. Lyons 3 B. Prescott 2 D. Semmens 1 P. Andrew
Reps: 16 R. Storer, 17 R. Elloway, 18 P. Joyce, 19 P. Burgess, 20 B. Maidment, 21 A. Penberthy, 22 A. Cheesman, 23 J. Forrester (all used)
Tries: Lyons, Hallett, Forrester, Burgess and Hallett 2c,2p, Penberthy 1c
Yellow card: Elloway 66m
15 G. O’Driscoll (A Hewitt 55) 14 E. Frewen (O Broad 72) 13 D. Robinson (W Hodnett 55) 12 A. Davies (W Richards HT) 11 A. Awcock 10 T. Hancock (S Sneddon HT) 9 R. Downes (J Leadbeater HT / A Quick 72) 8 R. Coombs (C Everett HT) 7 C. Townsend (O Griffiths 64) 6 S. Waldron (D Rosser 67) 5 A. Frampton (L Randall 67) 4 R. Jones (D Rosser HT) 3 J. Jones (A Jeffreis 64) 2 A. Brown © (R Prosser 48) 1 D. Pattison (J Lavender 59)
Tries: Frampton (40+1) , Everett (57) and Sneddon 1c (58), Hancock 2p (5,10)
Referee: Ross Campbell. Asst referees: Tom Foley & Steve Harland
Scoring Sequence : 1m: T Hancock p 0-3; 8m: K Hallett p 3-3; 10m:T Hancock p 3-6; 23m: D Lyons try 8-6; 24m: K Hallet c 10-6; 29m: K Hallet try 15-6; 30m: K Hallett c 17-6; 35m: K Hallett p 20-6; 40+1: A Frampton try; 40+2: T Hancock missed c 20-11.HT 20-11 after 42 mins.
44m: J Forrester try 25-11; 45m: A Penberthy missed c 25-11; 57m: C Everett try 25-16; 58m: S Sneddon c 25-18; 61m: A Penberthy missed p 25-18; 75m: P Burgess try 30-18; 76m: A Penberthy c 32-18. FT: 32-18 at 40 +43mins
Photos courtesy of Chas Awcock :