Newport fresh from their excellent win at Aberavon were quickly brought down to earth by the West Walians. After 27 mins even though Llanelli had mainly dominated the score stood at 3-3 with penalties from Jordan Williams and a long range one from Tom Hancock. Then the home team decided to get on the wrong side of referee Rhys Thomas who yellow carded No 8 Craig Everett. He immediately awarded a penalty try after a scrum near the line and then yellow carded Newport hooker Ryan Prosser as the home team’s frustrations started to show. 13 man Newport then conceded a try to Kristian Phillips and Williams’ conversion made the score 3-17. Referee Thomas did then yellow card Llanelli prop Shaun Hopkins for slowing the ball and Hancock dropped a neat goal for a HT score of 6-17.
Just 46 secs of the restart saw centre Nic Reynolds cut through and the score was 6-24. Reynolds then sent Phillips mover and score became 6-34. As if Newport did not have enough problems their captain Dai Pattison was sent off on 53 mins for a punch after a dust-up between the teams. To be fair many of the home team continued to show spirit and tried to work the ball to the opposition line but the handicap was too much and Llanelli added further tries through Justin James and then Craig Price on 84 mins. A number of the home supporters vented their anger at what they thought was an uneven display of refereeing particularly when Llanelli Man of Match Craig Hawkins threw a punch in front of the officials before the main grandstand.This did not even warrant a warning. Many blamed the referee but in truth indiscipline and unbelievable basic handing, passing and tackling errors led to the Black & Ambers downfall. Time and time again they missed touch with their kicks and at other times aimlessly punted the ball down field for the visitors to run it back. Over half of the visitors points were scored when Newport had less than 15 men on the field and it will take a better side than the current Newport one to beat the West Walians effectively playing three-quarters of the match with only 14 men.
Newport’s MOM was 17yr old Ashton Hewitt who never gave up putting in some nice runs and tackles.
Newport MOM : Ashton Hewitt. Llanelli MOM : Craig Hawkins.
Photos courtesy of Simon Latham :