BLACK AND AMBER
Newport’s premier sporting team now sadly consigned to semi-professional status. Founded in 1875 they are conquerors of all the major touring teams. Many great players have graced the hallowed turf of Rodney Parade. Following the reorganisation of the game Newport now play in the Welsh Premiership with teams like Llandovery and Bedwas.
2008/9 NEWS REGULARLY UPDATED
BLACK AND AMBERS TOO STRONG FOR ROCK
August 1 - Newport beat Rod Snow's Canadian side Newfoundland Rock 49-21 at Rodney Parade this afternoon. The Canadians provided an excellent work out for Newport ahead of this season's busy schedule. Wing Ryan Owen impressed with two tries.
Newport's fixture list for 2009/10 for the Premiership is available here. This site will be updated for the new season shortly.
SNOWY LEADS CANADIAN PROVINCIAL SIDE AGAINST NEWPORT
Canada legend Rod Snow will
be leading a team of top players from Newfoundland against his former club
Newport on Saturday (kick off - 2.30pm).
SIGNINGS UPDATE / SEASON TICKET PRICES UNCHANGED
June 6 - Scott Williams and Adam Jones have signed to play for the Black and Ambers in 2009/10. Season ticket prices are unchanged for Newport in the coming season. A Hazell Stand ticket to watch Newport will cost Ł110 (or Ł90 if purchased as part of an early bird offer) a terrace ticket will cost Ł90 (or Ł70 if purchased early).
WYATT JOINS BLACK AND AMBERS
June 3 - Gareth Wyatt has joined Newport for the coming season. The 32 year old previously played for Pontypridd and Celtic Warriors before joining Newport Gwent Dragons in 2004. He has won two Welsh caps and will be a valuable addition to the Newport squad lining up for the British and Irish Cup.
CRONK IS COACH OF THE YEAR
May 27 - Sven Cronk was named Coach of the Year at last night's WRU Premiership Awards.
BRITISH AND IRISH CUP FIXTURES CONFIRMED FOR NEWPORT
May 26 -
Fixtures in the British and Irish Cup are now confirmed for Newport. They will
play alongside Penzance, Plymouth, Exeter, Heriots and Leinster (development
side) in Pool 1. The fixtures will be as follows - Nov 21st : Penzance (A) / Nov
28th : Plymouth (H) /
BLACK AND AMBERS FINISH WITH COMFORTABLE WIN
May 2 - Newport brought the curtain down on a season of missed chances with a comfortable win at Bedwas. Four Dan Griffiths penalties gave them a 12-7 half time lead lead. They scored three tries in the second half through Frampton, Taylor and Riley. All three were converted two by the promising Chris Wannell and one by Newport skipper Andrew Coombs. The Black and Ambers finish a clear second only one point adrift of Cardiff who still have one game to play. The relegation position is less clear. Pontypool's bonus point at Cardiff puts them ahead of both Llandovery and Bridgend. However, Pontypool have finished their fixtures while the other two play next week, Llandovery requiring only a point to ensure their safety while Bridgend require two points. For the sake of fairness surely all final matches in this competition should have been played on the same date with the same start time?
NEWPORT KEEP PRESSURE ON CARDIFF
Apr 25 - Newport completed a trio of away wins in West Wales with a fine 34-20 win against Aberavon at the Talbot Athletic Ground this afternoon. The bonus point win puts them temporarily ahead of Cardiff and maintains the pressure at the top. English Students full back Alan Awcock playing on permit from UWIC was outstanding scoring a 57th minute try. Newport scored four second half tries in all through Nathan Williams (52 minutes), Awcock, Tom Riley (62 minutes) and Craig Hill with the last move of the game. Shaun Connor converted three of the tries, Dan Griffiths the other. Connor and Griffiths scored a penalty apiece. UPDATE - Cardiff beat Llanelli 36-9 to go back to the top needing five points from their remaining three fixtures to be certain of the title.
BLACK AND AMBERS SEE OFF LLANELLI
Apr 22 - Newport comfortably saw off Llanelli by 36-10 at Parc y Scarlets this evening. The Black and Ambers clearly benefitted from three yellow cards handed out to the West Walians by referee James Jones but there was little doubt that they deserved the win. The victory all but ensures runners up spot in the Welsh Premiership with Cardiff favourites for the title.
All Llanelli's points came in the first eight minutes. A Reynolds try was converted by Luke Richards, who followed it with a successful penalty. Newport's Dan Griffiths added four penalties to put the Black and Ambers in front by half time. Llanelli's Bassett received a yellow card after 34 minutes. Richard Dale scored Newport's first try after five minutes of the first half, converted by Griffiths. Newport added further tries from Nathan Williams and Rhys Hallett. The last try from Hallett was converted by Chris Wannell, both players were appearing on permit from First Division East champions Blackwood. In the midst of all the scoring from Newport Llanelli had two more players, Sean Hopkins and Rhys Lawrence, sin-binned by referee Jones. Attendance - 240.
BLACK AND AMBERS RETURN TO FORM
Apr 18 - Newport completed a comfortable double over Llandovery as they returned to form at Church Bank. The Black and Ambers scored four tries in their 32-16 victory and therefore bagged an extra bonus point. Unfortunately, it is likely to be a case of too little too late for the league title given their recent poor form. The tries came from Selly, Pattison, Williams and Poole. With Shaun Connor adding three conversions and two penalties. Realistically, the best Newport can hope for is second place. Once again, this results helps the feeder clubs in their region who may be at risk of relegation - Pontypool, Bedwas etc. It surely would be in Newport's best interests if one of these sides was relegated.
NEWPORT'S SEASON TAILS AWAY
Apr 11 - Newport's season seems destined for failure after promising so much. Once again today Black and Amber supporters were there under false pretences. The performance was lacking in shape and ideas and there was no control offered at half back. Newport has now gifted two wins to struggling 'Gwent' opposition at a time when they should not have been too troubled to beat either of them. If I was a conspiracy theorist I would think there was something odd about these results, but thankfully I am not. Cross Keys playing their traditional 'cup final played' with zip and zest and will pull away from any trouble as a result of their 32-17 victory.. Newport grabbed a 12-10 lead at half time through a fourth Dan Griffiths penalty but two breakaway tries by Johnstone left the Black and Ambers with too much to do, the Keys right wing scored a try in the first half also. Hooker Andrew Brown got a try for the flagging Black and Ambers late on.
NARROW DEFEAT AT PONTY
Apr 7 - Newport's push for the title received another setback as they fell to a narrow defeat at Pontypridd tonight by 28 points to 26. Shaun Connor scored twenty one points (a drop goal, try, three penalties and two conversions). The other Newport score came from a Mike Poole try. The Black and Ambers were leading 23-18 at half time before a Ponty fightback saw Kristian Baller score a penalty and then a try to give them victory.
NEWPORT RETURN TO FORM
Apr 4 - Newport put aside their recent poor form to comfortably beat Glamorgan Wanderers 39-6 at Rodney Parade this afternoon. The Black and Ambers were considerably assisted by an impressive display by Dragons outside half James Arlidge. The Japan international steered the Black and Ambers back line well throughout scoring two tries in a personal tally of 24 points. Newport made a blistering start with left wing Mike Poole breaking the line to storm home for the first try. Shortly afterwards Arlidge intercepted a laboured move from the Wanderers in his own 22 and just about made the opposition try line after an 80 metre effort pursued by Wanderers defenders. A long lull followed in which the Wanderers cut Newport's leading margin to nine points at the break. The Black and Ambers picked up the tempo again in the last twenty minutes. Neat footwork from Scott Williams and a deft offload led to a try by his namesake Nathan. Arlidge then conjured a brilliant score chipping over the defensive line collecting the ball to touchdown under the posts for a bonus point to the adulation of home fans. Scott Williams finished the match off scuttling through to make it five tries for Newport, converted by Arlidge for a convincing and deserved win. Cardiff are a point ahead of the Port with six to play and must be considered favourites to take the title.
A fashion show and sale will be held at the Rugby Club to raise money for the team on Tuesday April 21st at 7.30pm. For details and tickets please contact Mary Bennett (0792 9958175).
POOLER DAMAGE NEWPORT'S TITLE HOPES
Mar 31 - Soon to be relegated Pontypool delighted their fans by stealing a victory against their nemesis Newport at Pontypool Park this evening. In a truly appalling match with little skill or endeavour Pooler emerged victorious by four penalties to three. The dreadful quality of the two teams was surpassed only by referee Neil Ballard, who rarely showed any sympathy for the players or paying spectators. The breakdown was chaos and the kicking ping pong symptomatic of modern rugby. Newport showed no willingness to run the ball and frequently played into their opponents hands. Pontypool were only marginally better and deserved the spoils. However, once again the rugby typified the parlous state of the game and disastrous impact of the experimental law variations. Frankly I have better things to do with my time than watch this rubbish.
NEWPORT'S CUP HOPES GO WEST
Mar 27 - Newport were soundly beaten by Aberavon by 20 points to 10 at the Talbot Athletic Ground this evening. In a poor display Newport failed to maximise their advantage and scrum and line out. They disregarded opportunities for penalty goals and missed several good chances to score particularly in the first half. They can argue with some justification that referee James Jones showed no understanding of the scrummage but that does not detract from their indifferent performance. Thomas and Carter (2) scored the tries for the Wizards, Riley got a late consolation for Newport.
SUPPORTERS TRUST BACKS STADIUM DEVELOPMENT
Mar 25 - Friends Of Newport Rugby, the supporters trust set up to protect the interests of Newport RFC has thrown its weight behind the proposal to develop Rodney Parade. In the statement FoNR welcome the constructive dialogue with Rodney Parade Limited throughout. The statement says "We are extremely pleased that an area of terracing has been included in the plans and that the Memorial Gates will be repositioned to comprise one of the main entrances to the redesigned stadium. We have also lobbied for the memorabilia that upholds the proud tradition of Newport RFC to be given a prominent public display and we have received assurances that this will happen. " According to the statement the plans for the stadium will evolve in phases, which will commence at the old “Scoreboard” end with a new stand, clubhouse, training barn and other facilities. The phased approach will enable decisions to be made (e.g. prevailing economic conditions etc) at the right time without committing to a wholesale redevelopment in one go. It also adds "should it be necessary to sell any land to finance any of the redevelopment it is the understanding of FoNR that this proposal would be put before the shareholders to approve."
NEWPORT KEEP THE PRESSURE UP
Mar 20 - Newport maintained the pressure on Llanelli at the top of the Premiership with a comfortable 39-15 win over Bridgend at Rodney Parade this evening. Bridgend initially proved difficult opposition but a well drilled Black and Amber meant that the Osprey influence in their side made little impact. Sean Connor played impressively at outside half for Newport kicking five penalties and two conversions. The Black and Ambers scored four tries, two from Steve Taylor, and one each from Craig Hill and Nathan Williams, the latter bagging a crucial bonus point. Hill's was the try of the night, however, as the Wales Seven star sped over from halfway to easily outpace the defence. Newport are now five points adrift from Llanelli with two games in hand.
NEW DATE FOR POOLER
Mar 11 - The postponed fixture against Pontypool at Pontypool Park has now been rearranged for Tuesday March 31 at 7.15pm. Newport back row forward Richard Dale will be out of action for three weeks according to the club's website with a disc vertebrae injury.
DRAGONS MOVE MATCH
Mar 9 - The Newport Gwent Dragons have moved their friendly with the Scarlets forward by a day to Thursday March 26. Newport play their Cup quarter final on Friday March 27 at Aberavon, a game now set to be televised live on S4C (kick off 7.40 pm). Newport's next fixture is a rearranged match at home to Bridgend on Friday March 20 (kick off 7.15 pm).
BLACK AND AMBERS COME BACK TO BEAT SWANSEA
Mar 7 - Turning around at half time at 13-3 Newport put in a much improved second half display to emerge victorious over Swansea by 29 points to 18. Newport scored four tries in the process from Alex Walker, Mike Burke, Scott Williams and Andrew Coombes to gain an additional bonus point. Matters were very different in the first half with the small Swansea crowd witnessing action dominated by the home side including a try from Thomas. Newport suffered an early blow with the loss of outside half Shropfer, a reshuffle in the backs led to his replacement by Dan Griffiths. They took some time to adjust and only showed signs of improvement early in the second half with a Walker try. Swansea hit back with a further try. However, the All Whites lost two players to the sin bin and Newport capitalised. The Black and Ambers lost Griffiths to injury during the same period but finished with a late flurry of scoring, two of them converted by wing Steve Taylor. Llanelli and Neath lost, Cardiff and Aberavon won. The five teams are within a point of one another with Newport lying second.
NEWPORT WIN STIRRING MATCH
Feb 28 - It has to be the most compelling rugby match I have seen in the 2008/9 season and I only saw forty minutes! At half time Newport were leading Neath 17-16 having scored two tries through Riley and Coombs. The second half was highly entertaining with the lead changing hands on a number of occasions and Newport's forwards were outstanding, proving more than a match for their hard-bitten opponents. Unfortunately a maverick refereeing display from Tim Hayes attracted the ire of Black and Amber fans as he awarded a string of penalties, converted by the reliable Arwel Thomas, to keep Neath ahead despite a great try out wide for Newport by Tom Riley. Newport scored again to gain a bonus point through Mike Poole before Neath provided their second of the game through Ford as he burst through flimsy tackling to wrest the lead back. For Newport Dan Griffiths replacing Kevin Morgan at full back kicked a penalty to put the Black and Ambers in front with a few minutes to go. Only for another Arwel Thomas penalty to put the Welsh All Blacks in a 32-31 lead nearing full time. Neath indiscipline as they flopped off their feet again in the ruck left Griffiths with an awkward penalty in injury time that he duly converted watched by nervous but eventually exultant home fans. Newport held out at the end, charging down a desperate drop goal attempt from Thomas. Mark Workman hoiked the ball in to touch and the referee blew time on a 34-32 victory.
DIFFICULT DRAW FOR PORT
Feb 23 - Newport's run of good luck in the Welsh Cup draw came to an end today when they were selected to face Aberavon away in the quarter finals.
Quarter-finals: 27-29 March - Aberavon v Newport, Cross Keys v Neath, Llanelli v Glamorgan Wanderers, Swansea v Caerphilly
Llandovery took the lead shortly after the half time break. Their winger capitalised on Griffiths defensive deficiencies in a foot race to pounce for the score. But Newport showed impressive resolve with Tom Riley striding over after a multi-phase move to put them back in front. Griffiths converted for a 17-15 lead. However, from the kick off the Drovers won a penalty for a tackle infringement, Ettridge duly converted for a one point lead. But that was the end of Llandovery's scoring. Newport reverted to type, started to take the ball down the middle of the Drovers defence and found it wanting. Scott Williams bombarded his way through the centre to pass neatly to Riley for his second try. The Black and Ambers marched the Drovers scrum back thirty metres resulting in one of their props receiving a yellow card. From the penalty scrum Andrew Coombes picked up to crash over. Mike Poole rounded off matters as he tore through the tired Drovers defence for his second, Griffiths converted to make it 38-18. A below par Newport display but still comfortably enough to beat Llandovery. On the down side hooker Mike Leaman was taken from the field in severe pain with a dislocated shoulder.
Pooler game off
Feb 9 - Newport’s Principality match against Pontypool tomorrow night (Tuesday 10 Feb 7:30pm) has been called off. Due to heavy snowfall, the pitch at Pontypool Park, the pitch has been deemed unplayable. The match will be re-arranged and details will be made available as soon as they are confirmed.
Newport destroy Ebbw
Jan 31 - Newport outplayed Ebbw Vale in every facet of the game in a comprehensive 37-7 victory at Rodney Parade this afternoon. Ebbw, playing in the old Monmouthshire colours, were unable to make any early impact. Newport dominated possession and territory in the first quarter but Tom Riley was only able to convert one of the three penalties awarded. They finally broke free after 20 minutes with a fine try from Riley after good build up play including a link in the centre from prop Ian Evans. Unfortunately, Newport immediately gifted Ebbw a try after a three-quarter move broke down. Matthew Williams scored the try, converted to make it 8-7. But Newport finished the half strongly with a Scott Williams double dummy ending with a try and 13-7 lead. Ebbw Vale's spoiling game continued in the second half as they offered zero creativity or skill in their attacking play. But Newport easily contained them and broke away to score further tries through Nathan Williams (2), Shropfer and Poole. Only two of the tries were converted by Riley. Poole got up from a shin injury to crash over in the corner only to hobble off the field shortly afterwards. Replacement Sam Waldron's return to rugby was short-lived as he left the field with a hamstring injury after a four minutes! Off the field it was particularly pleasing to see Steve 'Ebbw' Lewis glumly suffer the strain of returning to Rodney Parade. He left the stand before the end of the game to watch the final capitulation of Ebbw Vale from the Hazell Terrace. To their credit a small band of followers from the northern territory maintained a drunken and off-key chant of 'Ebbw! Ebbw!' throughout the game despite this sorry defeat. According to sources after the match Dale Burn is returning to Newport to provide much needed scrum half cover.
Kind draw for Newport
Jan 26 - Newport have drawn perennial Premiership strugglers Llandovery in the next round of the Swalec Cup at Rodney Parade, their third consecutive home tie. The tie will be played on February 21st.
The draw is as follows - Carmarthen Quins v Neath / Aberavon v Llantwit Fardre / Tonmawr v Glamorgan Wanderers / Cross Keys v Pontypridd / Caerphilly v Rumney / Ebbw Vale v Swansea / Newport v Llandovery / Llanelli v Cardiff
Newport lose to Cardiff Rags
Jan 17 - Newport's poor recent run continued with a 36-26 loss to Cardiff this afternoon at the Arms Park. Cardiff out-scored Newport by five tries to two in a comfortable victory. For the Black and Ambers tries came from former Cardiff player Dan MacShane and Mike Poole.
Jan 3 - Newport's game this afternoon with Bridgend was called off following an 11am pitch inspection this morning. Apparently, the area under the shadow of the Hazell Stand is frost-bound following the recent cold spell.
Poor tactical display lets Keys off hook
Dec 27 - An inept kicking display by outside half Daniel Griffiths ultimately cost Newport victory at a bitterly cold Pandy Park this afternoon. The Black and Ambers failed to take full advantage of the strong easterly wind blowing in their favour during the first half. As a result the two sides went in at 3-3 at half time. Newport even decided to take a tap penalty when they had a kick in front of the posts! The odds were very much against them in the second half, even with a limited Cross Keys team up against them it was difficult to make ground on the very heavy pitch. Newport carried on with their handling game in the second half and even took the lead through a Griffiths penalty but Keys made slightly better use of the elements. A late Gareth Maule try effectively sealed it for the home team, Andrews converted from out wide. Griffiths narrowed the gap to a single point before Cross Keys made it 13-9 with another Andrews penalty.
Black and Ambers beat off battling Blackwood
Dec 20 - A spirited effort by Division 1 East Blackwood unsettled Newport in the Swalec Cup match at Rodney Parade this afternoon. But the Black and Ambers ran out comfortable winners in the end by 40 points to 21. Dec 24 update - Newport face Bridgend at home in the next round on January 24. Full draw here.
Newport close in on Llanelli
Dec 6 - Newport beat Bedwas 31-20 at Rodney Parade this afternoon to tie things up with Llanelli at the top of the Welsh Premiership. The Black and Ambers scored four tries, two coming from inspirational winger Mike Poole in a poor quality match. Llanelli lost 15-13 at Neath.
Newport beat Pooler and the gloom
Nov 28 - In farcical conditions for players and spectators Newport comfortably disposed of a poor Pontypool team at Rodney Parade last night. For most of the match it was impossible for spectators to see from once side of the field to the other due to dense fog shrouding the ground. This was best illustrated by Mike Poole's try early in the second half which was seen by a handful of spectators on the right hand corner of the Argus stand. Newport's other try later in the half came from a maul! They rolled over from a five metre line out, quickly changing the position of the maul to allow Dan MacShane to score the try. Let's hope the maul returns and the pathetic and dangerous ELV allowing the legal collapse of a maul is consigned to the bin.
Otherwise, the encounter was hardly comparable to Newport-Pooler derbies of the past. It lacked passion or bite. There was a brief jostle between the forwards at the end but little of note. The only remnant of derbies of yore that it did retain was the lack of real quality to the play and the high number of errors, mostly attributable to the conditions on this occasion. On a better night Newport would probably have achieved a bonus point victory. When they did pass the ball they showed some fluidity and made good ground whereas Pontypool struggled to put any passes together and only seemed comfortable with the aerial ping-pong that characterises modern rugby. Attendance - 1621.
Newport lose friendly
Nov 21 - A depleted Newport team lost 26-14 to Blackheath this afternoon. Report here
Port face Blackwood in Cup
Nov 19 - Newport face Division 1 East side Blackwood in the fourth round of the Welsh Cup at Rodney Parade on December 20.
This Saturday they face Blackheath as part of The Club's 150th anniversary celebrations. Newport supporters will receive a 50% discount on the admission price (Ł12) if they show their Newport season ticket.
Blackheath first met Newport in 1879 at Rodney Parade. Newport had been undefeated since they played their first match in 1875 and they were invincible in their first 4 seasons in existence and still unbeaten when they met Blackheath on that historic day. The match was arranged by Richard Mulloch, Newport's club secretary. Blackheath were English domestic champions at the time. In front of a record attendance of 5000 the Black and Ambers slumped to a massive defeat by by 4 goals and 8 tries to nil. The last time they met (in 1998) Newport were victorious by 55 points to 15.
Flanker Craig Hill has been named in the Wales Sevens squad announced today.
Another home failure for Newport
Nov 15 - It is a difficult to see how Newport are going to make any impression on this year's Welsh Premiership unless they make Rodney Parade a fortress. They conspired to lose to a competent Aberavon side 17-12 this afternoon. Jason Tovey did not display the assurance he had managed against Pontypridd and Newport's general play was error strewn and poor. The Newport outside half was their only scorer with four penalties, one in the first half, three in the second.
Convincing win for Newport
Nov 7 - Newport recovered well from last week's disappointing defeat to comfortably beat Pontypridd at Rodney Parade last night. The 35-0 bonus point victory put the Black and Ambers within a point of Llanelli at the top of the Premier Division table. Pontypridd who were forced to fulfil the fixture by the Welsh Rugby Union, played very poorly and turned over possession at the ruck and in the set-piece. Newport had more options and more precision to their play. Half backs Isaacs and Tovey were in dominant form. Tries came from Coombs (2), Hill and Griffiths, Tovey converted three, adding two penalties and a drop goal.
Llanelli too smart for Newport
Nov 1 - Newport's capacity to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory can never be underestimated. All seemed on course for a good win. Playing in to the wind the Black and Ambers had succeeded in containing Llanelli and even managed a difficult penalty to lead unexpectedly at half time by three points to nil. But Llanelli came out all guns blazing at the start of the second half. A short line out ploy early on caught Newport napping hooker Craig Hawkins feeding Aaron Shingler to score. Newport responded with concerted pressure only for fly half Dan Griffiths pass to be intercepted in his own 22 by Shingler. The lock maintained a stunning pace to leave Tovey and co. trailing in his wake to score. Newton converted to make it 12-3. Newport upped the tempo, a loose kick was gathered by Mike Poole who weaved through the Llanelli defence to feed Craig Hill who in turn released Scott Williams to score out wide. Newport sustained the pressure, forcing Llanelli in to a defensive line out five metres out. From the mis-timed throw the captain Andrew Coombes scored for Newport to regain the lead. With five minutes to play Daniel Griffiths made two crucial and inept errors kicking the ball directly into touch from passes outside of his 22. From the resulting set piece position Llanelli hooker Hawkins darted through to make it 17-13. Even after this Newport still had four further attacking opportunities in the final minutes of the game but on each occasion replacement hooker Mike Leamann failed to find his man.
Newport win away again
Oct 25 - Newport beat Glamorgan Wanderers 28-16 at the Memorial Ground this afternoon. Overturning a 16-15 half time deficit the Black and Ambers earned a bonus point victory to go second in the Welsh Premiership. In the first of a run of five home games they face leaders Llanelli at Rodney Parade next Saturday. The try scorers for Newport were Poole, Riley, Paul Jones and Andrew Brown. Dan Griffiths added two penalties and one conversion.
Stunning win for Newport
Oct 18 - Newport notched up their second consecutive 60 point haul at Rodney Parade this afternoon. The much rumoured appearance of Gavin Henson for Swansea did not materialise but there is little he could have done to stop the Black and Amber tide. Newport scored four tries in either half. The bonus point was tied up by half-time thanks to tries by Dan Griffiths, Paul Jones, Andrew Brown and a penalty try. After the break tries came from Scott Williams, Tom Isaacs, Craig Hill and Jason Tovey. Dan Griffiths was on form kicking all eight conversions and three penalties to give Newport a 65-21 victory.
Black and Ambers lose unbeaten record
Oct 11 - Poor outside half play and two yellow cards ensured that Newport's poor recent record at the Gnoll was preserved. With twelve minutes to play Newport had levelled the scores as Mike Poole collected a slide-rule Scott Williams chip to score a try. Dan Grifiths missed the resulting conversion and two subsequent gettable penalty opportunities. He then kicked a 22 drop out straight out of play. From the succeeding play Dan MacShane joined Craig Hill in the sin-bin and Arwel Thomas slotted over a penalty to give Neath a lead they scarcely deserved. To cap off a disastrous end to the game Hadyn Pugh scored a converted try to give Neath a ten point advantage and deny the Black and Ambers a bonus point.
Newport were the better team for most of the first seventy minutes. Jason Tovey did not have his best game at outside half but in general play the Black and Ambers played more rugby than the West Walians. Andrew Coombes scored a fine (but unconverted) first half try and Tovey missed other opportunities to make Neath pay. The carding of Hill was a mystifying decision, possibly for failing to stay on his feet at the ruck.
Job done for Port at Eugene Cross
Oct 4 - Newport comfortably beat Ebbw Vale by 9 points to 3 in windy and wet conditions at Eugene Cross Park this evening. The televised match played before a tiny crowd was a stark contrast to the Super League Grand Final being played out on Sky Sports at the same time and was a timely reminder of how insignificant this match has become. However, to any stalwart supporter the victory will still prove just as sweet.
As we know Ebbw's discourtesy towards Newport's supporters goes beyond the odd bit of local banter. Thanks to S4C few Newport fans needed to waste their time paying any money into Ebbw's coffers. Eugene Cross Park is a difficult place to win and the odds are usually stacked against the 'townie scum', sorry Newport. But this evening's match was well refereed and the conditions dictated the way it was played. On the whole it was a largely passionless and drab affair dominated by Newport's defence particularly around the breakdown. Ebbw had more possession but failed to make good use of it. The Black and Ambers showed more composure than Ebbw when it mattered and despite not making full use of the wind in the first half were able to deny the Steelmen any try scoring opportunities. Daniel Griffiths slotted three penalties (one in the first half, two in the second), Ebbw Vale decided to claim a bonus point with a late penalty from Williams.
Newport hold on to unbeaten record
Sep 27 - The Black and Ambers retained their unbeaten record with a tense 18-17 victory over Bridgend at the Brewery Field. A half time lead of 15-7 increased to 18-7 following a Dan Griffiths penalty kick but Bridgend fought back. An attempted drop goal by replacement fly half Griffiths was charged down by Ed Shervington and from the ensuing chase Osprey David Bishop snatched a try. Shervington and Bishop were part of a number of Ospreys in the Bridgend side. As Bridgend narrowed the gap to a single point with fifteen minutes to go Newport defended well to hold out for the win. Jason Tovey, who played the Dragons last night, scored a first half try as did winger Mike Poole.
Llandovery not in same class
Sep 20 - Newport took Llandovery apart in a comprehensive 67-5 victory at Rodney Parade this afternoon. The Black and Ambers scored ten tries (Poole, Hill 2, Quick, Evans, Tovey, Burke, Pattison, Isaacs and Williams) and played with great fluency and drive on a warm afternoon. Only four of the tries were converted by Daniel Griffiths, the final try was followed by a failed attempt by Mike Poole! Griffths also scored three penalties. The damage was done with a first half blitz that gave Newport an unanswered 33 point lead. There were many excellent long range efforts from the Black and Ambers but late on prop Dai Pattison scored a fine try beating two defenders to swerve his way over from fifteen metres. Llandovery were a very poor side lacking Newport's general skill levels and fitness.
Newport hammer Cardiff
Sep 13 - The Black and Ambers got their Premiership campaign off to a stunning start by hammering Cardiff by 30 points to 3 at Rodney Parade. Newport took an early lead through a Dan Griffiths penalty and then stepped up the pace to overwhelm the Blue and Blacks with a three try blitz, one from full back Jason Tovey and two from wholehearted wingman Mike Poole. They could have scored a fourth but for centre Scott Williams not having the pace to score from a clear overlap position. Griffiths added two conversions and a drop goal just prior to the break. Cardiff managed just one penalty for their limited endeavours. The Blue and Blacks were ill disciplined with former Newport prop Ian George at the centre of most of it. In a case of mistaken identity he escaped a yellow card as the other Cardiff prop and Newport's impressive Alex Murphy were carded near to half time.
Fortunately, Paul Turner was not available for the half time team talk. Unlike the Dragons Newport did not cave in to the anticipated second half Cardiff onslaught. And although Cardiff came forward with more spirit and commitment in the second half they could not break Newport down. Newport's defensive efforts were exemplary. They were rewarded at the end when following an incisive attack involving Jason Tovey (then playing at stand off) Andrew Brown sprinted over in the corner. A deserved bonus point and a hammering for Cardiff.
Sep 6 - The clash between Pontypridd and Newport has been called off following a pitch inspection at Sardis Road this morning. The Sardis pitch is partially waterlogged and bar areas and facilities under the Grandstand have been flooded.
Black and Ambers outclassed
Aug 30 - Newport were understandably outclassed by Guinness Premiership side Bristol at Rodney Parade this afternoon. The fixture originally intended as a curtain raiser to Bristol's temporary move to Newport was a one-sided mismatch with Bristol fielding their first XV until half time. As a result they amassed a 42-0 lead. Eventually Newport went down 56-12 by the final whistle. They scored two tries through No 8 and captain Andrew Coombs and replacement back row Dan McShane. Dan Griffiths kicked a conversion.
Aug 23 - Newport beat Cinderford, this time in Gloucestershire, by 24 points to 13 yesterday.
Aug 16 - Newport beat Cinderford 18-0 in a pre-season friendly at Rodney Parade this afternoon. Newport's two tries came from Paul Jones and Richard Dale.
GIVE THE TEAM BACK TO THE CITY!
"It was blindingly obvious years ago that the Dragons would have the devil’s own job winning over an unwilling county to support them but they have positioned themselves badly in their market. The regime of Tony Brown, in days when Newport were Newport, had its critics but compared with the present operation, they were light years ahead. They had a chief executive in Keith Grainger and a director of marketing in Phil Davies who were ambitious and driven, and so full of ideas that by the end of the season, you were almost prepared to consider emigration in order to escape them... One of the other key elements, as I have said many times, is for the club to be returned to its city, for all silly county tags to be removed and for Newport to become Newport again. It is the only way to maximise crowds and income." Stephen Jones 'Sunday Times' 14/05/06
Heineken Cup, Pool 4
Newport 28-17 Bath (13/10/00) BBC report
Newport announced their arrival in Europe by recording a brilliant victory over 1998 Heineken Cup winners Bath at Rodney Parade.
The Black and Ambers, roared on by a capacity 11,000 crowd, blitzed Bath through three first half tries.
And the 22-10 interval advantage proved too much of a hurdle for Bath to overcome, despite replacement fly-half Shaun Berne's try 12 minutes from time and persistent late pressure. Newport prospered because they took their chances, leaving Bath to dig deep ahead of next Saturday's tough pool four trip to Munster. The home side survived a nervous closing 10 minutes after being reduced to 14 men when their South African skipper Gary Teichmann was sinbinned for killing possession.
"It is now my strong view, given the above circumstances, that such viability and success can best be achieved if the infrastructure of Gwent Dragons is subsumed into the existing operations of Newport RFC." Marcus Russell, August 20 2003.
Jan 1897 - Rugby's first superstar and Black and Amber hero Arthur Gould, leading Wales for the last time, steers them to a victory over England at Newport. Wales won by 1 Goal and 2 Tries (11) to Nil. He retired with 27 Welsh caps and having led his country 18 times - national records at the time. This giant of Newport and Welsh sport ought to be properly commemorated in his home city.
FIXTURES 2008 - 2009
LEAGUE TABLE here
|Oct 4||Ebbw Vale||P||9||3|
|Oct 25||Glamorgan W||P||28||16|
|Dec 27||Cross Keys||P||9||13|
|Jan 31||EBBW VALE||P||37||7|
|Apr 4||GLAMORGAN W||P||39||6|
|Apr 11||CROSS KEYS||P||17||32|
KEY - Home fixtures in upper case. P=Welsh Premiership F = Friendly C=Cup