PREMIERSHIP REFORM - COMMENT
WEBSITE COMING THIS WEEK
SEVENS TOURNAMENT KICKS OFF NEW SEASON
Aug 1 - This Saturday sees the return of the annual
Worthington's Men of Gwent Sevens Tournament. From 12 noon until the evening
nine teams from across the region will be competing for the trophy. Not only
will supporters be able to cheer for the team of their choice but they will
also be able to see the new Bisley Stand taking shape before the official
handover on 29th August.
The Wales vs. England game will be shown at 2:30 pm on the
big screen in Rodney Hall. Players from the Dragons will be in attendance
until 1 pm. These include new signings Joe Bedford, Darren Waters, Jamie
Smith and Tom Brown. Friends of Newport Rugby has organised a beer festival
which is open until 11pm. Live music will be provided by local talent and
there will be a wide range of real ale and traditional ciders.
BLOW BEFORE SEASON STARTS
July 9 -
Newport has suffered a major blow with prop Gethin Robinson likely to be ruled
out for the whole of next season. Robinson has suffered a ruptured achilles
AMBER SIGNINGS ANNOUNCED
Jun 19 - In an
attempt to avert the crises that beset the Newport team last season due Dragons'
call-ups and injuries the Black and Ambers have announced nine new signings.
They are - Danny Ajuwa, wing, Ebbw Vale; Ifan Evans, wing, Aberystwyth;
Elliot Frewen, full back, Tonmawr; Will Rees Hole, centre, UWIC; Ryan James,
scrum half; Charlie Johnstone, centre, Bedwas; Luke Plummer, centre; Dale
Rogers, hooker; Hywel Stoddart, back row, Pontypridd. The official website
states "These 9 new signings together with players retained from last season
will result in a larger squad of Newport RFC contracted players than previously.
This will make the team less dependant on regional players. The full squad will
be brought up to approx 32 players with the allocation of Dragons /academy
players." Scrum half Nicky Griffiths has joined English Division One side
play Rumney at home on August 12 and English side Coventry away on August 20.
BROWN ACKNOWLEDGED / BISLEY STAND UPDATE
Jun 18 - At the
end of season Newport RFC awards evening Owen Broad won the (defunct) Supporters
Club Player of the Season award and Andrew Brown the Players' Player of the Year
Work is moving at a rapid pace on the new Bisley Stand
at Rodney Parade. The stand is on schedule for handover on 29th August 2011. The
metal framework and brickwork has been completed for much of the stand with the
windows starting to be installed in the function suite and hospitality boxes.
The windows have been fitted for the hospitality boxes and are currently being
fitted in the function suite. On the Hazell side, the re-cladding is almost
complete and will match the finish on the Bisley Stand. The whole stand is in
the process of being re-painted ready for the new season.
May 20 - In a
fitting end to a poor season Newport were beaten 25-18 in a dreadful game at
Cross Keys. Dog pooh was removed from Pandy Park in the first half and Cross
Keys scored a breakaway try in the second half. Newport were heavily penalised
by referee Wayne Davies. Words fail me.
May 8 - Newport
outclassed Tonmawr 31-5 to win their British and Irish Cup play off semi-final
31-5 at Rodney Parade yesterday. The Black and Ambers face Cross Keys away on
Thursday at 7.30pm in the play off final. Newport raced in to a 31-0 interval
lead with some fine attacking rugby including a brilliant individual try from
inside his own 22 by scrum half JHonathon Evans. Other tries came from Brown,
Wheaton and Broad. Tonmawr had a more effective second half but lacked
creativity and blundered through the middle for the most part, managing just one
AMBERS FINISH ON HIGH NOTE
Apr 23 - A
stunning comeback from Newport produced an unlikely victory over Aberavon by
42-41 at Rodney Parade. The Black and Ambers were 34-16 down with 19 minutes to
go but produced an array of outstanding attacking rugby to deprive the Wizards
of their hard earned, commanding position in the match. Owen Broad scuttled over
for a last minute try converted by Gareth Bowen to give Newport the last gasp
win and a home match against Tonmawr in the qualifier for the British and Irish
Cup (May 7).
Apr 16 -
Newport comfortably disposed of Llandovery 29-18 at Church Bank. Four tries from
Hugo Ellis (2), Owen Broad and Andrew Brown produced a bonus point for the Black
CARDIFF IN THRILLER
Apr 10 - In a
chaotic but exciting encounter Newport beat Cardiff 27-21 at Rodney Parade to
maintain their hopes of a place in the British and Irish Cup next year. The
Black and Ambers buoyed by a 1200 plus crowd at Rodney Parade did just enough in
a game marked by shambolic refereeing of the breakdown. Referee Bricknell (?)
seemed to be engaged in an experimental form of the game where the offside rule
was not applied for the entire match. The resulting chaos did not help either
side but at least it meant the ball changed hands at regular intervals.
Similarly, he had no idea what was going on in the scrum. Newport had a clear
advantage, Cardiff picked a tactical fight and Gethin Robinson and his Cardiff
Rags counterpart were sin-binned in the second half.
In a see saw
exchange from the outset Cardiff took the advantage, building a 15-10 lead
midway through the first half, Newport's try coming from scrum half Ledbetter,
Cardiff scoring through. Newport gained the lead for the first time after many
phases of possession saw Ledbetter hurtle through the gap, Bowen converting to
give them a 17-15 advantage. The second half saw Cardiff initially benefit from
the fight and yellow cards before Newport scored the decisive try through Rhodri
Gomer-Davies converted by Bowen and Robling added a late penalty in a desperate
climax to the match typified by more breakdown skirmishes.
Apr 2 - Newport
edged out Tonmawr 35-31 scoring four tries to earn an extra bonus point at
Rodney Parade. Newport's tries came from Pewtner (2), Brown and Palmer.
Mar 29 -
Newport slid to a 35-12 defeat at Neath tonight with a makeshift side no match
for the Premier League high flyers.
Mar 26 - A
score with the final move of the match gave Swansea a 39-36 victory over Newport
in the Cup at St.Helens.
MATCH FOR CARDIFF
Newport 42-16 on March 19 in a comfortable home win.
SLUMP TO DEFEAT
Mar 13 -
Newport slumped to a 33-25 defeat at Llanelli conceding four tries. They scored
three, two from Matthew Pewtner and a penalty try, two penalties and two
conversions were added by Gareth Bowen.
AMBERS FIGHT BACK FOR DRAW
Mar 6 - Newport
maintained their unbeaten record against local regional sides with a 23-all draw
with Cross Keys at Pandy Park yesterday afternoon. Two Matt Evans tries and two
Rhys Jones conversions in the last fifteen minutes snuffed out a 14 point Keys
lead established with twenty minutes to play. Jones also added three penalties.
STRONG FOR KEYS
Feb 27 -
Newport easily held off Cross Keys in yesterday's morning kick off at Rodney
Parade. The Keys were spiky and ill-disciplined but managed to prevent Newport
from achieving the try bonus point some of their play deserved. Newport bettered
Keys' much vaunted pack in all spheres of the game, edging the scrum and
dominating the line out. The breakdown was very messy at times but there was a
fair competition for the ball. It was in the centre where Newport cut through on
a number of occasions with Matt Evans prominent but failed to capitalise on all
their chances. Having said that, against the wind, they put in a fine first half
performance, establishing an excellent lead with tries from Gethin Robinson and
Rhys Jones. Keys managed a try of their own to cut the margin to eight points
before Jones and Newport moved on to a 24-10 winning advantage.
Feb 20 -
Newport coasted through to the quarter finals of the Swalec Cup with a 69-17
victory over Division 1 side Blackwood at Rodney Parade. Newport, playing in a
change strip of red, were far too strong for their opponents, and ran in 10
tries. The other quarter finalists in next week's draw are Merthyr, Cardiff,
Aberavon, Pontypridd, Tonmawr, Llandovery and Swansea. Next up Newport play
at Swansea in the quarter finals on 26 March.
COMES TO END
Feb 13 -
Newport's recent good run came to an end at St.Helen's yesterday. Despite
looking the more dangerous team the Black and Ambers surrendered a healthy half
time lead of 18-13. Mike Poole scored two tries for the Port, Gareth Bowen added
a conversion and two penalties.
Feb 5 - Newport
emphatically disposed of Felinfoel to set up a home tie with Blackwood in the
next round of the Welsh Cup. The Black and Ambers beat the West Walians 74-15.
The referee called time twelve minutes early! Eleven tries for Newport including
three for Owen Broad.
MATCH OFF - Newport's cup match cancelled due to a
frozen pitch. According to the rules of the competition 'postponed
matches must be played within 10 days of original specified date either at
original venue or at venue and time determined by the Home Club.'
Jan 26 -
Newport bowed out of the British and Irish Cup with a win in Plymouth by 24 to
13. Newportclaimed the victory by scoring four tries to Albion's two. Prop Dai
Pattison crossed for two of their tries from driving mauls, with Adam Frampton
and Owen Broad collecting the visitors other touch downs. Wayne Sprangle and
Jamie Tripcony, on his first start for the club, scored Albion's tries. Att -
Jan 22 - Two
injury time tries illuminated a cold, dark Friday evening at Rodney Parade as
Newport ended Cornish Pirates' unbeaten run. The Black and Ambers were twelve
points down as they approached stoppage time but then they cut loose in
impressive fashion. A try out wide for Andrew Brown had seemed like a
consolation but was duly converted by Matthew Jones to make the score 32-27.
From the kick off Newport were seemingly penned in by the Pirates defence until
after moving from side to side Matthew J Watkins found a change of pace to cut
through a tackle and he was joined by wing Owen Broad who initially lost his
balance before being propelled forward. Broad out-sprinted Wes Davies in a sixty
metre foot race to send the home fans in to raptures. Matthew Jones converted
with the final kick of the game to give Newport a 34-32 win.
The tries from
the Black and Ambers were a stunning finale to a feisty encounter. For much of
the first half the Pirates were dominant, mainly through use of the driving
maul. Tyrone Holmes scored a try very early on for the Cornish as they battered
the Newport pack. However, Newport were much more fluent in open play and
snatched the lead after a Matt Evans try before Holmes recovered it from more
driving play just before half time. Flanker Chris Morgan claimed a third Pirates
try from another driving maul after 49 minutes before Evans again replied for
the Newport. Jones` conversion cut the Pirates lead to two before Tom Luke's
fine individual break from twenty two metres just past the hour mark seemed to
have sealed the game with a bonus point score as Cook converted for the Pirates.
gave up and with Pirates flanker Chris Morgan sin-binned they produced a rousing
finish to this British and Irish Cup match.
Jan 16 -
Newport pulled off a fine 25-23 win in Scotland against Currie in the British
and Irish Cup on Friday night. Tries in the first half from Awcock and Broad led
to an 18-8 advantage. A Currie revival saw the home team snatch the lead 23-18
before Jon Evans scored a try under the posts converted by Rhys Jones for a
Newport win in the dying minutes of the game.
Jan 9 - Newport
held off a second half fight back from Bedwas at the Bridge Field to emerge
28-25 winners. The Black and Ambers scored three tries all from Nathan Brew,
Gareth Bowen converted two and kicked three penalties including a vital three
points right at the end of the game, with his side reduced to 14 men. Craig Hill
and Andrew Awcock performed impressively on their return to the Newport team.
OVER LEAGUE STRUGGLERS
Jan 3 - Newport
failed to fire against Premiership strugglers Glamorgan Wanderers at Rodney
Parade and despite naming a strong side had to be content with a 26-20 victory
and no bonus point. Newport tries came from Hugo Ellis, Matthew Pewtner and Tom
Cheeseman with a conversion and three penalties from Rhys Jones. The Dragons'
latest signing Mike Petrie made an impressive second half debut at scrum half
CROSS KEYS -
match postponed on Christmas Eve due to ice and snow
match postponed due to ice and snow
Dec 11 -
Newport's threadbare resources were badly exposed by Worcester Warriors at
Sixways today. The Black and Ambers were heavily beaten with the match over at
half time but also had to contend with the loss of Andrew Coombes, the red card
awarded for an alleged kick at an opponent's head. Worcester playing a number of
their development squad scored seven tries through Andy Short, Matt Kvesic, Joe
Carlisle, Greg King, Callum Black, Ed Shervington and Tom Arscott. Carlisle, who
had a fine game, also added 23 points with the boot. Newport's points came from
full-back Alan Awcock's try and five points from stand-off Chris Wannell. The
Black and Ambers finally went down 58-10, a pale shadow of last year's team in
the same competition and now having only a double over Pontypool to show for
their last ten matches. The team is truly in crisis, but aside from a few hardy
followers, does anybody care? Attendance - 2844.
OUT ALL THE STOPS AT POOLER
Nov 9 -
Normally the other district 'A' clubs regard games against Newport as their cup
final. This season it seems the Black and Ambers are taking on the role of
underdog in a desperate and pointless attempt to remain top club in the region.
So far their best two performances this season have been against Pontypool. On
Tuesday night after a dreadful run of four home defeats Newport played with
power and purpose outscoring the Eastern Valley side by three tries to nil to
record a 22-15 victory.
ON NEW RODNEY PARADE
Oct 23 -
Newport RFC states "Work has started on the greatly-anticipated development of
Rodney Parade this week as both Newport Gwent Dragons and Newport RFC look
forward to enjoying the new facilities, which will include corporate boxes and a
300-capacity function room. The first phase of work
due to be completed in January is the re-development of the terracing being the
Family Stand at the north end of the ground. This will be followed by the
removal of the Family Stand to accommodate supporters from the Argus Terrace
during work on the new stand.
With supporters from the Argus Terrace accommodated in the Hazell Terrace and
the regenerated terracing on the North side, work to demolish the Argus Terrace
will begin in the New Year with the new stand due to be completed ready for next
TOO LATE FOR PORT
Oct 17 -
Newport produced a brilliant second half fight back to pull within five points
of Leinster 'A' but were left to rue their poor opening to the match. The Black
and Ambers were 23-6 behind at half time having been cut to shreds by Leinster's
fluency and speed. The Port ended the match outscoring their dominant Irish
opponents by 4 tries to 3, with a brace for Hugo Ellis and touchdowns for Nicky
Griffiths and Rhodri Gomer Davies. Despite losing out overall 33-28 Newport
claimed two bonus points from the game.
POOLER IN ENTERTAINING CLASH
Oct 9 - Newport
comfortably beat Pontypool 20-8 in an entertaining clash at Rodney Parade last
night. The Black and Ambers opened the scoring with a fine Lewis Broad try,
converted by Lewis Robling, who followed on with a penalty shortly afterwards.
He and Shaun Connor exchanged penalties for a 13-3 advantage to the Port at half
EASE PAST PORT
Oct 2 - As
expected Newport were unable to sustain their winning run away to Aberavon.
Despite holding their hosts to 15-all at half time they fell away to a 41-25
defeat. Newport's tries came from Robling, Leadbetter and
Leach. Robling added two penalties and two conversions.
NEWPORT SQUEAK WIN
Sep 27 -
Newport pulled off a thoroughly disappointing 17-16 victory over Bedwas
yesterday afternoon. For the most part the Black and Ambers were second best to
their lively opponents as if playing in a muted fashion owing to having to wear
Dragons shirts. They were 10 down at half time before Gethin Robinson brought
them back in to the match with a try. As Newport increased the pressure winger
Jamie Davies sprinted under the posts, his try converted by Robling for a 17-13
lead. Bedwas added a penalty before Newport held out for the win.
PORT WIN AT
Sep 22 -
Newport made hard work of beating a poor Carmarthen Quins side at Rodney Parade
last night. The Black and Ambers were held 3-3 at half time and lost centre
Gareth Chapman with a suspected broken ankle. A driving maul brought a try
for Dai Pattison early in the second half. Sam Waldron added a second
before Quins' south sea islander Timani piled over. Newport front row forward
Arthur Ellis ran in a 60 metree interception try before competing the scoring
with a second. Lewis Robling added four penalties and two conversions.
Sep 19 -
Newport eased to a 39-31 victory over Glamorgan Wanderers at the Memorial Ground
yesterday but were hit by a late come back. The Black and Ambers were 36-9 ahead
but the Wanderers came back to 36-31 before Lewis Robling edged Newport into an
eight point lead. Newport's tries came from Chapman, Broad, Evans (2) and
Wannell. After last week's disaster against Swansea the Black and Ambers
recovered their composure to pick up five points.
Sep 12 -
Newport paid the price for an appalling and disjointed performance at Rodney
Parade yesterday. They were 26 points to 5 down at half time to a fluent and
exciting Swansea side. Their recovery in the second half could have been
more significant but Swansea recovered their composure and finished the match
more strongly. Brown, Leadbetter and Chapman got Newport's tries. Wannell got a
penalty and conversion but generally had a poor game at outside half. He was
overshadowed by Matthew Morgan for the Whites.
Sep 4 - Newport
eased to victory at Carmarthen Quins yesterday. The Black and Ambers recovered
from a 14-9 half time deficit to record a 30-14 victory. Three tries came in the
second half with a brace from from Adam Hughes, a penalty try, all converted by
Rhys Jones, who also added three penalties.
WINS IT FOR BLACK AND AMBERS
Aug 30 - A try
in the tenth minute of injury time by Chris Wannell gave victory to Newport in
an exciting clash at Rodney Parade on Saturday. The try put Newport 40-36 ahead
after a remarkable topsy turvy match characterised by disjointed play and
inconsistent refereeing. Scrum half returnee Alex Walker was in excellent form
for the Port. Five tries came from Waldron, Hill, Leach, Awcock, Wannell, three
penalties from Rhys Jones and two conversions from Jones and one from Wannell.
Aug 22 -
Newport opened their account this season with a 22-15 victory over Launceston in
Cornwall yesterday afternoon.
Aug 20 - Due to
problems with Dragons home and Neath sharing their ground with soccer team the
following has been agreed :
Newport vs. Neath at Rodney
Parade on Sunday 24th October at 2:30PM/ Neath vs. Newport at the Gnoll on
Saturday 5th February at 2:30PM / The
away game against Tonmawr will be played on
Sunday 14th November (Wales playing Australia on Saturday). Alex Jones
has been named as captain for the forthcoming campaign.
Aug 9 - Newport
RFC were crowned Men of Gwent Sevens champions for the third time on the weekend
after overcoming the Dragons Academy 45-17 in the final of the annual
competition at Rodney Parade. The tournament saw 10 teams compete for the
title. Newport beat Newport HSOB 52-0 in the initial round, Newbridge 31-14 in
the quarter finals and Bedwas 31-5 in the semis.
July 5 -
Newport's reward for their top 4 placing in the Welsh Premiership is a very
tough draw in the British and Irish Cup. Their group is as follows - Pool A:
Cornish Pirates, Currie, Leinster, Newport, Plymouth Albion, Worcester Warriors.
their opening match is at home against Leinster on October 15 or 16.
PLAY FRIENDLY IN CORNWALL
June 17 -
Newport will face Launceston in Cornwall in a pre-season match on Saturday
CONCERN OVER DALE DEPARTURE
June 6 -
Newport RFC's effective role as the Gwent Dragons second XV seems to have been
confirmed by the departure of long serving back row Richard Dale from the club.
Dale's father states that his son received and signed a contract for the season
six weeks ago. On the TalkNewport messageboard his father states "Unlike a
number of the other players he doesn’t have an agent. Doesn’t want or feel he
needs one. He’s had offers from other clubs in Wales and England; always does.
But never seriously considers them. He’s been with Newport since he was 16 and
didn’t have any intention of going anywhere else." However, despite the signing
of the contract he was soon surplus to requirements "One afternoon last week,
during a coaching session with a group of youngsters, he had a phone call
telling him that the Dragons had allocated players to Newport and therefore
Newport would not honour his contract. He was out."
Cronk has denied any involvement in the decision. The decision underlines the
stark reality of the set up at Newport. The close relationship between the
various arms of Rodney Parade Limited effectively means that the Dragons
management can dictate key parts of the Newport side. Premiership rugby is a
training ground for regional rugby which is a dress rehearsal for the supposed
be-all and end-all, international rugby. Results, club affiliations and
identities are irrelevant. The real question is.. why does anyone support this
set up at all, inevitably it will lead to the slow lingering death of Newport
Dragons' announcement "Dragons spread their wings" is featured on the Newport
RFC website and makes things very clear. It states "The likes of Newport’s
Andrew Coombs, Cross Keys’ Lloyd Burns, Jevon Groves, Nathan Buck and Steffan
Jones and Bedwas’ Phil Price and Tom Cooper will all train with the Dragons in
the week before turning out for their clubs if not required for Magners League
or Heineken Cup action.........The older members of the Academy – the likes of
Wales Under-20s skipper Dan Watchurst - will be based with Newport while Pooler
will get the younger talent and be first port of call if senior Dragons need
May 27 -
Newport captain Andrew Coombs was named Premiership player of the year at last
night's awards dinner in Cardiff.
May 20 -
Newport have made three impressive early season signings. 22 year old Rhys Jones
has joined from Cornish Pirates and will form a strong half back partnership
with 17 year old Welsh Academy scrum half Jonathon Evans. Centre Gareth Chapman
also rejoins Newport from Cardiff. Unfortunately, Gareth Wyatt has decided to
return to hometown club Pontypridd.