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NEWPORT RFC v ROSSLYN PARK FC at the Rock, Roehampton 15 August 2015

Newport made their first visit to Rosslyn Park for a number of years to play the aspiring English Division 1 club and be the first to play a fixture, albeit a friendly, on their new 4G pitch. Rosslyn Park is set in Roehampton Sports Club and five minutes walk from Barnes station. The surrounds particularly near the station are beautifully verdant and peaceful. But not as verdant as the 4G pitch which was a very impressive and striking colour. Some of other facilities at the Rock leave a little to be desired, the small stand with its wooden benches is very similar to Pontypool Park. We spotted a Rosslyn Park man wearing a Newport 1963 tie given to him by Brian Jones, he said he stayed with Jones in Cwmcarn when he broke his leg playing for Park in 1956 and was at Rodney Parade to see Newport beat the All Blacks. No argument about who is bigger brand, Newport or the Dragons, from him! What he would have made of Newport's ramshackle performance in the match I am not entirely sure. There were some moments when  Newport got close to Park but they were out-muscled and out-thought by their English opponents. They had former Black and Amber Scott Sneddon playing for most of the match at 10 in fine form but Kiba Richards (13), David Vincent (14) and Henry Robinson (15) were their stand out players as they eased to a 56-27 victory. Spotted in the crowd were London Welsh Chief Executive Steve Lewis and head Coach Rowland Phillips. A small group of Newport fans (approximately 25) made the trip. Tries for Newport came from Palmer, Mogg, King and Lampitt. Lavender (below) and one other Newport player were yellow carded.