The Welsh All Blacks were comfortable winners against local rivals Swansea on the opening weekend of the Principality Premiership.
Debutant Ben Roberts had a good chance to get the first try for the All Whites after full back Nicky Thomas raced up to the twenty-two with a burst of pace, but the winger lost the ball forward under pressure.
Neath hooker Rhodri Clancy was penalised for offside at the breakdown after the visitors mounted a promising attack, but Sam Davies failed to make him pay as he missed his attempt at goal.
The Welsh All Blacks took 18 minutes to get the first try when Tom James raced through the middle from a routine lineout to touch down under the posts. David Langdon scuffed the conversion attempt horribly wide.
Neath doubled the lead four minutes later when powerful drives forward by Clancy and prop Tom Price drew in the Whites defence. Gareth McCarthy then got the ball out wide for Langdon to score. He failed to convert.
The visitors finally got on the board after 28 minutes when Thomas stayed strong in the tackle, forcing the Neath defence offside. Sam Davies made no mistake this time as he kicked a penalty goal.
The fly half converted a second penalty for the Whites when Thomas again showed good strength going forward with second row forwards Sam Kiley and Rhodri Hughes in support. The move broke down but offside earlier in the move gifted Davies three points.
Aled Jenkins threatened the Neath line after the visitors mounted a counter attack from a mistake by the home side, but an excellent tackle by Ryan Evans earned his side a penalty to clear the danger.
Half-time:- Neath 10 Swansea 6
It took Langdon just two minutes to get the first score of the second half. His side were forced onto the back foot but he slotted over a well taken drop goal.
Only a minute later offside from a high kick by the home side gave Sam Davies a penalty chance from which he made no mistake.
The home pack stole lineout ball inside the home twenty-two and a long pass out wide saw winger Elliot Jones squeeze over for a try in the corner. Langdon converted.
A mini break by replacement centre Chris Shelmerdine created a problem for the Neath defence with the forwards piling over the top of a ruck. However Sam Davies failed to make them pay as he missed the resulting penalty. The fly half failed to convert another penalty chance moments later when the Neath defence were penalised for failing to roll away after the tackle.
The All Blacks should have added a fourth try when Gareth King and Kevin James linked up inside the twenty-two, but a determined Swansea defence turned over possession out wide.
With the visitors desperate to get back into the game an exciting passage of play ensued with Kiley and Sam Davies making breaks, but the latter was unable to get his pass away.
Langdon sealed a well deserved victory with a late penalty goal when the Whites’ crept in front of the kicker.
Full time:- Neath 23 Swansea 9
Referee:- Peter Evans
Weather:- Partly cloudy, 18C
Man of the match:- Elliot Jones
Tries:- T James (18), Langdon (22), E Jones (47)
Cons:- Langdon (48)
Pens:- Langdon (76)
DGs:- Langdon (43)
Pens:- S Davies (28, 37, 44)
15 A Bramwell
14 G King
13 R Evans
12 G McCarthy (rep: K Davies 72)
11 E Jones (rep: K James 64)
10 D Langdon
9 T James (rep: L Jones 51)
1 N Downs
2 R Clancy (rep: A Williams 72)
3 T Price (rep: O Ford 79)
4 E Evans
5 L Williams (rep: L Ward 41)
6 G Gravell
7 R Jones
8 E Williams (rep: T Morgan 79)
15 N Thomas
14 B Roberts
13 A Jenkins (rep: C Shelmerdine 41)
12 N Harwood
11 J Morgan
10 S Davies
9 A Lewis
1 M Norman
2 I Dobbs (rep: P John 56)
3 I Williams (rep: A Mason 75)
4 S Kiley
5 R Hughes
6 S Williams
7 M Davies (rep: D Blyth 67)
8 S Jones (rep: D Baker 79)
By Paul Hopkins