Swansea booked a place in the quarter finals of the Swalec Cup with a hard fought victory over Newport at Rodney Parade. Fly half Cameron Clement was the hero of the hour when he kept his nerve to convert an injury time penalty to secure the win.
With the Black and Ambers having already inflicted a heavy defeat on the Whites earlier in the season the visitors must have feared the worst when fly half Tom Hancock kicked an early penalty goal after a Will Richards break forced their defence offside in midfield.
Swansea tied up the scores ten minutes later with a Nicky Thomas penalty goal when Elliot Frewen piled into a ruck offside.
Things got even better for the visitors after 24 minutes when the pack showed its dominance to set up a platform for the backs to get the ball out wide for Clement to score a well taken try. Thomas missed the conversion.
Newport prop Jamie Jeune made a break through the middle but he was stopped by a high tackle. Hancock kicked the resulting penalty to narrow the gap to two points.
Thomas had a chance to restore the five point advantage when Sam Kiley superbly caught the restart and the home defence failed to roll away from the tackle, but he missed his effort at goal.
The home dominance up front continued and they were awarded another penalty when the pack drove their counterparts back the best part of 10 metres. This time Thomas was successful with his effort at goal.
A superb counterattack involving centre David Watts, lock Ben Fox and winger Nicky Harwood caused panic in the visitors’ defence, forcing them to kill the ball. However Thomas missed the resulting penalty goal.
Half-time:- Newport 6 Swansea 11
Swansea began the second half on the front foot with Dan Baker embarking on a powerful run before the Newport defence failed to roll away after the tackle. Clement took over kicking duties and converted the penalty.
The Black and Ambers responded a minute later when flanker Craig Attwell picked up a loose ball and found Frewen and scrum half James Leadbeater in support before a scrambling Whites defence killed the ball. Hancock kicked the penalty goal.
Three minutes later Hancock was handed a penalty chance after the visitors’ defence drifted offside but his effort fell well short of the posts. Replacement fly half Scott Sneddon also missed a shot at goal when Harwood was penalised for speaking out of turn.
Minutes later Whites flanker James McKenna was yellow carded for killing the ball. The Black and Ambers made the man advantage count when replacement Rhys Downes made a break through the middle with Ashton Hewitt coming within a metre of scoring. The ball was recycled though and substitute hooker Andy Brown crashed over to score in the corner.
When Sneddon hit the post with a penalty attempt the ball fell to Hewitt but he spilled the ball forward under pressure near the line. Sneddon had a chance to snatch the lead with five minutes remaining but again missed his effort at goal.
The crucial moment came inside injury time when the Newport forwards entered a ruck from the wrong side and Clement remained ice cool to kick his team into the last eight of the cup.
Full time:- Newport 14 Swansea 17
Star man: Cameron Clement
Referee: Chris Williams
Tries:- Brown (63)
Pens:- Hancock (5, 27, 49)
Tries:- Clement (24)
Pens:- Thomas (15, 39), Clement (47, 80+1)
Y cards:- McKenna (59)
15 Geraint O’Driscoll
14 Elliot Frewen
13 Dan Robinson
12 Will Richards (rep: Rhys Downes 54)
11 Ashton Hewitt
10 Tom Hancock (rep: Scott Sneddon 54)
9 James Leadbeater
1 Jamie Jeune
2 Ryan Prosser (rep: Andy Brown 54)
3 Gethin Robinson
4 Dafydd Rosser
5 Rhodri Jones
6 Brendon Lampitt
7 Craig Attwell
8 Ross Coombs
16 Andy Brown
17 Dan Wathurst
18 Jamie Sullivan
19 Craig Everett
20 Scott Sneddon
21 Owen Broad
22 Rhys Downes
15 Nicky J Thomas
14 Nicky Harwood (rep: Lewis Harrhy 80+1)
13 Chris Shelmerdine
12 David Watts
11 Nathan Brooks (rep: Richard Williams 64)
10 Cameron Clement
9 Jake Cole
1 Matthew Norman
2 Paul John (rep: Scott Otten 41)
3 Ian Williams (rep: Aled Mason 75)
4 Ben Fox (rep: John Barley 19)
5 Sam Kiley ©
6 James McKenna
7 Matthew Davies (rep: Rob Dudley-Jones 5)
8 Dan Baker
16 Scott Otten
17 Daniel White
18 Aled Mason
19 John Barley
20 Rob Dudley-Jones
21 Aled Lewis
22 Ben Roberts
23 Richard Williams