NEWPORT 17-0 SWANSEA
By: Paul Hopkins
Swansea failed to score a point as they were put to the sword by Newport in a match dominated by each side’s defence.
The All Whites forced a Newport mistake straight from the kick off, but a well worked home scrum earned a turnover.
The visitors collapsed the next set piece, gifting fly half Matt O’Brien an opportunity to kick at goal, which he duly converted.
Centre Jon Morris made a superb break through the middle, finding scrum half Geraint Watkin in support, but the Swansea defence was penalised for offside. O’Brien chipped to the corner and number eight Rhys Jenkins powered towards the line but was held up agonisingly short.
The home side grabbed the game’s first try when he popped up in midfield to power past a tackle to score under the posts. O’Brien converted.
Newport continued to swarm over the Swansea defence and it could have got even better but for lock Andrew Mann dropping the ball over the try line.
Referee Jason Beassant’s patience with the Swansea front row finally snapped and he handed prop Greg Cunniffe a yellow card. O’Brien kicked to the corner and the home side spread quick ball out wide, but full back Geraint O’Driscoll’s final pass sailed into touch behind winger Harri Lang.
Winger Elliot Frewen threatened for the Black and Ambers after he spotted a gap in the Swansea defence, but he lost possession forward metres short of the line.
It took 40 minutes for the All Whites to cross into the Newport twenty-two with centre Callum Carson making a half break, only for fly half James Davies to hack a loose ball into touch.
The Black and Ambers deservedly grabbed a second try against the run of play when Frewen intercepted a pass and race 60 metres to score in the corner. O’Brien converted.
Half-time:- Newport 17 Swansea 0
The visitors came out after the interval with a renewed sense of purpose and lock Matt Dodd made a half break and the supporting Carson chipped ahead, but O’Driscoll shepherded the ball dead.
Cunniffe stole a lineout, but the Whites’ spell of possession was short lived as a mistake gave Newport a chance to attack. Flanker Kyle Tayler raced upfield, but dropped the ball in contact.
A well worked scrum by the Whites saw number eight Jon Fox find Matthew Aubrey, but the scrum half was brought down on the twenty-two. An outstanding Newport defence secured a turnover though, forcing Fox to hold on after the tackle.
Newport were awarded a kickable penalty following a high tackle but O’Brien opted to chip to the corner. A crooked throw by replacement hooker Henry Palmer brought an end to the attack though.
Swansea’s night got worse when Jon Fox saw yellow for a professional foul and they were never able to break through the Newport defence.
Full-time:- Newport 17 Swansea 0
Tries:- Jon Morris (19), Elliot Frewen (40+4)
Cons:- Matt O’Brien (20, 40+5)
Pens:- Matt O’Brien (9)
Yellow cards:- Greg Cunniffe (26), Jon Fox (75)
Venue:- Rodney Parade
Weather:- Light cloud, 5C
Man of the match:- Jon Morris
15 Geraint O’Driscoll
14 Harri Lang (rep: Ryan Gardiner 41)
13 Jon Morris
12 Tom Pascoe
11 Elliot Frewen
10 Matt O’Brien (rep: Haydn Simons 78)
9 Geraint Watkin (rep: Aeron Bidgood 79)
1 Lewis Smout (rep: Dan Preece 41)
2 Matt Dwyer (rep: Henry Palmer 56)
3 Louis Jones (rep: Garin Harris 61)
4 Andrew Mann (rep: Harry Oliver 80)
5 Joe Bartlett
6 Morgan Burgess
7 Kyle Tayler
8 Rhys Jenkins ©
16 Henry Palmer
17 Dan Preece
18 Garin Harris
19 Adam Brown
20 Harry Oliver
21 Aeron Bidgood
22 Haydn Simons
23 Ryan Gardiner
15 Phil Jones
14 Ryan Griffiths (rep: Jordan Pritchard 30-40)
13 Callum Carson
12 Jack Evans (rep: Gareth Rees 56)
11 Ben Cambriani
10 James Davies (rep: Steffen Williams 56)
9 Matthew Aubrey (rep: Chris Morgans 72)
1 Tom Sloane (rep: Rhys Davies 72)
2 Shawn Howard (rep: Matthew Moore 72)
3 Greg Cunniffe (rep: Jordan Pritchard 56)
4 Shaun O’Rourke (rep: Duane Eager 56)
5 Matt Dodd
6 Jay Williams
7 Charlie Davies (rep: Ben Asprea 72)
8 Jon Fox ©
16 Matthew Moore
17 Rhys Davies
18 Jordan Pritchard
19 Ben Asprea
20 Duane Eager
21 Chris Morgans
22 Steffen Williams
23 Gareth Rees