Ponty made a lively start to the game, spurning kicks at goal to eventually drive over the home line but with no try awarded. Newport cleared then advanced into their opponents’ twenty-two, pressure turned into points as flanker Morgan Burgess powered over for a try which Matt O’Brien converted.
The visitors responded in style by launching a fine passing move down the flank, winger Dale Stuckey squeezing in for a try in the corner. It was Stuckey who again gave Ponty momentum with a weaving break, the ball then shipped out for full back Lloyd Rowlands to cross for another try. There was a purpose to Ponty’s play, their forwards pounding the gain line and setting up a position for Ceri Sweeney to stroke a penalty between the posts.
Having been under the cosh for some time it was the Black and Ambers’ turn to go on the offensive, setting up camp in the visitors’ twenty-two and after a long period of pressure, sending centre Jon Morris over for a try in the corner. The contest was now evenly balanced coming up to the half hour mark, Newport kicking for position but Ponty always keen to counter.
The visitors however suffered a blow as captain Dafydd Lockyer was sin-binned on defensive duties, the Newport pack then driving over but no score given. Ponty responded with a sweeping counter from deep, winger Dale Stuckey racing in for a try, expertly converted from a wide angle by Sweeney. The first half drew to a frenetic close, with Ponty holding on to a 12pts to 20 lead.
A high tempo was maintained after the restart, Newport taking a quick tap penalty allowing winger Wes Cunliffe to stretch over for a try which O’Brien converted. The game ebbed and flowed, end to end as both teams seemed intent on all out attack. The Black and Ambers applied concerted pressure on their on their opponents’ twenty-two, then launching a wide attack for replacement Corey Howells to cross in the corner, his try well converted by O’Brien.
Reflecting the competitive edge of the game, Ponty responded with a line-out drive over the whitewash with prop Will Davies-King claiming a try which was converted from a wide angle by replacement Diggy Bird.
The scoreboard was kept in motion as Matt O’Brien hoisted over a penalty, edging Newport into a two point lead and setting up a tense last ten minutes of play. Ponty yet again launched a dynamic counter only to lose possession and offer Newport the chance to retaliate, the game continuing fast and loose to its end. Having thrown everything into a last ditch attempt to salvage a result, Ponty again lost control and allowed Newport to make the final advance, holding on to a 29pts to 27 winning score as an enthralling encounter came to an end.
15.Hayden Simons. 14.Wes Cunliffe (Adam Sabri). 13.Jon Morris. 12.Tom Pascoe. 11.Harri Lang (Corey Howells). 10.Matt O’Brien. 9.Ryan James (Owen Davies).
1.John Lavender (Matt Prosser). 2.Henry Palmer (Will Evans). 3.Garin Harris. 4.Adam Brown. 5.Joe Bartlett. 6.Morgan Burgess. 7.Kyle Taylor. 8.Rhys Jenkins – cpt (Alex Everett).
Tries: Burgess (7); Morris (25); Cunliffe (43); Howells (57)
Cons: O’Brien (7, 44, 58)
Pen: O’Brien (67)
15.Lloyd Rowlands. 14.Lewis Williams. 13.Aled Summerhill (Geraint Walsh). 12.Dafydd Lockyer – cpt. 11.Dale Stuckey. 10.Ceri Sweeney (Diggy Bird). 9.Dane Blacker (Joel Raikes).
1.Chris Phillips (Brad Thyer). 2.Huw Dowden (Corrie Tarrant). 3.Jon Elley (Will Davies-King). 4.Josh Hawkins. 5.Chris Dicomidis. 6.Shane Lewis-Hughes. 7.Sean Moore. 8.Morgan Sieniawski.
Tries: Stuckey (11, 36); Rowlands (13); Davies-King (61)
Cons: Sweeney (38); Bird (62)
Pens: Sweeney (18)
WRU man of the match: Dane Blacker
Referee:- Rhys Thomas