Pontypridd travelled to Rodney Parade for a tough premiership challenge against one of the division’s leading pack, Newport, in the hopes of extending a fine recent winning run to ten games, but failing in that ambition as they ultimately went down to defeat by 21pts to 3.
The conditions in which the game was played, in the middle of the freezing weather front that had gripped South Wales, were not conducive to a feast of running rugby, and neither on the night were the referee’s interpretations and controlling of the game. The contest was interrupted by the official’s frequent whistle-blowing, with neither side able to build up any real momentum or phases of play.
Newport took the lead through a penalty kicked by outside half Daniel Griffiths, and then improved their advantage, emphasising their forward power, as flanker Sam Waldron claimed a try following a line out drive. Ponty meanwhile could not impose their game plan , despite the efforts of Blues squad member Lee Thomas to break the gain line in midfield.
It was the home team who continued to take up the initiative, before an exchange of successful penalty kicks between Ponty outside half Dai Flanagan and his opposing number Daniel Griffiths set the interval scoreline at 11 pts to 3.
Newport flanker Nick Kelly had already been shown a yellow card, and the referee continued to rule the evening’s proceedings, judging that Ponty lock Grant Harrington had been guilty of stamping, and that the offence was worthy of a sending off. An overlap try claimed by James Rowles for the home team improved their advantage, with Ponty struggling to set a platform, at one stage losing five successive line outs on their own throw in.
Another touchdown out wide for Newport replacement scrum half Grant Hall set the seal on the home team’s victory, with a final score of 21 pts to 3 in their favour, but in a game which rarely took off, littered with penalties and short on any memorable moments.
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