Pontypridd kept top spot in the Welsh Premiership following this tense encounter at Rodney Parade, a place where they had only won once in the last seven years. It was literally a game of two halves, with Pontypridd overcoming a half time deficit to seal a deserved win.
With the wind behind them in the first half, Newport took the lead in the fifth minute with a penalty from outside half Lewis Robling. That lead was extended after sixteen minutes following a kick and chase by winger Owen Broad who went over near the posts. Robling put over the resulting conversion.
The try stung Pontypridd into action and they hit back immediately with Dean Gunter putting over his first successful penalty. This score seemed to give the team confidence with flanker Darren Waters leading the way, but poor handling frequently letting them down and a number of try scoring opportunities wasted.
Newport increased their lead on the half hour, when Ryan Savage received a yellow card from referee Leighton Hodges and Robling put over his second penalty. It was now a matter of Pontypridd surviving the rest of the half, which they almost did, with Newport spurning two clear try scoring chances. However, from a five metre scrum Newport capitalised on their advantage as number 8 Hugo Ellis claimed a pushover try which went unconverted, putting the home side 18pts to 3 up at half time.
Whatever the coaching team said at half time certainly did the trick, as Pontypridd began the second half on the attack, making real inroads into Newport territory, again with Darren Waters breaking the gain line. Pontypridd registered a score after forty-four minutes with Gunter putting over a second penalty.
The game was finally turning in Pontypridd’s favour, with Newport down to thirteen players following yellow cards awarded to prop Dai Pattinson and flanker Rhys Jenkins. The indiscipline cost the home side dear when Pontypridd scored their first try from full back Gareth Wyatt, crossing over for his century of tries for the club. Pontypridd then levelled the scores with replacement flanker Ed Siggery crashing over for a try which was converted by Simon Humberstone.
It was all set up for a tense finale, and with Pontypridd continuing on the attack, Humberstone crossed over for a third try which put Pontypridd in the lead for the first time.
The last five minutes was all Newport, but some heroic defence from Pontypridd repelled attack after attack. The siege was lifted as Pontypridd turned the ball over and gratefully launched it into the terrace to a joyous response from the travelling support. Ponty had kept the home team from scoring a point for the whole of the second half, and fully deserved their victory by 18pts to 23.
Web by Infonia