If Welsh rugby was in deep mourning following its World Cup exit earlier in the day, the mood did not carry over into this lively Premiership encounter in which both teams were fully committed to playing with tempo and attacking intent.
Newport took an early lead through a James Leadbeater penalty, but Ponty striking back with a concerted phase of attack, giving the ball plenty of width before centre Gavin Dacey broke through for a try. The home team were willing to advance from all angles and were rewarded as Dean Gunter stroked over a penalty with ten minutes gone.
The mood of the game was set however as Newport responded with a snap counter offensive from a short line out ball, winger Owen Broad darting over for a try wide out.
Winger Owen Williams was excelling in claiming the high restarts for Ponty and the home pack emerging as a dominant force in the set pieces. A series of attacking scrums culminated in the award of a penalty try which Dean Gunter duly converted.
Newport once more struck back with a concerted phase of pressure, rewarded as flanker Sam Waldron crossed for a try but Ponty, despite having full back Gareth Wyatt yellow carded then turning defence into attack, setting up a position for a pushover try claimed by no8 Dan Godfrey. As Ponty finished the first half strongly, visitors’ lock Dafydd Rosser was sin-binned and Dean Gunter converting the ensuing penalty for a 23pts to 13 interval lead.
The home team tended to give away possession and the initiative as the second half progressed, and Newport finally getting the better of an overworked cover defence for centre Mitchell Williams to claim a touchdown. Ponty responded as Wyatt launched and gathered a high kick, generating momentum upfield which culminated in a short range drive over the line and a try for hooker Huw Dowden, which Gunter converted from a wide angle.
Newport were never going to concede the result, and two successive penalties kicked by scrum half Leadbeater edged them to within one score of an unlikely win. The visitors continued to throw everything at a sometimes desperate Ponty defence, with winger Owen Broad going close to scoring in the corner.
Breaking the siege of their own twenty-two, Pontypridd managed to edge upfield just in time to be relieved by the final whistle, and having claimed a valuable bonus point win by 30pts to 24.
15.Gareth Wyatt (Harley Thomson). 14.Owen Williams. 13.Gavin Dacey. 12.Gary Williams (Dafydd Lockyer). 11.Matthew Nuthall. 10.Dean Gunter. 9.Garyn Lucas (Harley Thomson – temp).
1.Ken Knaggs (Stuart Williams). 2.Huw Dowden. 3.Pat Palmer. 4.Jordan Sieniawski (Chris Martenko). 5.Chris Dicomidis – cpt. 6.Jake Thomas (Owen Sheppeard). 7.Wayne O’Connor. 8.Dan Godfrey.
“Golden Bob” man of the match – Dan Godfrey.
|Pontypridd (23) 30||Newport (13) 24|
|Tries: Dacey (4); Penalty (18); Godfrey (34); Dowden (54)||Tries: Broad (12); Waldron (22); M.Williams (49)|
|Cons: Gunter (18, 54)|
|Pens: Gunter (10, 40)||Pens: Leadbeater (3, 57, 61)|
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