It was disappointment for Pontypridd as three first half tries from Newport sealed their place in the Welsh Cup final.
Despite two tries from Dale Stuckey, it wasn’t enough as a brace from winger Sam Jones and tries from Thomas Davies and Dafydd Buckland confirmed victory for the Black and Ambers.
It was a cagey start for both teams with breakdown retention being an issue for both sides.
Ponty had the first real opportunity of the afternoon with a 50/22 from Joel Raikes giving them territory inside the Newport 22, unfortunately the lineout was turned over by Newport’s Craig Hudd.
It was Newport who got the opening try with loosehead prop Thomas Davies crossing from a rolling maul following a 50/22 from Matt O’Brien. Captain O’Brien added the conversion and Newport led 7-0 after 10 minutes.
Things went from bad to worse for Ponty as Newport extended their lead after a couple of neat offloads from Harri Ackerman and Chay Foster-Smith broke through the defence. The ball went out wide to winger Sam Jones who beat the tackle of Dale Stuckey to score in the corner, a second conversion from O’Brien gave the Black and Ambers a 14-0 lead.
Newport scrum-half Dafydd Buckland was shown a yellow card after a sustained period of Ponty pressure and multiple penalties forced referee Rhys Jones to show a card.
Ponty did manage to get their first score of the afternoon during the sin-bin when a neat offload from Niko Matawalu put fullback Dale Stuckey through in the corner.
The lineout woes continued for Ponty throughout the first half as Newport extended their lead with a third try – winger Elliot Frewen broke clear and passed inside to scrum-half Buckland who evaded the last tackler to score.
Ponty tried but couldn’t respond before the break and trailed 19-5.
HALF TIME – Pontypridd 5-19 Newport
The second half didn’t start the way Ponty would have hoped when Newport picked up their fourth try when Sam Jones crossed for his second after a fend off and assist from inside centre Ackerman. O’Brien added the extras as Newport extended their lead barely a minute into the second period.
Ponty kept knocking at the Newport door in the second half but couldn’t find an answer – the Black and Ambers’ defence was too strong with the breakdown becoming a real issue.
There were a couple of opportunities near the end of the contest and Ponty did have the last word when Dale Stuckey crossed in the corner. It wasn’t enough as Newport booked their place in the final where they will play Cardiff.
FULL TIME – Pontypridd 10-26 Newport (25/3/2023)
Match report – Iestyn Thomas
15. Dale Stuckey. 14. Alex Lloyd. 13. Niko Matawalu. 12. Ceri Morris. 11. Iestyn Griffiths (Jamie Murphy). 10. Joseph Scrivens (Tommy Morgan). 9. Joel Raikes (Rory Harries)
1. Ben Stephens (Tom Devine). 2. Rob Jones (Gavin Parry). 3. Tom Harper (Garyn Daniel). 4. Kristian Parker (c). 5. Mitch Barnard (Aled Ward). 6. Cai James (James Murphy). 7. Sion Parry. 8. Joe Miles
Subs: 16. Gavin Parry. 17. Tom Devine. 18. Garyn Daniel. 19. James Murphy. 20. Aled Ward. 21. Rory Harries. 22. Jamie Murphy. 23. Tommy Morgan
Tries: Stuckey x 2
15. Ioan Davies. 14. Sam Jones. 13. Chay Foster-Smith. 12. Harri Ackerman. 11. Elliot Frewen. 10. Matt O’Brien (c). 9. Dafydd Buckland
1. Thomas Davies. 2. Henry Palmer. 3. Nathan Evans. 4. Elliot Ferriman. 5. Craig Hudd. 6. George Young. 7. Rhys Jenkins. 8. Ben Roach
Subs: 16. Ellis Shipp. 17. Josh Reynolds. 18. Garin Harris. 19. Josh Reid. 20. Kyle Taylor. 21. Lennon Greggains. 22. Luke Crane. 23. Geraint O’Driscoll
Tries: Thomas Davies, Sam Jones x 2, Dafydd Buckland
Conversions: O’Brien x 3
Yellow Card: Dafydd Buckland
Referee: Rhys Jones
Assistant referees: 1 – Wayne Davies, 2 – Owen Wrangham