Bedwas RFC 42 Newport RFC 28
Principality Welsh Premiership, Saturday 30th January 2016.
Match report and photography by Ian Lovell.
A dominant first hour paved the way for Bedwas’ second win in a week over their close neighbours but a late Newport rally gave home supporters and management a nervous last 20 minutes.
On a cold, bright afternoon Newport opened the scoring in the first minute after Bedwas were penalised for not releasing the ball in front of their posts, Newport fly half Julian Mogg gratefully accepting the offer of two points. Bedwas responded and James Dixon’s penalty put the scores level thirteen minutes later.
Bedwas took the game to their visitors and Luke Crane wriggled under a couple of tackles to cross after 21 minutes, Dixon added the conversion. Seven minutes a close range Bedwas scrum saw the visiting forwards pushed back before infringing; the referee immediately awarding the home side a penalty try.
Newport lost their way and Mathew John picked up a loose ball and showing pace and determination ran through from the halfway line to cross for a try, Dixon again converting. It was all Bedwas at the stage, Newport were probably relieved to hear the half time whistle.
The home side wasted no time in adding to their tally as Dixon slotted a penalty before the visitors’ Llywarch ap Myrrdin was sinbinned for tackling a Bedwas player in the air. Five minutes after ap Myrddin’s enforced rest ended his number 8 colleague Brendan Lampitt was sin binned for an off the ball incident. Bedwas wasted no time to take advantage Mathew John again breaking from deep and touching down behind the posts, Dixon converted.
Bedwas immediately changed their entire front row before Andrew Waite crossed try number five, Dixon missing the conversion.
It all seemed to go wrong for Bedwas from hereon in. Replacement prop Joe Mills was sinbinned for a high tackle four minutes after joining the fray and with his departure Bedwas lost all of their rhythm.
Newport fought for a way back but it was not until the introduction of half back Matt O’Brien did his side suddenly ‘clicked’ as Bedwas retreated into their shells.
Three Newport tries between 66 and 72 minutes from O’Brien, Rhodri Jones and Wes Cunliffe, O’Brien converting Jones’ try completely knocked Bedwas out of their stride as they struggled to play any cohesive rugby. Fresh legs came on from the bench but Bedwas were like a punch drunk boxer on the ropes.
Newport kept their shape and O’Brien added a second try just before the final whistle which although it went unconverted bought his side a bonus point for scoring four tries.
Next Saturday (6th February) Bedwas take a break from league rugby with a Swalec Cup second round fixture at Carmarthen Quins, kick off 2-30pm.