2005/2006 Principality Premiership
Newport 30 v 14 Cardiff
25 March 2006 - Rodney Parade, Newport

Match Report

Newport 30 Cardiff 14

After a competitive first half in monsoon conditions at Rodney Parade, the Blue & Blacks were sunk without trace after the interval.

No excuses were being made afterwards as the team played with an incredible naivety, completely failing to adapt their tactics in the torrential rain and on a treacherous surface.

A grateful Black & Ambers' side could scarcely believe their luck as opposition handling errors presented turnover ball on a plate and the longer the game went on the more conclusive was their superiority.

It was weather for ducks but Cardiff were the headless chickens, leaving their supporters rubbing their eyes in disbelief as they threw the ball around as if it was high summer on a bone hard ground.

Newport fly-half Daniel Griffiths contributed 20 points from six penalty goals and a conversion but, more importantly, served up an object lesson in how to keep the ball in front of his pack while making full use of the following wind in the second half.

Cardiff did make some use of the wind in the first period. After missing with one long range effort, Nick Macleod  succeeded with his next three penalty goals, against one from Griffiths for a useful 9-3 lead after 23 minutes.

The Black & Ambers hit back immediately when former Cardiff Youth prop Dai Pattison rumbled over from a lineout catch and drive for the opening try. When James Malpas was then sin-binned, Griffiths slotted another penalty to give his side an 11-9 lead.

The Blue & Blacks desperately needed a try of their own before the break and it finally arrived when a speculative kick ahead along the right touchline was held up in the mud and Macleod took full advantage for the touchdown and a 14-11 interval lead.

Playing against the elements after the interval was always going to be a difficult proposition, not helped by Newport's increasing authority in the set-pieces. Lineout ball that had been on tap throughout the season suddenly dried up. Cardiff's main source of possession, Chris Stamatakis, was clinically targetted by the opposition and his team-mates seemed to have no answer to being second-best.

With the scrums also in difficulty it only remained for Griffiths to turn the screw and he did so with unerring accuracy. Cardiff's best chance of the half came early on when Ryan Powell, playing on permit, broke away from a scrum in his own half and linked with Elgan Jones and Jonathan Hill but the cover defence stopped the attack near the Newport line.

After that it was all one-way traffic as Griffiths kicked four more penalty goals and skipper Rhys Shorney scored a fine try after Griffiths (again) had doubled back to the blind-side of the scrum and linked with full-back Leigh Hinton. That, at least, was a move fit for a fine day - but by then Cardiff had lost the plot as well as the match.

Attendance: 1579

Official : Gary Davies (Wales)

Newport Cardiff