A first win a Rodney Parade will have to wait until next season. In a season of firsts, Cardiff finished second on a clear night in Newport.
It started brightly enough, 2 penalties in the first 6 minutes, all the possession but no points to shown for it. So it was Newport who scored first. A rare visit into the Cardiff half saw a penalty awarded for not rolling away – 3-0 Newport.
Cardiff continued to keep possession but mistakes meant not flow to the game. A loose kick landed in Leigh Halfpenny’s hands, his twisting run into the 22 ended in a try, for the Black and Ambers. The ball spilt forward and a kick and chase saw the ball bounce into Nathan Williams’ arms and he scored under the posts totally against the run of play but it was 10-0. The only thing that was going right was the line out, especially on the opposition throw.
The chances kept coming, following another pinched line out in Newport’s 22 Cardiff should have scored, but white-line fever led to a 5 to 1 overlap being wasted. Newport then had second row Mark Workman binned. Cardiff still couldn’t make the most of their chances, all the ball and all the territory, but nothing to show for it. The half ended with Newport nearly scoring again following a hack through, Chapman scurrying back to save the day.
The second half started the same way as the first with Cardiff getting 2 penalties, both this time converted by Leigh Halfpenny. From there it all went wrong. Halfpenny twisted to chase a chip through but slipped, injuring himself in the process, Newport pounced on the loose ball to score under the posts and it was 17-6. Newport now had their tails up and it was only a matter of time before they scored again, Nathan Williams getting his second. The try was converted leaving Cardiff 24- 6 down
The Blue and Blacks didn’t give up and got the reward for constant pressure. Several phases of play saw backs and forwards combine. Ryan Howells crossing after a deft pass from Ryan Price.
It was to be the last score of the game. The Blue and Blacks will have to wait, roll on next season.