The wait continues. Another season goes by without a win at Rodney Parade in the Premiership.
As it was a bonus point was all the Blue & Blacks came home with, but in the opening exchanges even that didn’t look likely. As early as the second minute Newport had a penalty opportunity. That drifted wide. The second penalty five minutes later gave the home side the lead.
Cardiff’s first attack saw Gareth Davies level the scores with a ‘shot to nothing’ drop goal having been awarded a penalty. Then it didn’t go quite as planned. Dan Godfrey was yellow carded. Two minutes later referee Phil Fear had his card out again, this time to send Garry Horrigan for a ten minute rest.
The Black & Ambers saw the chance to score points against the thirteen man visitors, and thirteen points followed. First Mike Poole crossed for a try wide out. The conversion was added and two further penalties by Chris Burnell saw the half time whistle blow with Cardiff 16 – 3 down.
Tea cups, saucers and what ever else could be found must have been thrown in the dressing room because the second half was much better. Tom Slater put Jimmy Norris clear only to be called back for a ‘crowd’ forward pass. Gareth Davies kicked his first penalty of the game in the seventh minute and the comeback was beginning.
Ten minutes later a sweeping length of the field move got the visitors closer. Moving the ball across the field through several phases of play created the overlap. Dan Godfrey showing great skill in releasing the pass just before the tackle for Ryan Howells to score in the corner. Gareth Davies landed another penalty and suddenly the Blue & Black fans in the sparse crowd were thinking of a first win.
But it wasn’t to be as a former Arms Park favourite Michael Leaman went over in the 75th minute for a try in virtually the home side’s only meaningful attack of the second half. Burnell added the extras to put Newport out of site.
Cardiff deserved something for their second half efforts, and with the last kick of the game Davies gave them a deserved bonus point, but not the win they really wanted, roll on next season?