Cardiff completed a first Premiership double over old enemy Newport at Rodney Parade on Saturday.
Having only ever drawn in the league and won in the cup once in the last thirteen years the Blue & Blacks started the proceedings brightly and had most of the territorial advantage. Ceiron Thomas’ first effort off the kicking tee ended slightly short but the opening score was not long in coming. A slick backs move worked the ball across the line and when Mike Stephens and Jack Phillips exchanged slick passes a gap opened up that Will Thomas was able to exploit, the full back scoring in the tenth minute, Thomas added the conversion.
From there though the first half went downhill. Neither side were able to control the ball. Whether that was due to the blustery conditions, or the drizzle in the air or the constant whistle of the referee the game just lacked any flow. It was the visitors who were on the wrong end of any decisions too, a yellow card being brandished to the Blue & Blacks led to Newport getting on the board with a penalty from Geriant O’Driscoll. The only bright spot being the dominance of the Cardiff pack, although that didn’t always get the results from the officials that it deserved.
The second half could only get better and it did for the Blue & Blacks. A series of penalties work them down field and from a driving line out Ethan Lewis went over to emphasize the Fact that the pack was in control. Thomas was again on target with the conversion, but another yellow card gave O’Driscoll a chance to narrow the gap. He did that successfully but Newport were not able to gain any further advantage of the Blue & Blacks being a man short.
Back up to fifteen Cardiff extended their lead. And again it was the pack who claimed the score. A loose piece of play from the home side gifted Cardiff filed position on the five metre line. From the scrum a series of pick and drives were stopped just short. But the Blue & Blacks had kept possession and Newport were always going to run out of tacklers, that was the case when Luke Hamilton had a charge from close range, no one was able to stop the powerful Number 8 from short range. Thomas again added the extras.
All that was left was for the final try to secure a bonus point. There was one final try but it went to Newport, Rory Budina going over late in the game to give the home fans something to cheer. Cardiff should have gained a bonus point but won’t be too disappointed after ending the run of not winning at Rodney Parade and ending a run of three defeats.