Cardiff came away without any reward from Rodney Parade despite playing a major part in a highly entertaining encounter.
Newport kept up their charge for a top three finish with a five try bonus point win but the final score line doesn’t tell all the story. The Black and Ambers were first to score following a couple of penalties that lead to a rolling maul, John Lavender going over, Matt O'Brien added the extras. The Blue & Blacks came straight back and having won a penalty themselves were given a ‘free play’. Tavis Knoyle put in a simple chip kick in that Richard Smith was able to gather and score. James Thomas added the conversion and was on target ten minutes later when the Blue & Blacks took the lead. A rolling maul of their own near the Newport twenty-two was rumbled across the line and Jordan Viggers was the man on hand to score.
The game was being played at quite a pace on a dry but sandy surface and Newport tied the scores up just before the break when another chip through reaped benefits. This time Llywarch Ap Merddin gathered to score, O’Brien landed the conversion and the sides went into the changing rooms at 16 all.
The second half’s pattern followed the first. The Blacks & Ambers regained the lead five minutes in. Wing Jonathan Morris finishing off a flowing move, O’Brien again on target for two more points. Back came Cardiff and when a lineout near the home line was put under pressure Knoyle charged down the clearance kick and pounced on the loose ball to score, Thomas levelled things up with the conversion. Then the two moments that changed the game. Having cleared the restart and gained a foothold in the Newport half the Blue & Blacks were awarded a very kickable penalty that in a tight game would have nudged them ahead. Instead of taking the points or even going for the corner the ball was tapped and run quickly. But when the move broke down after two passes the ball was kicked away, the Black and Ambers used the turnover ball to their advantage to score at the other end of the field, Geriant O’Driscoll scoring the bonus point try.
Cardiff were still not out of it by any means but another mistake when a penalty was kicked dead seemed to knock the stuffing out of the team. Arwel Robson kicked two penalties that took away a bonus point and when Elliot Frewen scored in the last minute the scoreboard had a look that didn’t reflect what was a very competitive game.