Cardiff presented their oldest enemy a late Christmas present as they gave them their worst performance of the season so far and a bonus point win.
Newport were first on the scoreboard, Cardiff were rules offside and Matt O’Brien landed the resulting penalty. The Blue & Blacks were quickly back in it as they made the most of playing into a strong wind. Have to run the ball they mad great headway through both backs and forwards, and when Ben Thomas found Will Rees-Hole the centre was able to burst through for a try that Gareth Thompson converted.
The home side then went on a sustained period of attack. Several penalties gave them field position and when a scrum was won five metres short they looked to crash over only for Luke Crocker to get underneath the ball and stop the try. A few minutes later though Jonathan Mason crossed for try that put Newport back in front. And they extended that lead as a cross-field kick set up a try for Ryan James. O’Brien converted one of the tries. Just before half time the Blue & Blacks got back into the game as a series of pick and drives finished with Sion Bennett powering over near the posts. Thompson converted as the home side went in 22-14 ahead.
Playing with the wind in the second half Cardiff would have been looking to play a territorial game, but it didn’t work out that way. Newport extended their advantage as Elliot Frewen – on as a blood replacement – crossed in the corner. Thompson brought Cardiff closer, but they just couldn’t get in the right areas of the field. The pressure exerted by the Black & Ambers was forcing Cardiff into mistake after mistake and it was no surprise when Newport secured the bonus point and the game when former Blue & Black Tom Pascoe pounced on a loose ball over the try line.
Cardiff will have to re-group ahead of next week’s visit to the Gnoll for the first round of the cup.