Cardiff crowned in defeat

Cardiff 20

Newport 24

CARDIFF, by losing to Swansea in the Cup semi-final a week ago and yesterday going down to Newport, their greatest rivals, in this ultimate league match, may have ended on a low note, but they can look back with some pride on a season where they have not only set the pace to win the first division of the Heineken League for the first time, but have also won it handsomely by scoring 81 tries.

The club members would surely have preferred that Cardiff had fielded their top team, in order to win the title and to climax the season in some style. But Alex Evans, their Australian guru who has taken them from rags to riches in three years, is nothing if not a pragmatist, and he rested 10 of the 11 Cardiff players in the Welsh World Cup squad which he also coaches.

Consequently Cardiff struggled as Newport, obviously mad keen to win this great local derby, spoilt the party with Kevin Moseley helping to wipe out Cardiff at the line-outs and their forwards bustling the over- anxious young Cardiff pups into making error after error.

Newport began purposefully as sustained pressure brought them two penalty goals in the first 10 minutes. But midway through the half Steve Ford, the only World Cup player selected (though Mike Hall came on as a late substitute), restored Cardiff's credibility with his 39th try of the season, only one short of Ieuan Evan's Heineken League record and two short of Bleddyn Williams's 47-year-old Cardiff record for a season.

Newport, however, struck back instantly when a good bounce from a kick ahead brought a try by winger Richard Rees, converted by Martin Jones, who also kicked a penalty to give Newport a half-time lead of 16-7.

After the interval, Cardiff pulled themselves together with the old hands, particularly Owen Williams and Mike Budd, leading the way.

Two penalty goals by Chris John for ruck infringements steadied their nerves, but another penalty for Jones put Cardiff again on to the back foot.

Cardiff began desperate long-range running attacks and in a tempestuous finish, Mike Budd scored what seemed the winning try, but Newport's Richard Rees crossed the try-line with a minute to go and Cardiff were undone.

Cardiff: C John; S Ford, C Laity, G John, J Westwood; S Davies, A Booth; A Lewis, H Bevan (capt), P Sedgemore, J Wakeford, H Stone, V Davies, O Williams, M Budd.

Newport: Martin Jones; I Jeffreys, D Hughes; M Llewellyn, R Rees; D Rees, M Roderick; S Duggan, A Peacock, S Cronk, N Jones, K Moseley, B Atkins, A Carter, R Goodey (capt).

Referee: A Ware (WRU) Pontypridd

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Carrie Hope Fletcher
booksFirst video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books
Sport
Lewis Hamtilon and pole-sitter Nico Rosberg
SportShould F1's most aggressive driver curb his instincts in title decider?
Arts and Entertainment
Damien Hirst
artCoalition's anti-culture policy and cuts in local authority spending to blame, says academic
Sport
premier leagueMatch report: Arsenal 1 Man United 2
Arts and Entertainment
Kirk Cameron is begging his Facebook fans to give him positive reviews
film
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Jason goes on a special mission for the queen
tvReview: Everyone loves a CGI Cyclops and the BBC's Saturday night charmer is getting epic
Sport
Jonny May scores for England
rugby unionEngland 28 Samoa 9: Wing scores twice to help England record their first win in six
Life and Style
fashionThe Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?
Sport
Tony Bellew (left) and Nathan Cleverly clash at the Echo Arena in Liverpool
boxingLate surge sees Liverpudlian move into world title contention
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Reach Volunteering: Financial Trustee and Company Secretary

Voluntary Only - Expenses Reimbursed: Reach Volunteering: A trustee (company d...

Recruitment Genius: Senior Project Manager

£45000 - £65000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Shopfitter

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join a successful an...

Recruitment Genius: Digital Sales Account Manager

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Digital Sales Account Manager...

Day In a Page

Mau Mau uprising: Kenyans still waiting for justice join class action over Britain's role in the emergency

Kenyans still waiting for justice over Mau Mau uprising

Thousands join class action over Britain's role in the emergency
Isis in Iraq: The trauma of the last six months has overwhelmed the remaining Christians in the country

The last Christians in Iraq

After 2,000 years, a community will try anything – including pretending to convert to Islam – to avoid losing everything, says Patrick Cockburn
Black Friday: Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Britain braced for Black Friday
Bill Cosby's persona goes from America's dad to date-rape drugs

From America's dad to date-rape drugs

Stories of Bill Cosby's alleged sexual assaults may have circulated widely in Hollywood, but they came as a shock to fans, says Rupert Cornwell
Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

As fans flock to see England women's Wembley debut against Germany, the TV presenter on an exciting 'sea change'
Oh come, all ye multi-faithful: The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?

Oh come, all ye multi-faithful

The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?
Dr Charles Heatley: The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

Dr Charles Heatley on joining the NHS volunteers' team bound for Sierra Leone
Flogging vlogging: First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books

Flogging vlogging

First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books
Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show: US channels wage comedy star wars

Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show

US channels wage comedy star wars
When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine? When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible

When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine?

When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible
Look what's mushrooming now! Meat-free recipes and food scandals help one growing sector

Look what's mushrooming now!

Meat-free recipes and food scandals help one growing sector
Neil Findlay is more a pink shrimp than a red firebrand

More a pink shrimp than a red firebrand

The vilification of the potential Scottish Labour leader Neil Findlay shows how one-note politics is today, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Tenderstem broccoli omelette; Fried eggs with Mexican-style tomato and chilli sauce; Pan-fried cavolo nero with soft-boiled egg

Oeuf quake

Bill Granger's cracking egg recipes
Terry Venables: Wayne Rooney is roaring again and the world knows that England are back

Terry Venables column

Wayne Rooney is roaring again and the world knows that England are back
Michael Calvin: Abject leadership is allowing football’s age-old sores to fester

Abject leadership is allowing football’s age-old sores to fester

Those at the top are allowing the same issues to go unchallenged, says Michael Calvin