Rugby Union: Jarvis' flair reigns on the Parade

Newport 28 Pontypridd 33

THE WELSH rugby team have led the way in restoring pride and passion to the national game, but to maintain success and foster interest there must be a vibrant and competitive domestic club structure. On the evidence of this match, the portents are good.

Graham Henry continually preaches the sermon of ball retention and continuity. The Pontypridd team are worthy disciples of the national coach, as their domination of possession, together with the skills of their silky fly- half Lee Jarvis, ensured a notable and rousing victory at Newport. Pontypridd may lack the big-name players and, consequently, a cutting edge on occasion, but they base their game on their hunger for the ball and skill in keeping it away from the opposition.

Rodney Parade reverberated to two mighty ear-shattering roars, and that was before kick-off. The first followed the announcement that the game would be delayed for 15 minutes because of the size of the crowd. The second was the rapturous welcome from the success-starved followers of Newport for their new-look team, bolstered this week with the arrival of Gary Teichmann, the former Springbok skipper, Franco Smith, Andy Marinos and Robbie Kempson from South Africa.

Their presence was quickly in evidence and Smith's first touch was a speculative kick that found the full-back Brett Davey wanting and Gareth Cull slotted the ensuing penalty. Following a Jarvis penalty for the visitors, Newport counter-attacked through Matthew Watkins and Andy Gibbs, who created the opening for Marinos to race 30 metres for the opening try. Teichmann, not to be outdone, featured three times in a fine 60-yard Newport attack out of defence that almost increased the home side's lead. After 20 minutes he went one better when the predatory No 8 pounced following good work by the Newport pack for a try, which Cull converted.

Pontypridd, upstaged early on amidst all the euphoria, have lost several key players during the summer - not least the Wales fly-half Neil Jenkins - but one thing they have not lost is their tremendous club spirit and fighting qualities. They countered immediately to score two fine tries through the centre Jason Lewis and Jarvis, both benefiting from some generosity in the Newport midfield defence. The metronomic Jarvis converted both tries. Cull kicked two penalties before the interval to restore Newport's lead.

The second half belonged to Pontypridd and the fly-half Jarvis in particular, as the visitors monopolised possession and forced Newport into retreat and subsequent submission. Jarvis ruled the roost, teasing his team-mates into gaps while his points-gathering ability never ceases to amaze. He dominated the second half with a virtuoso performance, adding a second converted try and a couple of drop goals for a decisive match contribution of 28 points.

Make no mistake, the South African influence will be significant at Newport, and the newly recruited players will have been greatly impressed with the contribution of the local favourites Watkins and Gareth Taylor, and also by the organisation of their opponents.

They will by now realise that their time in Wales will not be a holiday, but that the game at club level will pose some severe questions. Rugby is back, high on the agenda in Wales. The presence of players such as Jarvis, Teichmann and Watkins will ensure that it is a product worth watching.

Newport: G Cull; N McKim, M J Watkins, A Marinos, M Llewellyn (J Pritchard, h-t); F Smith, D Burn; C Jones, D Cummins, L Fortey (R Kempson, h-t), G Taylor, P Jones, A Gibbs (A Popham, 70), G Teichmann, J Forster (capt).

Pontypridd: B Davey; G Wyatt, S Parker, J Lewis (J Bryant, h-t), R Greenslade- Jones; L Jarvis, P John (capt); M Griffiths (C Loader, h-t), A Lamerton, S Cronk, W James, I Gough, M Lloyd, D McIntosh, R Field (R Parkes, 65).

Referee: N Whitehouse.

Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Kim Wilde began gardening in the 1990s when she moved to the countryside
peopleThe singer is leading an appeal for the charity Thrive, which uses the therapy of horticulture
Alexis Sanchez celebrates scoring a second for Arsenal against Reading
Life and Style
An easy-peel potato; Dave Hax has come up with an ingenious method in food preparation
voicesDave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Japan's population is projected to fall dramatically in the next 50 years (Wikimedia)
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

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

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Project Implementation Executive

£18000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...

Recruitment Genius: Chiropractic Assistant

£16500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Chiropractic Assistant is needed in a ...

Recruitment Genius: Digital Account Executive - Midlands

£18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...

Recruitment Genius: Web Developer

£28000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides coaching ...

Day In a Page

NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own