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?
Latest in Sport
Sport
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

Recruitment Genius: Area Sales Manager - Midlands

£20000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: PHP Developer - 3-4 Month Fixed Contract - £30-£35k pro rata

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a 3-4 month pro rata fi...

Recruitment Genius: Telesales Executive - OTE £26,000+

£16000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Telesales Executive is requir...

Recruitment Genius: Area Sales Manager

£25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join ...

Day In a Page

Seifeddine Rezgui: What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?

Making of a killer

What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?
UK Heatwave: Temperatures on the tube are going to exceed the legal limit for transporting cattle

Just when you thought your commute couldn't get any worse...

Heatwave will see temperatures on the Tube exceed legal limit for transporting cattle
Exclusive - The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Swapping Bucharest for London

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Meet the man who swapped Romania for the UK in a bid to provide for his family, only to discover that the home he left behind wasn't quite what it seemed
Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Solar power will help bring down electricity prices over the next five years, according to a new report. But it’s cheap imports of ‘dirty power’ that will lower them the most
Katy Perry prevented from buying California convent for $14.5m after nuns sell to local businesswoman instead

No grace of God for Katy Perry as sisters act to stop her buying convent

Archdiocese sues nuns who turned down star’s $14.5m because they don’t approve of her
Ajmer: The ancient Indian metropolis chosen to be a 'smart city' where residents would just be happy to have power and running water

Residents just want water and power in a city chosen to be a ‘smart’ metropolis

The Indian Government has launched an ambitious plan to transform 100 of its crumbling cities
Michael Fassbender in 'Macbeth': The Scottish play on film, from Welles to Cheggers

Something wicked?

Films of Macbeth don’t always end well - just ask Orson Welles... and Keith Chegwin
10 best sun creams for body

10 best sun creams for body

Make sure you’re protected from head to toe in the heatwave
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon files

Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games
Women's World Cup 2015: How England's semi-final success could do wonders for both sexes

There is more than a shiny trophy to be won by England’s World Cup women

The success of the decidedly non-famous females wearing the Three Lions could do wonders for a ‘man’s game’ riddled with cynicism and greed
How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth: Would people co-operate to face down a global peril?

How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth

Would people cooperate to face a global peril?
Just one day to find €1.6bn: Greece edges nearer euro exit

One day to find €1.6bn

Greece is edging inexorably towards an exit from the euro
New 'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could help surgeons and firefighters, say scientists

'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could become reality

Holographic projections would provide extra information on objects in a person's visual field in real time
Sugary drinks 'are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year'

Sugary drinks are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year

The drinks that should be eliminated from people's diets
Pride of Place: Historians map out untold LGBT histories of locations throughout UK

Historians map out untold LGBT histories

Public are being asked to help improve the map