Rugby Union: Newport all at sea

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The Independent Online
Swansea 78

Newport 6

NEWPORT, who have not won at Swansea for 19 years or a Heineken League game against yesterday's opponents, ran into an all-white blizzard at St Helens to suffer one of the heaviest defeats in their history. In the process, Swansea scored 11 tries, which was not expected as Newport had lost only one league game this season, against Pontypridd.

However, further analysis shows that their early wins were against lesser teams, and when they have come up against a big fish in the last three weeks, Pontypridd, Neath and now Swansea, they have failed to win each time.

The final result was all the more surprising as the first half had been keenly contested, full of good football and hard running, but with rock- solid defence from both teams. Only one try was scored and at the interval it was only 14-6 to Swansea. However, the home team had indicated by a fine passage of play in the opening minutes that they were in one of their irrepressible moods.

The floodgates finally opened in the second half when Swansea scored five tries in the first 20 minutes, followed by a further five in the last quarter. Newport seemed to give up the ghost early in the second half and their defence crumbled and then totally surrendered to Swansea's far superior pace and legerdemain.

To add insult to injury, Swansea lost two of their most potent players - Tony Clement, after only 10 minutes, and Stuart Davies.

The darling of the Swansea crowd was their new recruit from London Welsh, Colin Charvis, who scored four tries. Alan Harris also got a hat-trick, and Aled Williams and Simon Davies got two tries each. Aled Williams kicked seven conversions and two penalties for a personal haul of 33 points. For Newport Gareth Rees kicked two penalty goals.

It remains a worry that there is such disparity in the quality of the teams in the First Division of the Heineken League.

Swansea: A Clement (capt); A Harris, M Taylor, D Weatherly, S Davies; A Williams, R Jones; C Loader, G Jenkins, C Anthony, A Moore, S Moore, A Reynolds, S Davies, C Charvis.

Newport: M Yendle; C Arnold, D Hughes, S Webley, A Arentsen; G Rees, J Hewlett; S Duggan, A Peacock, S Cronk, N Jones, M Boyle, A Wainwright, M Workman, D Gray.

Referee: A Rowlands (WRU).