Rugby Union: Swansea's guile proves too much for Newport's grit

Click to follow
Newport. . .20

Swansea. . .44

SWANSEA kept their unbeaten record and Heineken Welsh League leadership firmly intact yesterday, scoring five tries in the process. Their class showed through in the later stages after a rough-and-tumble match in which neither side shirked a challenge, whether off the ball or on it.

With a stiff following wind, a half-time lead was vital. Newport achieved it, but only just at 17-15 - and this after a perfect start when Glen George was bundled over in the second minute.

Jonathan Westwood missed three penalties out of four, and his misery was compounded when Robert Jones dived over a pile of bodies to get Swansea on the scoreboard after 26 minutes. Although Richard Jones found a rare gap to restore Newport's lead after 40 minutes, the first-half scoring was not done. With Richard Webster and Garin Jenkins to the fore, the All Whites drove upfield and Tony Clement dashed in.

The off-the-ball antics, more often than not featuring Kevin Moseley and Richard Moriarty, continued after the break, but Swansea rose above the tetchiness as Aled Williams dropped two neat goals in quick succession and added two penalties.

Sensing the game was theirs, Swansea cut loose. Scott Gibbs and Webster battered a hole in the home defence for Ian Davies, and then the ball was spun sweetly wide to bring tries for Simon Davies and Gibbs.

Newport: Richard Jones; J Westwood, K Orrell, M Yendle, A Lewis; M Boyes, K Lee; M Davis, A Peacock, S Duggan, K Moseley, D Waters, G George, G Pugh, K Withey.

Swansea: A Clement; Simon Davies, S Gibbs, K Hopkins, B Taylor; A Williams, Robert Jones; C Clark, G Jenkins, K Colclough, P Arnold, R Moriarty, I Davies, Stuart Davies, R Webster (A Reynolds, 86 min).

Referee: R Yeman (Taibach).

Scores: George/Westwood (try/conv, 2 min) 7-0, Westwood (pen, 15 min) 10-0, Robert Jones/Williams (try/conv, 25 min) 10-7, Williams (pen, 33 min) 10-10, Richard Jones/Westwood (try/conv, 40 min) 17-10, Clement (try, 40 min) 17-15, Williams (drop goal, 53 min) 17-18, Williams (drop goal, 56 min) 17-21, Westwood (pen, 58 min) 20-21, Williams (pen, 60 min) 20-24, Williams (pen, 65 min) 20-27, I Davies/Williams (try/conv, 69 min) 20-34, Simon Davies (try, 75 min) 20-39, Gibbs (try, 80 min) 20-44.