Bonymaen investigate 'racist slur'

Bonymaen 3 Newport 41
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The Independent Online

Bonymaen are to launch a full investigation into an alleged racial comment aimed at Newport's former Samoan and New Zealand international scrum-half Ofisa Tonu'u during the Principality Cup holders' seventh-round victory at the Morfa Stadium on Saturday.

A seven-try victory for Newport was pretty routine, and set up a tantalising quarter-final against Cardiff at the end of March, but there was little doubt that the remarks made to Tonu'u upset him considerably.

The former Springbok coach Ian McIntosh, currently at Newport, was seen consoling his scrum-half at half-time and was seething after the match. Tonu'u's response came via a second-half try.

The situation led to Newport initially refusing to attend an after-match function at the First Division side's clubhouse, although they did agree to go after one of Bonymaen's club members, Ray Singh, who was recently awarded a CBE for his work towards racial equality, spoke with McIntosh.

However, the Bonymaen club will launch an inquiry into what was allegedly said to Tonu'u. "If it is true we will speak with the person concerned and deal with the matter in the proper manner," the club chairman John Haig said. "It is very unfortunate because as a club we do not condone anything like this.

"Ray Singh has recently been rewarded with a CBE for his work towards racial equality and our treasurer is from Tanzania – there is no trace of a problem here whatsoever."

Forced to play into the biting wind in the first half, Newport struggled to get their game together and Bonymaen held out for the first half an hour.

Slowly, Newport found their feet and it looked as though the fit-again Shane Howarth had schemed an opening score for Ben Breeze. But the referee, Ceri Evans, called them back for crossing in the centre and it took another 10 minutes before Newport got on the scoreboard.

It came shortly after Bonymaen had lost their outside-half, Gareth Jones, via the top-try scoring wing Matt Mostyn. Once again, Howarth was involved as he brought the Irish international crashing inside. Howarth converted and then conjured up two more tries before the break from Nathan Brew and Emyr Lewis.

Newport scored four more second-half tries as they stayed on track to defend their title.

Bonymaen: Penalty J Davies. Newport: Tries Mostyn 2, Brew, Lewis, Tonu'u, P Young, Forster; Conversions Howarth 2, Strange.

Bonymaen: J Davies; P John, M John, G W Thomas, C Batsford (J Young, 66); G Jones (S Davies, 28), D Thomas (A Killa, 66); A May (E Lewis, 66), D Poland (capt; J Jones, 66), N Evans, L Robbins (J Bowden, 57), G Evans, T Bowen, L Griffiths (A Llewellyn, 38), D Hills.

Newport: E Lewis; M Mostyn, N Brew, M Watkins, B Breeze; S Howarth (J Strange, 66), O Tonu'u (D Burn, 61); R Snow (C Jones 59), J Richards (P Young, 51), A Garvey, S Raiwalui (capt), I Gough, P Buxton, J Powell (A Popham, 51), J Forster.

Referee: K Jones (Cardiff).