Tonu'u hat-trick returns Newport to the top

Newport 55 Glasgow 5
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The Independent Online

Ian McIntosh is all set to give up full-time coaching at the end of the season, but the signs are that the former Springbok coach wants to go out with a bang with Newport.

With the Welsh/Scottish League title firmly in his side's sights, and the Principality Cup to defend, there is still plenty of silverware on offer. And if his side can maintain the form they showed for a magical hour at Rodney Parade then it is hard to see anyone denying them.

Glasgow arrived with a burgeoning reputation in these parts and still with a shout of the league crown. By the time the game had finished they must have wondered what had hit them.

The Glasgow coaching staff locked the dressing-room door at the end of the game and gave their players a firm dressing down after their biggest defeat of the season, yet in truth there was little or nothing they could have done to stop Newport climbing back to the top of the table.

Picking up the form they showed in beating Newcastle, Toulouse and Llanelli at Rodney Parade this season, Simon Raiwalui's forwards pulverised the Glasgow eight to create a platform from which the home back row and scrum half plundered six tries.

If the man of the match was three-try hero Ofisa Tonu'u at scrum half, he had his back row of Peter Buxton, Jason Forster and Andy Powell to thank for an easy ride. They were simply irresistible as they picked up, drove and made hole after hole in the visitors defence.

No doubt the midweek tuition they all received from Zinzan Brooke helped, but all season the Newport pack has been among the strongest units in Europe. Glasgow could certainly find no way to contain them and the next challenge will be for Cardiff to meet them head on when they clash in the quarter-finals of the cup at the Arms Park.

Not even the wind could blow Newport off course on a night when they showed their true potential. Choosing to play into the teeth of a howling wind they rattled up 29 points without reply in the first half as they ran in five tries. Three more followed in the opening 17 minutes of the second half to make it 50 points to nil in just under an hour. The 6,820 crowd were deliriously happy, the rest of the title challengers suitably warned. It is going to take a huge effort to stop Newport now.

Newport: Tries: O Tonu'u 3, A Powell, R Snow, P Buxton, J Forster, A Garvey, M Watkins; Conversions: S Howarth 5. Glasgow: Try: J Stuart.

Newport: M Pini (J Strange 60); M Mostyn, A Marinos, M Watkins, B Breeze (N Brew 65); S Howarth, O Tonu'u (D Burn 59); R Snow, J Richards (P Young 72), C Anthony (A Garvey 41), S Raiwalui (captain), I Gough, P Buxton (J Powell 72), J Forster, A Powell (A Popham 53)

Glasgow: G Metcalfe; J McLaren, A Bulloch, A Henderson (J Stuart 60), R Kerr; T Hayes (G Kiddie 41), G Beveridge; D Hilton, D Hall (G Scott 72), G McIlwham (L Harrison 48), S Griffiths (N Ross 40), A Hall (G Perrett 72), J White (captain), D Mcfadyen, J Petrie.

Referee: P Adams (Ebbw Vale).

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