Bridgend Ravens fell to a 28 points to 17 defeat at Rodney Parade in what was a tight contest between two enterprising sides.
Bridgend will have been disappointed not to have been ahead at the break, given their excellent attacking display. Indiscipline and a poor set piece platform allowed Newport to hang on and take a lead into the break thanks to 18 Matt O’Brien points.
A lightning counter attack from the visitors bagged the first try of the game. James Little, heavily involved, found Dafi Davies on his shoulder, and the Number 8 rounded under the posts for the try. Jamie Murphy converted against his former club.
A mad five minutes at the 20 minute mark, saw three tries in quick succession. Matt O’Brien stepped his way over under the posts as Bridgend errors handed Newport great field position. The Outside Half converted his own try to level the game.
Bridgend struck back immediately as the Ravens’ handling skills saw Tom Morgan break into the opposition 22. Quick ball from the visitors saw an overlap exploited and Mike Powell was able to dive over out wide.
Newport managed a second try with 26 minutes played, Matt O’Brien again the man to touch down. The outside half added two further penalties to account for all 18 of Newport’s first half points.
HT Newport RFC 18-12 Bridgend Ravens
A much tighter second half suited Newport, where the hosts were able to exploit their power advantage in the pack. O’Brien added a penalty before Bridgend bagged their third try of the match at the hour mark.
Chris Williams made an instant impact from the bench, breaking from a lineout up to the hosts’ 22. Spreading the ball wide, Mike Powell made plenty of ground before kicking inside where Tom Morgan won the race to touch down.
It didn’t take Newport long to strike back. Forward power saw them win penalties at scrum time, and the hosts kicked to the corner. Good maul defence from Bridgend halted the Black and Ambers drive but Tom Pascoe sliced through as the ball moved through the Newport hands. O’Brien added a further two from the tee to bring his tally to 23 for the match.
Despite their best efforts, Bridgend were unable to add to their points tally late in the half, losing Chris Williams to the bin. A disappointing second half from the Ravens saw them leave Rodney Parade empty handed. The Ravens face a second game on the road next weekend when they face Carmarthen Quins at The Park, kicking off at the earlier time of 1:30pm.
Bridgend Ravens Supporters Man Of The Match, Sponsored by the Fountain Inn Aberkenfig - Tom Morgan