Newport RFC : 1984/5 Season Summary

Season 1984/5
P46 W28 D2 L16 : F1054-A633
(not incl Spain Tour)

Capt : Mike J Watkins

Tony Faulkner and Roy Duggan continued as coaches and Mike Watkins as captain for season 1984/5. There were some notable newcomers at Rodney Parade during the season including full-back Jon Callard, brother of Nigel and a future English international, Bettws wing / centre Jason White, wing Shaun McWilliam, Wales B outside half Mike Lewis (Aberavon), Ireland B scrum-half Ricky Stewart, future Newport captain and Wales international Glenn George, scrum-half Darren Gibbon, Wales B centre Paul Daniel (Bridgend), former Wales scrum-half Gerald Williams ( Bridgend), prop Alun “Benny” Williams, NZ born centre / full-back Ross Knight and full-back Arwel Parry (Pontypool).
The pack continued where they left off the previous season and Newport won 16 and drew 2 of their 26 matches to end December with notable wins over Barbarians (46-20), Coventry, Bristol, Neath, Gloucester, Ebbw Vale and Glamorgan Wanderers. On October 13th Penarth were beaten by a record score of 96-0 with referee blowing up slightly early. Shaun McWilliam ran in 5 of the record 18 tries scored – 3 in the first 10 mins. Outside-half Mike Lewis kicked 12 conversions to complete fastest ever Newport 100 pts.

 Mike Lewis played all 25 games to the end of December and scored 264pts and looked set to break Laurie Daniel’s long standing club record of 305pts set in 1971/2 while wing Marc Batten had scored 22 tries in 22 games. However following the Torquay game on the last Saturday of the year Mike Lewis shocked Newport when he decided to work and play in Italy following the long NCB strike which had proved a hardship for him and his family. The next 3 months saw injury hit players Batten, Coombes, Morgan, Widdecombe, Rendall and Powell and Newport won 6 and lost 6 of their 12 matches including a 3rd round loss to S W Police at Rodney Parade in the Welsh Cup. Newport did recover to win their last 6 matches in April with impressive wins over Bath and London Welsh the English Cup Champions and runners-up. Mike Watkins resigned from the Welsh team captaincy but decided to continue at club level for Newport. He played for the Barbarians and completed 40 appearances for Newport 1st XV. He was followed by vice- capt Chris Williams (38), Richie Collins (38), John Rawlins (35) and David Waters (35). Top points scorer was Mike Lewis with 264pts from 26 games while Marc Batten scored 24 tries in 32 games. Young fullback Arwel Parry scored 89pts in the last 11 games including a 51yd penalty to finally beat Pontypool at Rodney Parade after 15 consecutive defeats against their neighbours.

David Waters passed 350 career appearances. Keith James passed 250 and Roger Powell 200 while Rhys Morgan neared an incredible 400. In all 51 players were used during the season. Andrew Perry won the Boucher Cup and Keith James the Webber Bowl.
Mike Watkins captained Wales vs Australia before retiring from international rugby. He made his Barbarian debut also and played for them vs Australia. David Waters was picked for Wales vs England and also France but both the games were postponed due to the “big freeze”. He failed to win his cap during the season but played for played for Wales B and the Barbarians.

Newport played 2 matches in May in Spain and won both easily. Jeff Watkins was Team manager.

 

Mike Lewis : Fastest ever 100pts

TEAM P W D L PF PA PTS
Merthyr 23 18 0 5 651 393 91
Cardiff 23 18 1 4 696 469 89
Pontypridd 21 16 0 5 730 374 79
Llandovery 24 16 1 7 652 408 79
Newport 25 15 2 8 629 551 77
Ebbw Vale 24 16 1 7 541 423 76
Aberavon 22 14 2 6 485 415 69
Swansea 24 13 0 11 537 451 65
Rygbi Gogledd Cymru 1404 22 11 1 10 552 456 64
Carmarthen Quins 25 11 1 13 526 469 61
Bedwas 24 8 1 15 515 667 43
Bridgend Ravens 22 8 0 14 427 517 43
Llanelli 25 7 1 17 503 632 40
Cross Keys 23 5 1 17 464 734 34
Bargoed 23 4 0 19 400 756 22
Neath 24 1 0 23 350 943 3