Newport
2006/2007 Principality Premiership
Newport 18 v 18 Cardiff
28 October 2006 - Rodney Parade, Newport
Cardiff

Match Report

Newport 18 Cardiff 18 (HT 13-15)

This was match that could have gone either way. Replacement prop Ian Evans scored a try in 80th min to tie the scores at 18-18 only for James Dixon to miss the conversion and then Cardiff outside half Craig Evans missed a fairly straight forward penalty with the last kick of the game and so Newport scraped a draw but in truth this was a game that they should have won with their strong pack and dominance shown by Mark Workman and Matthew Veater in the lineout.

Newport were always behind and were chasing the game from the moment left wing Tom James – wearing no 14 - scored with a rather fortunate try after just three mins. A long Cardiff clearance kick was misjudged by full back Jason Tovey and the ball fell kindly for the Cardiff winger, who ran in unopposed from 50 yds James Dixons soon replied with a penalty after Cardiff were caught offside but Newport then missed a golden chance to go ahead when Ryan Howells burst through at pace but failed to find his man outside with the line beckoning. Craig Evans then added another penalty before Newport got the first of their three tries after fine work by Dixon and inside centre Scott Williams. The Newport scrum went back in the Cardiff 22 but Dixon smartly reversed the play and left Williams to slide over blindside. Cardiff came back with a try from acting captain Gavin Lucas after James was dragged down short to take the score to 8-15. The first half ended with an injury time try from Newport captain Dai Pattison who touched down after a fine drive by the pack marshalled by scrum- half James Ireland.

Newport had the upper hand up front and while Cardiff defended well, less errors and more steadiness by Newport would have won the game. Craig Evans took the score to 13-18 with a well taken drop goal but then Newport laid siege to the visitors' line. A number of 5m line-outs and scrums were repelled, often illegally, and Newport missed another scoring chance when they knocked on during a drive over the line. It looked as though Cardiff would achieve their first win over Newport since the semi-professional league began in 2003 but then replacement prop Evans scored when he was at the bottom of an injury-time drive from a lineout. Dixon missed the conversion and then Cardiff's Evans missed with a penalty attempt right on time. .

Referee Jonathan Mason failed to punish Cardiff pulling down Newport in the lineouts and that frustration boiled over with a mass fight on 67 mins. Poor decision-making contributed to Newport's downfall, with quick free kicks taken when they shouldn't have been and the ball being spread out when it should have been taken on up front. It looked as though Newport were going to be defeated, but then replacement prop Evans scored when he was at the bottom of an injury-time drive from a lineout. Dixon missed the conversion and then Cardiff's Evans missed with a penalty attempt right on time.

Official : Jonathan Mason (Wales)

Newport Cardiff
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