Sutton Coldfield 12-73 Newport
A galvanised Newport played without trepidation against a Sutton Coldfield side who have always been an imposing opponent.
The score only demonstrates an advantage in firepower for Newport, exploiting chinks in Sutton Coldfield to maximise tries scored. The battle on the park was avidly contested in every quarter and Newport’s performance was exemplified by a communal zeal to work as a single unit. Yes, there are plenty of players that can make extraordinary things happen (and they did), but the real beauty of this performance was the cohesion and determination of the team throughout.
Gaining the impetus from the opening moments, Newport powered forward in waves to earn a penalty just 15 yards from Sutton Coldfield’s tryline. Ross Gibson
the culmination of a set power play opened Newport’s account. From the restart Newport kept Sutton Coldfield under pressure first charging down their attempted clearance and then Fergus Lamb
rounding up the next kicked clearance to resume Newport’s incessant attack; which ended with Gibson setting up Rhys Williams
for the second. Offloading in quick succession meant that Newport’s relentless attack advanced at pace without stalling rucks interfering with progress. Once battering his way through Ross Williams
charged half the pitch to get the third.
Although Newport tackled hard they found themselves giving ground via the offside rule. Sutton Coldfield capitalised on the gained territory to pull one back, asking questions of Newport’s resolve. Finding themselves pinned to their tryline, Newport’s character was seriously tested. But Newport prevailed with defiance, eventually Dayton Nash
piercing through from deep to score a full length pitch try. Newport had weathered the storm and punished Sutton Coldfield with another onslaught of progress intertwined with alert and persistent offloads. Rory Charlesworth
involved twice in the process, was the last link of the attacking chain able to put the ball down ahead of the first break.
Newport immediately closed down Sutton Coldfield from the restart, Michael Crosswell
leading the charge to maintain high levels of intensity. Sutton Coldfield looked to settle play with a scrum on the halfway, but Newport turned it over and Nash galloped through to get his second.
Newport then forfeited possession offside and failed to reorganise giving Sutton Coldfield an opportunity which they grasped decisively. However, Newport weren’t for turning, Crosswell magnificently chased down the restart, tackled, collected possession and drove on to draw a penalty which Connor Edwards
drove to conclusion. Newport then pushed forward through the middle causing Sutton Coldfield to converge in an attempt to contain Newport’s rampant attack, only to give Nash space for a looping run outside and eventually under the posts.
Obstinate Sutton Coldfield again challenged Newport and for a period hemmed them in. Newport appeared to dither momentarily and just as Sutton Coldfield chance beckoned the opportunity evaporated as Lamb charged through their line, closely supported by Callum Bolton
who then added another 30 yards, offloading to Alfie Green in close support. Nash finished the move, but support running had been phenomenal.
Newport began the third period with understandable confidence, but still with work to do. Sutton Coldfield pushed forward yet again, but Newport’s resistance was accomplished and complete. From their secure and assured scrum only 5 yards from their own tryline, Newport broke free again from deep, Nash’s acceleration undeniable, his poise to sidestep Sutton Coldfield’s Full Back superb.
drove through from short range to complete Newport’s tryfest, but this was not a one-sided contest. Newport’s ability to chart plenty of tries can only be built on firm foundation. Sutton Coldfield are strong opposition. Newport’s work rate and attitude as a single entity were key to the victory. Simply mentioning the try scorers would be a disservice to the rest of the team. Too many deserving of tributes are neglected here, but for example James Lohan
tirelessly manipulated forward play, Harry Talbot
, Ben Guy
and Ethan Dyke tackled with controlled aggression, Charlie Davenport
attacked with verve and supported the ball carrier. Matty Griffiths and Min Rae made good yardage and Alex Bull
consistently affected play around the ruck. Wonderful stuff.