Newcastle 53-17 Newport
In the same way that Newport’s score over Sutton Coldfield two weeks ago masked a close fought game, here too the result does not reflect how hard Newport competed in this final encounter of a somewhat disjointed season.
Where Newport had previously been first at the breakdown and unrelenting in support play, on this occasion it was Newcastle’s intensity that edged Newport out. Newcastle successfully kept advantage at the ruck despite Newport’s best endeavours. This gave them opportunity to use their powerful centres to score a disproportionate number of tries.
Encouragingly, this was yet again another team effort from Newport. Of course Connor Edwards
was able to use his power to drive home three tries, industrious James Lohan
and Michael Crosswell
battled tirelessly amongst the melees and Harry Talbot
and Dayton Nash
made good ground with the ball as usual. But Callum Bolton
and Ross Williams
holding up Newcastle in the first moments exemplified Newport’s determination which remained constant throughout the team for the entire game.
Indeed it was Crosswell
rucking over to reset play that gave electric Talbot
the space to burst forward creating Edwards’
on the cover prevented an otherwise certain try to contain Newcastle to 2-1 for the first period.
Newcastle found their way through on four occasions in the middle period which did all the damage to the scoreline. However, Newport’s play included another attempted Newcastle try held up, incredible tackles and crafty turnovers at the ruck and scrum. Unfortunately Newport were unable to make it stick long enough to affect the score until the final period in which the try count was 3-2.
worked the opening for Edwards'
second, and Ross Williams
with several Newcastle players hanging from him continued to make ground enabling Edwards’
third. Ground made by Min Rae Hsieh
and a stonking Ben Guy
tackle again demonstrating the workload being shared across the team.
A disappointing scoreline, but not a disappointing match. Effort abounded from the first minute to the last. Newcastle’s support play and intensity justifiably made them victors for the day, but if Newport remain as committed as they did in this performance they will thrive and grow together.