Newport v Neath (Principality Premiership)
Neath Show Fighting Spirit To See Off Newport
Neath produced a spirited performance to beat Newport at Rodney Parade after falling down to fourteen men, following a red card dismissal to loose head prop Aaron Coundley in the 27th minute.
Coundley had been in excellent form up to that point, bagging a try following phase after phase of hard, direct carries in which the prop was involved four times and Dai Langdon converted to take an early lead 0-7.
Up to the red card, Neath were relatively comfortable and in command of the game. Their regular charges into the Newport twenty two, brought about a drop kick and penalty from Langdon, when they probably should have scored with hooker, Sion Crocker, getting held up over the line.
Newport produced a long range try from the powerful winger Jonathan Morris, as he managed to burst out of the tackle from Alec Jenkins and a penalty from Geraint O’Driscoll, which brought the game to 8-13.
The red card brought about a clear change in fortunes as Newport attacked with real vigour and Neath seemed to keep gifting them opportunities in dangerous positions. Luckily for Neath, the home side didn’t really take full advantage with only a smart try from a quick throw- in saw lock Adam Frampton feed wing Elliot Frewen who passed to Owen Davies, the scrum half finishing off the move, O’Driscoll’s conversion giving his side a 15-13 lead. A further penalty to O’Driscoll, right on the stroke of half time gave Newport an 18-13 lead.
For most of the supporters at Rodney Parade, there must have been a feeling that with the man advantage, Newport would stroll to a win in the second half. Neath however had other ideas. Their Head Coach, Pat Horgan, must have issued them with strict instruction to manage the game more effectively and play to their strengths, which they acted out to a tee.
Neath started the second half as lively as the first and their hard running kept them pinned in the Newport half. Their try came in the 58th minute when centre James Thomas crashed over, taking three Newport defenders with him. Langdon was having a good day with the boot and slotted the conversion to make the score 20-18. A couple of minutes later, Langdon again nailed a penalty a Neath opened up a five point lead which they fought to hold onto.
Newport did finally pull themselves together in the last fifteen minutes but rarely troubled the Neath try line until the final few minutes. The Neath set piece however stayed strong, stealing a fair bit of lineout ball through Alex Humfrey.
The final whistle brought a big relief to the Neath players and coaches as they had lost last week’s game in the final minute to Carmarthen Quins. This week however, Neath were fully deserved of the win as they had showed plenty of team spirit and determination and dominated the game for large periods.
Head Coach, Pat Horgan commented ‘today was a big result for us, having gone a man down, fallen behind and then showed the belief and strength of character to dominate the second half and come away with a win.
A number of senior players returned today and they were key in managing us through that tricky second period. The performance and result gives us and our supporters a real morale boost as we enter key fixtures before and over Christmas.’
|November 22, 2014||2:30 pm||Principality Premiership||2014/15|