With both sides unbeaten in league action this term, something had to give, and it was the green, white and black’s record - a strong end experienced Newport side took a firm gasp on the game in the first half hour and never relented.
GWERNYFED 14 - NEWPORT SARACENS 27
WRU DIVISION 4 EAST
Report by Peter Weavers
The visitors presented a sizeable challenge from the outset, driving down the middle with movement founded upon a well organised set piece, both at scrum and line-out. It was not long before pressure told. Notwithstanding determined efforts from defenders such as Andrew Norris, Lewis Bowen and the ever-reliable Sam Stephens, ‘Sarries’ opened the scoring under the posts to make the conversion a formality.
If the first try owed its origins to brawn, the second relied upon brain when, faced with an impenetrable defence, the visitors’ fly half kicked wide to the wing where the speedy number 11 did the honours, with the try converted from wide out.
Worse was to come on the half hour when, after a series of reverses in which seemingly fine play by Gwernyfed was inexplicably penalised, a third converted try was racked up. If it did nothing else that seemed to galvanise the home side and when fly half Zack Snape pushed a penalty into the corner, Toby Millington found his man and the pack trundled over, Richard East and James Brute to the fore with prop Craig Parry getting the touch down. Snape added the two points.
Before half-time the inevitability of the outstretched arm of the referee offered two more chances for goal to the visitors who, with the clinical approach successfully deployed all afternoon, extended the lead to 20 points before the half-time whistle.
Gwernyfed demonstrated their fitness and determination in the second period, sustaining play in the visitors’ half almost throughout. However, every time a try beckoned the whistle went, one Brute effort in particular being adjudged to be short of the line when those better placed saw things differently. Nevertheless, the resilience of the Newport side was unquestionable and it was deep into the game before a move involving Will Lloyd gave Callum Ferguson an opportunity which he took with aplomb, releasing the ball to flanker Sam Clegg who plunged over, Snape adding the two-pointer once again.
The defeat was a disappointment for a healthy crowd, but a dispassionate analysis showed that the visitors deserved the spoils. No one in green, white and black can have any regrets, all performed admirably and gave every drop for the cause.
The same can be said of the Athletic who suffered a narrow defeat at the hands of Blackwood Griffins on the adjoining pitch. The Athletic is a young side which suffered at the hands of a more experienced outfit, but with healthy numbers and a great spirit, even in defeat this was a very encouraging afternoon’s rugby.
League action is interrupted by the visit of Briton Ferry to Trefecca Road next weekend when the faithful will watch the next round of the WRU Cup in the hope that the green. white and blacks can progress to the quarter-final.