Bridgend 42 Newport 35
NEWPORT lost a 12-try Principality Premiership thriller at the Riverside Hardware Brewery Field to a Ravens side which included Ospreys Matthew Morgan at outside half.
It was very much a game of two halves after the Black and Ambers picked up two yellow cards following a sixth minute scuffle which led to the sin-binning of Dafydd Rosser and Andrew Quick.
That immediately swung the impetus the Ravens’ way and they punished Newport’s indiscipline with tries by Ashleigh James and Jamie Murphy.
With the Newport scrum creaking, James and Murphy each scored again when Newport were back to 15 men and Morgan kicked a conversion and a penalty and all Newport had to show for their efforts was a Scott Sneddon penalty, one of only two kicks he managed all afternoon.
At last, the Newport forwards came into the game and Adam Frampton galloped away from a maul for an easy try but another Morgan penalty made it 32-8 at half-time.
Whatever was said in the dressing room during the interval certainly worked as Newport totally dominated the third quarter without managing to get through the home defence.
Then the Ravens had Owen Williams sin binned and Frampton drove over from close range for his second try.
Home captain Jonathon Vaughan followed Williams into the bin and, like the Ravens had in the first half, Newport made them pay with two tries by Elliott Frewen.
At this stage, the game was in the balance but the 13-man Ravens came back with tries by Chris Williams and Arthur Ellis and that was what decided the outcome in the end as the Black and Ambers finished the stronger.
Frewen got his hat-trick which made him the leading try scorer in the premiership and Andy Brown crossed in injury time but it was too little too late and Newport had to settle for two bonus points.
Their head coach Sven Cronk said: “I am desperately disappointed to lose the match but no way can I criticise the players after the tremendous heart they showed to come back.”
Bridgend Ravens: J Murphy, L Morgan, N Edwards (Ashley Evans 73), S Winn (B Thomas 78), T Grabham, M Morgan, C Williams, M Thomas (D Suter 65), A James, O Williams (J Thomas 57), J Jacas (Alun Evans 53), L Davies, J Vaughan (Captain), A Ellis, S Hicks (A Waite 68).
Bridgend Ravens: Tries – A James (2), J Murphy (2), C Williams, A Ellis; Cons – M Morgan (3); Pens- M Morgan (2)
Newport: A Awcock, E Frewen, G O’Driscoll, W Richards (J Leadbetter 68), A Hewitt, S Sneddon, A Quick, D Pattison (J Jeune 78), R Prosser (A Brown 40), A Jeffries, D Rosser (C Townsend 65), A Frampton, S Waldron (W Hodnet 73), C Attwell (Captain), R Coombs.
Newport: Tries – E Frewen (3), A Frampton (2), A Brown; Con – S Sneddon; Pen – S Sneddon Referee: Neil Perkins Yellow cards: D Rosser, A Quick, O Williams, J Vaughan.