HIGH intensity games and fewer teams at the top level - that is the firm view from the Newport camp after Friday night's firecracker of a game against Cardiff.

Holders Newport were knocked out of the cup at the quarter-final stage by their biggest rivals, going down 20-14, the same margin as in their league fixture at the Arms Park on August 28.

But the full-blooded nature of the game in front of a capacity 13,200 crowd convinces both camps that this must be the way ahead for Welsh teams.

"I don't want to get involved in domestic issues, but I firmly believe we are not coping with nine teams in Wales and if we dilute the strength any more we will drop the intensity," said Newport coach Ian McIntosh.

"I don't want to have a go, but that is the reality of the situation.

"When we had six teams in our Currie Cup in South Africa we were so strong.

"When you reduce the number of sides it becomes a process of elimination for selection because the better players gravitate to those sides and they become very strong.

"You need the intensity of pressure with those crowds. Only then will the rugby improve." McIntosh also believes that calls to drastically cut the number of foreign players in Wales are mistaken.

"English rugby is full of foreign players and they are one of the top unions, so what are people here talking about?" he asked.

"London Irish, Saracens and Northampton have a lot of foreign players, so it doesn't hold water with me.

"You've got to be good enough to put them out. If not then we are kidding ourselves."

Cardiff opposite number Rudy Joubert said: "This is what rugby here should be all about." Newport captain Simon Raiwalui said of Welsh rugby's future after the Cardiff cup humdinger: "It's up to the powers that be, but this must be a sign of things to come.

"If we can get rugby of that sort of intensity that's going to be really good, but if Welsh rugby goes to 12 teams then it'll be a struggle."

Newport wing Matt Mostyn, who has played Super 12 rugby for New South Wales, stressed: "The way to go in Wales is to streamline the competition."