NEWPORT Primary Schools rugby team secured a place in this season's WSRU DC Thomas Plate Final at the Principality Stadium.

The city's youngsters secured a trip to the capital thanks to a hard-fought 30-15 victory over Rhondda Schools on Friday night at a cold, wind-swept Ystrad Rhondda ground.

They have probably had one of the most difficult paths to a final any team could have undertaken with all five Cup and Plate rounds being played away from home.

Rhondda proved to be a tough nut to crack with their much bigger team posing a physical threat which was challenging to say the least.

They put their size advantage to good effect from the off after one of their big forwards bludgeoned their way over the line from a short-range penalty in the opening minutes.

This year's team is nothing if not resilient however and with many of them having tasted district rugby last season, well used to facing adversity.

They battled back and after some sparkling combined play outside half Evan Southway finished off the move to level the scores.

Young winger Elijah Robinson then showed both power and speed to cross in the corner to establish a narrow 10-5 lead.

Rhondda also possessed skill and pace in their backs and they too scored a fine try to make it 10 points all at half time.

The Newport three quarters were causing the home team all kinds of problems every time they had possession and centre Jude Thorn's sparkling footwork eventually bamboozled their defence to out Newport in front again.

However, Rhondda continued to press and also threatened with their pacy backs but once again it was one of their big forwards who eventually powered over the line to level the scores once again.

Thorn struck again after he caught a high ball deep in his own half and again his mazy running and sheer pace saw him cross for his second try to regain a narrow 20-15 lead.

Rhondda had a series of penalties close to the line but all of their attempts to force their way over were successfully repulsed as the Newport defence simply refused to concede another try.

This definitely seemed to deflate the home team and two outstanding tries from winger Cian Howells eventually sealed a hard earned but highly impressive win in what was a fine advert for the game at this level.

Newport will now face Vale of Glamorgan at the stadium on Thursday, February 21, opponents who are one of only two teams to have beaten them to date.

Ironically, they face the same opponents they met in their last appearance at the stadium albeit in the DC Thomas Cup Final in 2013.