NEWPORT made it into the second round of the WRU National Cup with a well-earned victory over Swansea at a bitterly cold St Helen’s, writes Paul Hopkins.

It was a rematch of last season’s first round tie when two late Matt O’Brien penalties helped the Black and Ambers complete an impressive comeback, as they ran out 21-18 winners at Rodney Parade.

On Saturday, Swansea took an early lead through a James Davies penalty after the visitors’ defence stepped offside in midfield.

A clever link-up between centres Chay Smith and Tom Pascoe set-up Newport’s first attack, but the home pack managed to stifle the ball at the breakdown to secure a turnover.

O’Brien levelled the scores with a penalty of his own when Rhys R Williams killed a dangerous attack, earning him a yellow card in the process.

Flanker Kyle Tayler almost got the visitors’ first try when he peeled off a ruck but lost the ball under pressure.

The Black and Ambers’ opening try came when Max George raced 30 yards up field.

He was initially turned over, however, the All Whites’ backs were too ambitious in running from deep and gifted a try to winger Elliot Frewen. O’Brien converted.

Davies cut the gap to four points before half-time with another penalty when the Newport forwards dived over the top of a ruck.

But the visitors extended their lead with a second try moments after the restart when Frewen sprinted down the wing, the backs recycled the ball and Geraint O’Driscoll went over out wide. O’Brien converted.

The Newport backline began to cut loose and a third try was inevitable when Smith made a break on the wing and handed a scoring pass to the supporting Jon Morris. O’Brien converted.

A wayward kick by O’Driscoll was then picked up by Dan Howells as the All Whites made a rare foray into Newport territory, but an excellent defence managed to turn over possession.

The one blemish in an excellent Newport display was a late yellow card for Rhys Cresswell for killing a Swansea attack.

It also led to consolation tries at the death for Williams and Jedd Evans.

Scorers: Swansea –Tries: RR Williams, J Evans; Cons: G Walters (2); Pens: J Davies (2)

Newport –Tries: E Frewen, G O’Driscoll, J Morris; Cons: M O’Brien (3); Pens: M O’Brien

Swansea: G Walters; A Claypole, RR Williams, JR Williams (O Howe 73), D Howells; J Davies (J Evans 55), R Wells (J Guy 64); T Sloane (J Powell 73), T Ball (P John 48), F Holder (C Thomas 21), S Kiley (R Gallagher 73), T Hughes (J Vaughan 48), J Williams, B Davies, J Fox

Newport: G O’Driscoll; J Morris, C Smith, T Pascoe (A Sabri 80), E Frewen; M O’Brien, R James; N Boyce (M Prosser 51), W Evans (M Prosser 51), T Piper, R Cresswell, J Bartlett (A Mann 51), M George, K Tayler, A Everett

Newport star man: Elliot Frewen