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14 April 2019 / Club News

Newport 18 Merthyr 26

BONUS POINT WIN FOR THE IRONMEN OVER THE “BLACK AND AMBERS” OF NEWPORT.

NEWPORT 18 MERTHYR 26(Saturday 13th April at Rodney Parade Newport)

With Second place Cardiff coming unstuck at Swansea, reigning champions Merthyr opened a 6-point gap at the top of the table following a bonus point win over Newport at Rodney Parade. Newport, who defeated the ironmen earlier in the season 28-30 made the ironmen work hard for their win and must feel a little unlucky not to have got something from the game. Newport opened the scoring thanks to a well-struck penalty from outside half Geraint O’Driscoll on the halfway line. This seemed to shake the Ironmen up as they began to put several good forward drives together, with good ball skills from prop Chris Phillips and second row Ben Murphy, setting up wingman Tom James to race over for the first of his 2 tries, full back Matthew Jarvis converted to give Merthyr a 3-7 lead. Both sides were then guilty of knock on’s and forward passes before O’Driscoll slotted over his second penalty to close the gap 6-7. Merthyr responded with a big drive upfield from their pack but a drop pass on the halfway line was kicked ahead by O’Driscoll who won the race for the touch down to give Newport the lead back 11-7 but missed the conversion. Newport then seemed to lose their early momentum and Merthyr soon took the upper hand when outside half Gareth Davies kicked a penalty into the corner. It was a catch and drive from captain Locke with his forwards driving him on with hooker Matthew Dwyer claiming the try, but Jarvis missed with the conversation, but Merthyr had edged their way back in front 11-12. Just before half time Newport Managed to put several forward phases together and this was rewarded when prop Garin Harris forced his way over from short range, O’Driscoll converted and the “Black and Amber” went in with an 18-12 lead. McIntosh’s half time talk seemed to have an effect on the Merthyr side as they  took the game to Newport at the start of the second half, and after several drives inside the Newport 25 the ball reach wingman James who showed his pace and power to race in for his second try, Jarvis converted and Merthyr had regained the lead 18-19. The remainder of the half was errors from both sides as they canceled each other out. The next score was vital to both sides as the clock began to tick down. O’Driscoll had a golden chance to win the game for the home side, but his penalty kick went well wide of the posts. With little time left Merthyr went straight back downfield and a great touch kick from Davies pinned Newport inside their own 25. From the lineout Merthyr managed to secure the ball thanks to a Phil Rees catch, and drove Newport back over their own line, with replacement prop Howe crashing over for the try, Jarvis converted, and the Ironmen had come away with maximum points. Merthyr battled hard to defeat a determined Newport side who had their chances, but in tight games, miss chances cost you the game. For Merthyr, it was an important win, which opens up a little gap ahead of the chasing pack, and with 4 of the top sides all playing each other this week, it's going to be an exciting climax to the season. Merthyr travel to 3rd place Llandovery on Wednesday night, and second place Cardiff make the journey to Pontypridd on Friday night.

MERTHYR: 15 M JARVIS,14 T JAMES,13 T GEE, 12 J MARTIN,11 H DAVIES,10 G DAVIES, 9 A HOSKINS,1 C PHILLIPS,2 M DWYER,3 L JONES,4 B MURPHY,5 C LOCKE© 6 A MURPHY,7 J PERKINS, 8 H BARNES, 16 R WILLIAMS,17 J HOWE,18 L OWEN, 19 J DAVIES,20 P REES, 21 J SOANES,22 R DAVIES,23 A THOMAS.

Scorers, T James 2t, M Dwyer 1t, J Howe 1t, M Jarvis 3cons.

Referee: Mike English(Caldicott).          

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