Llanelli gained their first win of the season against a strong Black & Ambers side, winning the game with a gritty performance. In the end, Newport's discipline cost them dear, three yellow cards and in the closing stages down to just thirteen men! Having said all that, it was the town semi's who deserved the win and now face their fellow regionalists the Quins in Carmarthen next Saturday.
The early exchanges belonged to the visitors, a situation that has occurred in all Llanelli's games so far this season. A couple of penalties deep in their own 22m saw the visitors drive close to the line and when hooker Henry Palmer was about to touch down for the score, the referee awarded a penalty try and subsequently awarded a yellow card to flanker Ellis Thomas for an illegal tackle.
With a man down Newport now looked for another quick score and almost got their second try when wing Harri Lang made good ground and slipped an inside pass to supporting Chay Smith who was in the clear, but the pass was deemed forward.
Man of the match Llanelli's scrum half Gareth George was always looking a threat to the visitors and it was he who broke and fed wing Ryan Davies who sped into the visitors 22m area but some Ineffective passing saw the chance lost. Newport were still posing a real threat but some excellent tackling and turnovers by the home side kept them at bay. The second quarter saw both sides creating opportunities but it wasn't until the 37th minute that Llanelli got on the score sheet. From a penalty wide out, Ashley Sutton calmly slotted the kick. A few minutes later with Llanelli pressing for their first try, Newport scrum half Ryan James was yellow carded for an infringement close to the try line. From the ensuing lineout skipper Nathan Hart crashed over and with Sutton adding the extras, at the half Llanelli led 10-7.
Following the restart, a lineout just inside the opposition 22m line saw Ashleigh Hyndman win the ball but Newport were penalised by Ref Ben Breakspear and again Sutton made no mistake with the penalty shot to extend the home side's lead. Newport came straight back and earned a penalty themselves but full back Geraint O'Driscoll failed to convert. Then a mistake by Llanelli at a lineout five metres out saw second row Joe Bartlett pounce on the loose ball to score the visitors second try of the match. The conversion was missed but at 13-12 it was now very much game on. On 52 mins it was the home side who scored their second try, scrum half George set the ruck up and full back Tom Rogers found space to score the try. Sutton again successful with kick to extend the lead, Newport now needed two scores to regather the lead. It was end to end stuff now and really exciting for the watching supporters. Going into the final quarter, Newport incurred the wrath of the ref again and another yellow card to replacement hooker Will Evans meant that passive scrums were now called for. Under new laws this year, Newport had to lose another player, so were down to 13 players. Newport's frustration was further compounded when another yellow card to flanker Josh Skinner saw the visitors temporarily down to 12! With the clock now reading 88mins, Llanelli got their third try when replacement Leon Randell crossed. But the game was way from over, from the kick off, Newport claimed their third try when Ryan Bates was on hand to punish the home side's failure to claim the restart. On we went, on 93mins Llanelli claimed their fourth and bonus point try when wing Liam Hutchings finished well in the corner. A frenetic finish to an exciting Premiership match that resulted in Llanelli securing their first league points.
Final score Llanelli 30-17 Newport