NEWPORT return to Principality Stadium for their first WRU National Cup final since 2003 on Sunday – and the Black and Ambers will hope for better luck against Merthyr than they enjoyed against Llanelli.

The west Walians triumphed 32-9 when they pulled clear in the final quarter of a clash played in tumultuous times with the arrival of regional rugby.

Newport made the final with wins against Bedwas at Bridge Field (27-10), Ebbw Vale at Eugene Cross Park (41-20) and Bridgend at Principality Stadium (27-23).

Percy Montgomery kicked nine points for the Black and Ambers, who won the trophy in 2001, but they could not give a winning send-off to Shane Howarth and captain Simon Raiwalui.

In fact, it was an interception of fly-half Howarth’s pass that allowed Wales wing Mark Jones to cross for a 10-9 lead at half-time.

The speedster scored his second after the break and then Llanelli stretched clear in the closing stages with further tries by Leigh Davies and Salesi Finau.

Newport: Percy Montgomery; Matt Mostyn, Jason Jones-Hughes, Jon Pritchard, Alex Cadwallader; Shane Howarth, Ofisa Tonu’u; Rod Snow, Paul Young, Chris Anthony, Simon Raiwalui (captain), Mike Voyle, Ian Gough, Jason Forster, Steve Ojomoh.

Replacements: Adrian Garvey, James Richards, Matthew Veater, Rhys Jones, David Llewellyn, Jason Strange, Nathan Brew.