THERE was no joy for Newport in their battle against arch enemies Cardiff as they fell to fourth home defeat at Rodney Parade in five outings this season, writes Jay Bayford.

The Blue and Blacks maintained their perfect start to the season with a convincing 24-7 derby win to make it nine wins from nine in the Indigo Group Premiership, and with a bonus point as well.

An Evan Yardley brace and further tries from James Beal and Sam Pailor ensured the visitors took maximum points and kept hold of their impressive unbeaten run in all competitions this season.

After back-to-back defeats, Newport had something to prove and there was no better opposition to do that against than rivals and league leaders Cardiff. They made a solid start as they contained the Cardiff attack for the opening 10 minutes and then went up the other end and took the lead.

Slack defending from the visitors aided the Black & Ambers attack and winger Elliot Frewen touched down, which was greeted with big cheers from the stands. Talisman Matt O’Brien added the extras.

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The home fans’ joy soon turned to anguish as Dan Preece was sent to the sin-bin as Cardiff responded positively. They took full advantage of their numerical superiority with Yardley touching down after an effective rolling maul. Edd Howley levelled the score from the tee.

Steve Law’s men are difficult to play against with 15 men so it was no surprise that they dominated following Preece’s temporary absence. However, they couldn’t add to their lead againt some stubborn Newport defence and it wasn’t until the home prop returned to the field that Cardiff finally went ahead.

O’Brien’s long kick was caught by the visitors and they cut through Newport with a mixture of combative running, slick passing and brute strength to play in Beal for a stunning team try.

Newport showed plenty of character as they looked to force their way back into the game but came up against an organised and stubborn defence. The hosts couldn’t boast the same with Pailor bulldozing his way to the whitewash on the stroke of half time to strengthen Cardiff’s lead. Howley was accurate with the resulting conversion.

The wind and rain settled in for the second half but that didn’t seem to faze Cardiff with Yardley claiming his second try of the afternoon, handing the visitors the bonus point.

Newport: L ap Myrddin; J Morris, C Edwards, A Jones, E Frewen; M O’Brien, L Crane; D Preece, M Dwyer, G Harris, A Mann, J Bartlett, J Skinner, J Reid, R Jenkins (captain) Reps: L Smout, H Palmer, T Piper, M Burgess, K Tayler, D Buckland, G O’Driscoll, R Gardner.

Scorers: Try: E Frewen; Con: M O’Brien

Cardiff: E Howley; J Beal, S Beard, M Llewellyn, T Habberfield; D Fish, L Jones; B Toms, E Yardley, P Lloyd, S Pailor, C Bradbury, J Thomas, A Everett, M Allen (captain) Reps: T Davies, I Harris, W Davies-King, K Martin, Z O’Driscoll, G Thompson, J Scrivens, J Gatt

Scorers: Tries: E Yardley 2, J Beal, S Pailor; Cons: E Howley 2 Star Man: Elliot Frewen (Newport)