By: Paul Hopkins
The All Whites fell to a seventh successive as a battling Newport adapted better to the poor weather conditions.
The defeat roots Swansea to the bottom of the Principality Premiership, while in form Newport will be pleased with the manner they controlled the game.
Swansea had a reason to be optimistic early on when their pack forced Newport to collapse a scrum. Number eight Rory Gallagher took a quick tap penalty and raced up to the twenty-two, but the move lost its impetus and broke down.
However, the advantage up front didn’t last for long as scrum half Rhodri Wells got caught at a scrum and the supporting Gallagher was forced to hurriedly clear the ball to touch.
A patient build up by the Black and Ambers’ forwards set up a platform for centre Tom Riley to race down the wing, and it took a combination of Wells and full back Julian Mogg to bundle him into touch to prevent a certain try.
Visitors’ scrum half Owen Davies found centre Tom Pascoe on the crash ball and switched the direction of play to send Riley through the middle. The forwards then battered the Whites’ defence, but were penalised for diving over the top of a ruck.
The visitors took a 27th minute lead when the Whites’ were penalised for an infringement at the scrum. Fly half Matt O’Brien kicked the three points.
Newport grabbed the first try of the match when they managed to spin the ball quickly out to the backs from a lineout. Pascoe made the initial break and he sent a long pass out wide for winger Jonathan Morris to score. O’Brien converted.
Mogg slipped a clever pass out wide to winger Andrew Rees Spowart, forcing the Newport defence to hack the ball out of play in unglamorous style, although it ended up deflecting off a Whites player.
On the stroke of half time a Wells box kick caught the visitors offside, but fly half Rory Garrett missed his effort at goal.
Half-time:- Swansea 0 Newport 10
The home side came storming back into the match after half time when slick handling by the three quarters saw Rees Spowart sprint down the wing, and he fed Gallagher for a try. Garrett missed the conversion.
Newport almost hit back straight away when winger Wes Cunliffe looked to have cleared the last line of defence, but although he felt he had been held back, referee Elgan Williams waved away his appeal and instead awarded a dropout to the Whites.
An infringement at the scrum by the Swansea pack saw O’Brien kick a simple penalty goal to take his side eight points clear.
Morris made a break from inside his own half and found full back Geraint O’Driscoll in support. He chipped ahead and the defending Rees Spowart made a mess of gathering the ball, allowing O’Driscoll to pick up the loose possession to score. O’Brien missed the conversion.
A hurried clearance by Rees Spowart gave Newport a close range lineout from which the forwards mauled towards the line, but lost possession when they got the ball out to the backs.
With Swansea continuing to struggle at the scrum the visitors were awarded another penalty, but this time O’Brien missed his effort at goal.
O’Brien came desperately close to scoring a try in the corner, but he lost the ball forward under good pressure by replacement scrum half Martin Luckwell.
The fly half sealed victory for the Black and Ambers when he handed off two tacklers and dummied his way past another to score under the posts. He also converted.
With a minute left on the clock the Whites grabbed a consolation try when they managed to hack a loose ball upfield. The chasing lock Tudor Hughes was deliberately tripped off the ball by Davies, and Williams awarded a penalty try and issued a yellow card to the scrum half. Garrett converted.
Next up for the All Whites is a trip to high flyers Merthyr, while Newport host Carmarthen.
Full-time:- Swansea 12 Newport 25
Tries:- Rory Gallagher (44), Penalty try (79)
Cons:- Rory Garrett (80)
Tries:- Jonathan Morris (30), Geraint O’Driscoll (51), Matt O’Brien (76)
Cons:- Matt O’Brien (31)
Pens:- Matt O’Brien (27, 49)
Yellow cards:- Owen Davies (79)
Venue:- St Helen’s, Swansea
Referee:- Elgan Williams
Weather:- Heavy rain showers, 7C
Man of the match:- Matt O’Brien
15 Julian Mogg (rep: Andrew Claypole 48)
14 Andrew Rees Spowart
13 Ryan Evans
12 Ewan Gully (rep: David Watts 56)
11 Will Lewis
10 Rory Garrett
9 Rhodri Wells (rep: Martin Luckwell 62)
1 Tom Sloane (rep: Richard Murphy 62)
2 Ricky Guest (rep: Alex Dunham 72)
3 Mitchell Walsh (rep: Sam Martin 47)
4 Jay Williams
5 Tudor Hughes
6 Jon Vaughan © (rep: Will Jones 56)
7 Jack Perkins (rep: Mike Sully 56)
8 Rory Gallagher
16 Alex Dunham
17 Richard Murphy
18 Sam Martin
19 Mike Sully
20 Will Jones
21 Martin Luckwell
23 David Watts
22 Andrew Claypole
15 Geraint O’Driscoll
14 Wes Cunliffe
13 Tom Riley
12 Tom Pascoe
11 Jonathan Morris (rep: Elliot Frewen 72)
10 Matt O’Brien
9 Owen Davies
1 John Lavender (rep: Matt Prosser 56)
2 Henry Palmer (rep: Will Evans 56)
3 Tom Piper (rep: Garin Harris 56)
4 Adam Brown ©
5 Henri Williams (rep: Dan Mock 56)
6 Rhodri Jones
7 Craig Attwell (rep: Reuben Tucker 67)
8 Rhys Jenkins
16 Will Evans
17 Matt Prosser
18 Garin Harris
19 Dan Mock
20 Reuben Tucker
21 Ryan James
22 Elliot Frewen
23 Chay Smith