Four-some Port maintain perfect start to the season

Newport Rugby Club are sitting pretty at the top of the Midlands Premier standings after extending their perfect start to the season.

A hard-earned 32-27 away to a previously unbeaten Sandbach outfit made it four wins from four for Newport.

And director of rugby and head coach Bob Adams was delighted with the way his charges executed their game plan to secure the victory, which was secured by a late try from Alex Gow after the visitors had been temporarily reduced to 14.

“I was pleased with how we defended,” said Adams. “It’s not always about free-flowing rugby, it’s about getting the win and credit to the lads for doing that.

“Sandbach are a very well drilled, organised side and we have always found it difficult there.

“We went there with a game plan to nullify their kicking game and it worked really well.

“We didn’t have much of the ball to be fair and credit must go to the opposition for that.

“They nullified what we are good at but we still managed to come away with the win.

“It doesn’t matter if you score 50 points or 10 as long as you win.”

The afternoon started with a players, officials and spectators observing a minute’s silence to honour the 15 Sandbach members who had lost their lives since rugby was last played at Bradwall Road some 18 months ago.

It was the hosts who opened the scoring when Will Cargill landed an early penalty.

Newport then got themselves into the game and were soon rewarded with two penalties from Connor Adams.

Sandbach were looking after the ball rather better than the visitors, allowing them to spend long periods in the Newport 22 but without reward as they were repelled time and time again by the visitors’ robust and resolute defence.

But the pressure reaped a reward on 31 minutes. While a melee erupted among the forwards, the ball was moved wide where prop John Whittaker crashed over. Cargill converted to make it 10-6.

Newport responded with Adams putting George Castledine through a gap, the full-back fending off a tackle before crossing for the try which Adams converted.

There was just time for Cargill to knock over a penalty to bring things level 13-13 at the break.

Sandbach struck first after the break courtesy of an opportunist try from Elliot Morris, which was converted by Cargill.

Newport again hit back and a quick tap penalty just a few yards out caught Sandbach napping and Sam Brown nipped in for the try. Adams added the extras to make it 20-20. Tom Cowell was then driven over following a lineout with Adams successful again with the conversion.

Sandbach responded with Whittaker grabbing his second try of the day – Cargill slotting the conversion to level the scores.

Newport looked up against it when Cowell was sin-binned but scored a dramatic try when Gow crashed over in the corner.

Cowell returned to the fray for the final few minutes to help shore things up and with Newport claiming possession from the restart they were able to run down the clock.

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