Newport fight back to earn first success of the season
Newport are up and running in National League Two West after a super second-half display against high-flying Hinckley.
The hosts had been staring a fourth consecutive defeat in the face as they trailed 21-7 at half-time.
But they responded by playing arguably their best rugby of the season to shutout their visitors and score three tries through Thomas Cowell, Daniel Green and George Castledine to claim a dramatic 22-21 success, which was sealed by Castledine’s try from the last play of the game.
Newport had taken an early lead through a try from Timoci Waqadau, which was converted by Castledine, but were then guilty of some sloppy errors which helped the visitors take charge.
And while he was frustrated with certain aspects of his side’s first-half display, director of rugby Bob Adams was delighted with response after the interval.
“We took the lead, but a couple of sloppy mistakes gifted them a couple of tries and we were 21-7 down at half-time,” said Adams. “We thought at half-time that if we just cut out the errors we could get back into the match.
“We just needed to get into the right areas and then execute, and we did that.
“I was really pleased with the second-half performance, I don’t think Hinckley got near our tryline.
“We scored he winning try off the last play of the game. They had given a series of penalties away and we opted for a scrum. And a well-worked move resulted in George Casteldine going over.”
Adams also praised the impact made by the replacements when they entered the fray.
“The last two games we have experimented with a complete front row on the bench. We brought them on Saturday and it worked well,” he added. “We had gained the momentum, but the changes we made all made a difference and we kicked on again. I think we deserved the win. We looked good in the second half and now we have to take that forward and look to improve further.
“We had enjoyed a good week of training leading up to the game. The players’ attitude was good.”
Next up for Adams’ men is a trip to face Dudley Kingswinford, who are sitting bottom of the table, one place and three points behind Newport. “We have DK away on Saturday and we have to move on and be better,” said Adams. “They came up last season and, like we did, they are finding it hard to adjust to National League rugby.
“We are expecting a tough fixture. They are one place below us and they will see this as a big opportunity for them.
“We have to be ready for it, cut the mistakes and stay composed.”