Shropshire Star

Newport angered by time-keeping in controversial late defeat

Newport’s director of rugby Bob Adams was left ‘smarting’ at the weekend following a controversial late defeat.


A stoppage-time penalty condemned Newport to a 31-29 National League Two West loss at home to Exeter University.

But Newport were left angered by the amount of added time that was played and felt the final whistle should have sounded before the late blow was delivered. “I’m still smarting at the decision now,” said Adams. “The lads deserved to win that game following a really good performance.

“The ref had signalled to our captain that there was a minute to go and then there was a lineout and a scrum.

“We kicked the ball into touch believing the time was up, but the game continued. And during that time they have scored a penalty to win.

“We have watched the game back on video and the time had elapsed by over a minute-and-a-half.

“It was a really hard defeat to take for everyone. We were the victims of a poor time-keeping decision by the referee and ended up picking up two points when it should have been five.

“We have had three points taken away from us, but all we can do is take it on the chin and hope that we get the rub of the green with a few decisions as the season


The clash saw Newport recover from going trailing 21-5 early on to lead 29-28 late on before the controversial penalty.

Kaid O’Neill scored two tries, with Frederick Bailey and Hendry Vaka also touching down. Connor Adams added three conversions and a penalty.

The defeat left Newport sitting one place of the bottom of the table, but Adams believes there have been encouraging signs from his side in the past few weeks.

“It was a great performance and another step in the right direction,” he said. “Our performances have picked up since the recent break, there is no doubt about


“We were 21-5 down but got back into the game at it was 21-19 at half-time. They scored a really good try at the start of the second half, but then we came back.

“We were up against the wind, rain and slope, but we know how to play the slope here.

“We dominated them physically and our set-piece was good. The forwards were excellent and the half-backs controlled things. It was a really good performance.”

Newport make the lengthy trip to Cornwall to face Redruth on Saturday, which will see them travel down on Friday afternoon.

“It’s an overnight stay on Friday and we will have a couple of players who will be missing due to work commitments and a couple who should be back after injury,” added Adams.

“It will be a tough game, but I believe we can go there and put in a good performance.”

n More rugby: See Pages 44-45