NEWPORT secured the double over Mansfield RUFC with an emphatic 47-12 win in their return fixture at Eakring Road.
Although the Blue and Whites started well yet again with some early pressure, they succumbed to an early penalty after five minutes as Newport took the lead.
It looked as though we were in for an interesting afternoon as the first scrum went in Mansfield’s favour as they pushed it back impressively.
This was followed by the visiting flanker being sent to the sin bin for 10 minutes after a tip tackle on Jordan Cleaver.
Spurred on by this, the home side struck with the first try of the game. After some good work from Ben Holmes and Dave Davis and a superb wide pass from Alan Symcox, which helped to earn him the SME & Sponsors Man of the Match award, Elliott Gwynne collected the ball and sprinted over for a 7-3 lead.
Newport struck back almost immediately with a penalty to bring the score to 7-6.
Although Mansfield had a lot of the pressure, they were unable to convert this into points.
Small errors crept into their play and Newport were gearing up for their own assault on the home side’s line.
After 31 minutes they crossed the whitewash with a lovely kick and chase try to take the lead back and a further try using the same tactic right on the stroke of half time put daylight between the two teams at 18-7.
Despite the home side have much of the play in the first half, Newport defended well and the beginning of the end came just three minutes into the second half as they struck again.
Although Andy Simms, Aiden McGregor and Ben Holmes led several forays for the next 15 minutes the reward was nothing in terms of points.
Newport grabbed two quick tries as the third quarter closed and the scoreboard now read 40-7.
Mansfield continued to take the game to Newport and at last their efforts were rewarded when Aiden McGregor crossed for their second try of the game.
The home again appeared to have the best of the scrum for the most part and certainly had a good share of territory and possession.
However, it appeared that the Shropshire outfit had another gear and when they engaged it they scored.
So it was this way for the last try as Mansfield again pushed the visitors back in the scrum. However the ball contrived to emerge on Newport’s side and the scrum half took full advantage by diving over for the final score to bring their tally to 47.
Newport were impressive all afternoon in the way they finished off opportunities and combined forwards and backs to ensure some quality recycling of the ball.
There’s no doubt they were worthy victors and coach Steve Shaw paid due deference to that, saying: “Although we didn’t play badly they were very good at upping the tempo and taking their chances and deserved the win.”
There will be no league action over the Christmas break, but Mansfield travel to second placed Sutton Coldfield for the first game of 2013 and you can follow the action on Twitter @MansfieldRugby.