NEWPORT 20, NEATH 36
Neath coach Lyn Jones believes his "shoestring" side is back in the race to capture the Welsh/Scottish League title.
"Before we played Newport I said that if we won at Rodney Parade then we would go on to win the league," said Jones.
"We have built up the pressure on the other teams at the top and we are definitely back in the hunt.
"We took the initiative up front and our desire was showing. It was a huge defensive performance and it was sweet revenge after losing at The Gnoll.
"This is probably the kick up the backside that Newport wanted. I'm sure they will come back after this."
Newport were never allowed to get their power game going up front and the back row defensive play of the veteran Rowland Phillips, Brett Sinkinson and Alfie Mocelutu made the difference on the night.
Three Shane Howarth penalties just shaded two from Lee Jarvis in an error strewn first-half, but two minutes after the break Jarvis levelled the scores with a third.
Jason Strange, who replaced the injured Howarth at half-time, then landed a 45 metre penalty into the wind to put Newport ahead again, but that man Jarvis fired over a 40 metre drop goal to make it 12-12.
Midway through the second half Neath held firm as Newport mounted a sustained onslaught, Matt Mostyn was held up ocver the line and then the Newport back were halted inches short.
Strange grabbed the lead again with a simple penalty, but a minute later Jarvis made it 15-15.
Then came the decisive moment. Jarvis kicked ahead to the Newport line, Matthew Watkins failed to pick up and Dave Tiueti gathered to cross for a try which Jarvis converted.
If Newport were rocked by that score then were nonplussed when Pat Horgan crossed after a rolling maul, Jarvis again converting.
A break by Wales centre Andy Marinos on the stroke of time allwoed Mostyn to run in a corner try, but Strange's conversion attempt his the upright.
It didn't matter, however, because Neath rounded off a brilliant night for themselves with a try at the posts from Wales hooker Barry Williams which Jarvis converted to give himself 21 points on the night.
Newport: Try: M Mostyn; Pens: S Howarth 3, J Strange 2. Neath: Tries; D Tiueti, P Horgan, B Williams; Cons: L Jarvis 3; Pens: L Jarvis 4; DG: L Jarvis.
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