SWANSEA 52, NEWPORT 13
Arwel Thomas scored 32 points to steer Swansea to their best win of the season and leave Newport's Welsh/Scottish League title hopes hanging by a thread.
After losing their grip on the Principality Cup at Cardiff, and then being beaten by Neath at Rodney Parade in the midweek, this was a third successive defeat for Simon Raiwalui's men.
If they fail to beat Cardiff at home on Friday night then they may even finish outside the top two having led the way for so much of the season.
If Newport were looking for an improvement on that Neath defeat, then they ran into Swansea on exactly the wrong day.
Having been formally introduced to their new coach John Connolly the previous day, the Whites played with the conviction and purpose that has been missing from their game all season.
For once they relished the challenge and nobody stepped up to the plate more than their Tongan scrum half Silio Martens.
Whether it was the recent news that former Wallaby No 9 Sam Cordingly is joining next season, or the rumours linking him with a move to Bridgend, something got him going.
Martens' lead was eagerly followed by his half-back partner Arwel Thomas. Oozing confidence, the former Wales No 10 helped himself to 32 points as he rewarded Swansea's hard edged approach with the points that have been so sadly lacking for much of the season.
By their own admission this has been a poor season at St Helen's. The reigning league champions, they failed to reach the knock-out stage of either the Celtic League or the Heineken Cup and were dumped out of the Principality Cup by Pontypool.
This victory will have put them back in the hunt for a Heineken Cup spot next season but, more importantly, it will have convinced Connolly, the players and the fans that there is considerable hope for the future.
As for Newport, they will have to pick up the pieces before they host Cardiff. Victory there could give them an outside chance of taking the title, but they looked like a team shot to pieces.
In two games in four days they have made more handling errors, turned over more ball and missed more tackles than in the rest of the season.
Two Martens tries in a seven minute purple patch at the end of the first-half should have sounded the warning for Newport fans. And when they failed to converted a five metre line-out just before the break it was obvious that Swansea had taken their best shots.
The second half started with Newport dropping the ball and black and ambers coach Ian McIntosh showed his concern by chaning his entire front row. Swansea had the bit between their teeth and they were in no mood to show any mercy.
Instead they piled on the agony, and the points, with Thomas extending the 12 points interval lead with a penalty and a drop goal. Then Mark Taylor raced home from 60 metres, for Thomas to convert, and the outside half added another penalty and drop goal.
It became one-way traffic and Thomas continued his one-man demoliton with his fifth penalty before he decided to get in on the try scoring act.
Brian Lima had showed him the way when he punished a wayward pass from Jason Strange with a run in from near half-way, but Thomas was not about to do it the easy way.
Snapping up another loose ball, the Swansea star kicked past the first line of defence, showed a clean pair of heels to everyone and just reached the ball over the line for his side's fifth try. That brought up the half century and made it the biggest defeat in two seasons for Newport.
Just as they had done against Neath, Newport snapped up a try at the death through their Wales Under 21 No 8 Andrew Powell. Strange added the conversion, but not even that score could hide their embarrassment.
Swansea: Tries: S Martens 2, M Taylor, B Lima, A Thomas; Cons: A Thomas 3; Pens: A Thomas 5; DGs: A Thomas 2. Newport: Try: A Powell; Con: J Strange; Pens: J Strange 2.
Yellow Cards: Swansea: B Lima 19. Newport: J Forster 24; P Buxton 54.
Wales Under 18 captain Callum Bradbury is delighted to have seen his side claim a narrow 18-17 victory against a strong SA Schools 'A' side to end the three-match Under 19 International Series in South Africa on a high note.
The Wales U18 squad spent an emotional day in the drug-riddled townnship of Hout Bay. Hout Bay Warriors President Fred Johannes said the visit was 'the talk of the town' and will dream about the day everyday for the rest of his life.
RGC 1404's new head coach Mark Jones is hoping to build 'something special' in north Wales and is already looking forward to the development region participating in the Principality Premiership for the very first time.
A joint venture between the WRU and Admiral saw hundreds of children enjoy the Admiral Festival of Rugby held at the National Centre of Excellence at the weekend where Welsh internationals Sam Warburton, Scott Williams and Rob Evans were in attendance.
Wll Jones leads Wales U18s into battle this afternoon against Italy where the Welsh side will be seeking to bounce back from their narrow defeat to SA Schools in their opening clash of the U19 International Series
All four regions attended a successful training camp staged last weekend at the WRU National Centre of Excellence. It was a chance for new Wales Women's head coach Rowland Phillips to deliver his key messages to players and coaches as he prepares for the new season.
Wales U18 Team Manager Gethin Watts believes the next couple of weeks will be 'extremely beneficial' to the future of Welsh rugby as his side prepare to take part in the Under 19 International Series being staged in South Africa.
The WRU is searching for 12 new rugby development apprentices following a successful first year of its WRU Coach Core programme. Craig Duncan and Jess Hancock have flourished in the first year of the programme which has given them a real direction in their lives.
The WRU signed TV comedian Rhod Gilbert up to a 'Coaching Children Level 1' course before letting him loose on an U8s side at Whitland Junior Borderers - we went behind the scenes to film the making of 'Rhod Gilbert's Work Experience' see the results here.
Llandovery are aiming to make it three titles in a row in this year's Foster's National 7s being held at BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park on Sunday 28 August. Drovers assistant coach Simon Davies and Lee Rees assess their sides chances
A pioneering strength and conditioning programme has been delivered to more than 8000 boys and girls at hub schools throughout Wales this season, helping to develop stronger, more flexible athletes for rugby and other sports.
The Singha Premiership Rugby 7s Series returns to the BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park on July 22nd when all four Welsh regions go head to head. Scarlets skills coach Dai Flanagan and Blues Elite Performance Pathway Manager Richard Hodges along with current Welsh squad members were at the launch of this season's event