Newport ended the season the way they started - leaking tries and nursing injuries - as they slumped to a 52-35 defeat to Neath at The Gnoll last night.
The Black and Ambers were outscored eight tries to five by their hosts - who finish the season second in the Welsh Premiership - while Newport's captain Ian Gough waits on news of an injury as he pushes for a late place on Wales' tour.
Gough has been lined up as a possible replacement for Pontypridd's Michael Owen who is struggling with a knee injury.
But he must hope that the neck problem that forced him to sit out the start of the season will not dash his hopes once again after being replaced ten minutes from time.
"I took a bit of a bang and it stiffened up during the game," said Gough.
"It's between me or Chris Wyatt for Michael's place if he doesn't recover. I've been trying to get back into the Wales team for a couple of years but keep getting niggling injuries so now I'm just keeping my fingers crossed."
Gough's tour hopes were the only meaningful item at stake in a game played with all the freedom and open spirit of an end-of-season friendly given that the Premiership race is over.
Newport looked to be cruising when Andy Powell sparked an outstanding personal display with a try after just 67 seconds.
That was soon followed by Luke Nabaro's 75-metre interception try and then Gareth Gravell grab the a third as Newport punished Neath's mistakes.
But Neath recomposed themselves and hit back with six unanswered tries - divided by the half-time break - as they took control of the game.
Roland Phillips drove over from two yards for the first, Shane Williams finished off Dave Tiueti's break for his 11th of the season and flanker Simon Peters went over to score all in the first half.
The second-half saw Neath step up another gear as young wing Richard Carter sped over twice before Barry Williams and then Adrian Durston finished off outstanding team tries - the latter saw the ball go through ten pairs of Neath hands.
Alex Cadwallader and replacement Scott Williams went over late on but it was a half-hearted climax to a disappointing season.
Neath: Tries: S. Connor, Durston, Carter (2), S Williams, B Williams, R Phillips, Peters. Cons: S Connor (6).
Newport: Tries: S Williams, Cadwallader, Nabaro, A Powell, Gravell. Cons: Hook (3), Tonu'u (2).
Neath: A Durston, R Carter, J Leyshon, D Tiueti, S Williams, S Connor, P Horgan, D Jones, B Williams, P James, A Newman, L Bateman, H Jenkins, R Phillips, Peters.
Replacements: S Marsden, L Jarvis, A Moore, B Sinkinson, S Martin, Griffiths, A Millward.
Newport: B Breeze; A Cadwallader, N Brew, A Marinos, L Nabaro; M Hook, D Llewellyn; D Pattison, J Richards, R Thomas, M Veater, I Gough, A Powell, R Jones, G Gravell.
Replacements: S Williams, O Tonu'u, C Anthony, T R Thomas, S Raiwalui, M Voyle.
Referee: Nigel Owens (WRFU)