Newport head coach Ty Morris. Pic: Newport RFC.

Newport v Cardiff, Top v Second, Black And Amber v Blue And Black, Good Friends v Old Enemies . . . What’s Not To Like?

By Adam Cleary

Indigo Premiership leaders Newport welcome old rivals Cardiff to Rodney Parade on Saturday for a game that could be crucial in deciding where the league title ends up this season.

The Black & Ambers currently sit top of the pile, two points ahead of Saturday’s opponents with just five games remaining of the league campaign.

It’s been an impressive campaign for Newport, who are currently unbeaten in the league and also comfortably through to the Premiership Cup semi-finals.

Despite having beaten Cardiff twice this season in the cup, head coach Tyron Morris is under no illusions of how tough Saturday’s game will be and the implications the result will have on both sides.

“The title could really come down to Saturday’s game,” explained Morris.

“We’ve spoken about this game as a group and it’s effectively a double points round.

“The league campaign has gone really well so far. We had a really good cup campaign, and we’ve brought that into the league.

“If we can get the win this weekend then it obviously puts a lot more pressure on Cardiff to keep winning games.”


Cardiff will be without the likes of Theo Cabango, Jacob Beetham and Rhys Anstey who have featured heavily for them this season after they were called up to Cardiff Rugby’s squad for their upcoming games in South Africa.

However, Morris believes whoever takes to the field for Cardiff on Saturday will prove a tough challenge for his Newport side.

“Obviously, it’s beneficial to us with them having some players stepping up to the pro game as they do make a difference to that Cardiff team,” added Morris.

“Although Cardiff have got a smaller squad than us they have a wider net to fish from and they’ll have some great players to come in. We’re expecting a tough game.”

This will be the third meeting between the sides this season, with Newport coming out on top in both of the cup games albeit by slender margins.

The Black & Ambers came out on top 23-20 at Rodney Parade in September before a 28-25 victory in the capital two months later.

Despite coming out on top in the two previous encounters, Morris is well aware that his side could come unstuck if they’re not at their best on Saturday.

“The games earlier on in the season are both very different. Our attack really stuttered in the game at Cardiff Arms Park, it was much better at home.


“We’re well aware that Cardiff are an outstanding team and have got some individuals who can score from anywhere which we found out in that game at the Arms Park.

“We’ll have to be at our best in attack and defence, both sides of the ball if we want to get the win on the weekend.”

Newport are on course for a first ever league and cup double, and they’ll face familiar opposition in the cup semi final at the end of this month where they’ll take on Cardiff again.

Morris admits the prospect of a league and cup double is on his mind but stresses his side will take it one game at a time.

“As the season goes on it is something that starts to creep into my mind, but the idea is to just take it one game at a time.

“I know it’s cliche but we’ve got to win this weekend before thinking about the cup, and then we have to control our emotions to make sure we reach the final and go one better than in 2018.”


Newport are without a league title since 2004 and Morris is determined to bring some silverware back to the historic club.

“It would mean a lot to the coaching staff, players, the board and the friends of Newport rugby trust. We’ve had some difficult times over the past few years so it would be nice to bring back a little bit of silverware.”



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *