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Newport director of rugby Alan Lewis
"This pack we've got is an exceptional unit."
 real 14k

Sunday, 30 September, 2001, 16:38 GMT 17:38 UK
Newport fly high in Newcastle
Shane Howarth
Howarth steered Newport to victory
Newcastle 21-34 Newport

Newcastle's first foray into the Heineken Cup ended in defeat at the hands of Welsh Cup winners Newport.

Shane Howarth was at the heart of the Welsh win, landing five penalties and two conversions, missing just one kick.

Newcastle failed to cross the Newport line, with all their points coming from the boot of Jonny Wilkinson.

The Falcons were still in it in the closing stages but a try deep in injury time from Peter Buxton as Newcastle desperately tried to run it out of defence ended their hopes.

Howarth put Newport ahead with an early penalty but four cracking Jonny Wilkinson penalties saw the home side lead 12-3.

Newport try scorer Matt Mostyn
Newport try scorer Matt Mostyn
But when Gary Armstrong was caught feeding the scrum and Newport ran it wide for Jon Pritchard to crash over in the corner.

Then Newcastle found themselves behind when Wilkinson's long pass in the Newport 22 was intercepted and Matt Mostyn raced away to score, with Howarth duly converting.

Howarth then added a penalty right on half-time for Newport to lead 18-12 and it was looking bad for the Falcons especially when Howarth kicked another penalty six minutes after the break to make it 21-12.

Newport had Ofisa Tonu'u sin-binned in the 68th minute for deliberate offside and Wilkinson cut the lead with the penalty.

But the Falcons then conceded a penalty right in front of the posts from the restart and Howarth knocked it over for 24-15.

With 10 minutes of normal time left, Wilkinson hammered over his sixth penalty from long range to give Newcastle a glimmer of hope.

But then Howarth appeared to slam the lid shut in the 74th minute with his fifth penalty.

Wilkinson kicked another penalty in the 77th minute to get Newcastle within a score.

But Newport withstood a catch and drive from the lineout right on normal time and an Inga Tuigamala charge in injury time before Buxton finished off a fine Welsh performance.

Newcastle: Pens: J Wilkinson (7).

Newport: Tries: J Pritchard, M Mostyn, P Puxton. Cons: S Howarth (2). Pens: Howarth (5).

Att: 6,000

Newcastle: Dave Walder; Liam Botham, Jamie Noon, Tom May, Va'aiga Tuigamala; Jonny Wilkinson, Gary Armstrong; Micky Ward, Christian Balshen, James Isaacson, Hugh Vyvyan, Stuart Grimes, Epeli Taione, Rob Devonshire, Pat Lam (capt).
Reps: Charlton, Stephenson, Howe, Arnold, Peel, Weir, Dunbar.

Newport: M Pini; M Mostyn, A Marinos, J Pritchard, M Watkins; S Howarth, O Tonu'u; C Jones, J Richards, C Anthony, S Raiwalui, M Voyle, P Buxton, J Forster, A Powell.
Reps: N Brew, J Strange, D Burn, R Snow, A Garvey, G Taylor, J Powell.

Referee: Antonio Lombardi (Italy)

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