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Saturday, 28 September, 2002, 19:05 GMT 20:05 UK
Morgan seals thriller
Cardiff wing Craig Morgan scores despite the attentions of Jason Forster
Craig Morgan starred for Cardiff with a hat-trick of tries
Celtic League - Pool B
Newport 25-27 Cardiff

This pulsating match at Rodney Parade went a long way towards restoring pride in Welsh rugby after it has taken a battering in recent weeks.

Almost all of the Welsh clubs involved in the Celtic League have suffered from a loss of form, but this full-blooded match was a more positive advertisement and went all the way to the wire.

  Scoring details:
Newport (19) 25:
Try:
Pini.
Con: Howarth.
Pens: Howarth 5.
DG: Tonu'u.
Cardiff (14) 27:
Tries:
Morgan 3.
Cons: Harris 3.
Pens: Harris 2.
Att: 8,118

Newport could have snatched a dramatic victory in injury time but former Wales international full-back Shane Howarth missed a penalty from 30 metres.

It would have been enough to have got the Black and Ambers home by a point and record their first win of the season.

It was a physically demanding game superbly handled by international referee David McHugh of Ireland.

He issued two yellow cards in the first half to Cardiff players, prop Peter Rogers - a former Newport player - for going over the top at a ruck and to Canada international Dan Baugh for foul play.

In the end it was the pace and guile of the Cardiff back line which just got the better of a gritty and determined Newport side.

Cardiff always looked dangerous when in possession and wing Craig Morgan bagged a brilliant hat-trick of tries.

Newport's Steve Ojomoh is brought down
Steve Ojomoh made some barging runs for Newport

His impressive all-round play must have pleased watching Wales coach Steve Hansen.

The excitement of the game never dropped as the lead changed hands eight times.

Newport lacked the pace of Rhys Williams, Morgan and Jamie Robinson but had the power in the pack to give themselves scoring opportunities.

Howarth, although missing that late kick, did put over five penalties, while opposite number Iestyn Harris converted all three Cardiff tries and landed two penalties.


Newport: M Pini; M Mostyn, A Marinos, S Williams, L Nabaro; S Howarth, O Tonu'u; R Snow, J Richards, C Anthony, S Raiwalui (capt), M Voyle, J Forster, G Gravell, S Ojomoh.
Reps: D Pattison, P Young, J Powell, A Powell, A Cadwallader, M Hook, D Burn.

Cardiff: R Williams; N Walne, J Robinson, P Muller, C Morgan; I Harris, R Smith; P Rogers, A Lewis, K Fourie, H Senekal, J Tait, R Appleyard, M Williams (capt), D Baugh.
Reps: M Allen, N Robinson, R Powell, G Powell, G Woods, A Jones, D McShane.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
Cardiff wing Craig Morgan
"We knew they would put up a big fight"

The final

SEASON STATS

AUDIO VIDEO

TALKING RUGBY
Links to more Celtic stories are at the foot of the page.


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