Newport 64

LONG-suffering Caley coach Richie Dixon refused to condemn his team in the wake of their latest heavy defeat in Wales - this time at the hands of a Newport outfit which could have passed as a credible Rest of the World Select.

Rodney Parade's Southern Hemisphere contingent had the sun on their backs, and they responded with a display of bright, breezy and clinical rugby.

Afterwards, however, Dixon opted to praise his own side for refusing to buckle and for hitting back in the closing stages with a flurry of tries to give the eventual scoreline a slightly less cruel look.

Dixon acknowledged: ''Newport are a very good side, with some top-class players, and for the most part we struggled to match them.

''But I was proud of the way we stuck at it and I thought we showed some real character and pride to keep going and earn some good scores at the end.

''In terms of power, they were ahead of us - but when it came to out-and-out skill, Newport are a very powerful side but I thought we matched them reasonably well.''

He added: ''One of the prime reasons we are in this competition is to expose our players against teams like them. It has been a difficult season for us in the Celtic League, but it is only our first season.

''We are on a very steep learning curve and can only learn from defeats like this. Our players are getting a higher intensity of rugby week in and week out, and that is what they need.

''What we have to do for next season is learn the lessons and take them on board so we can do better in this competition and in Europe.''

Newport, pressing hard for the runners-up prize behind Cardiff, went ahead after 10 minutes of pressure.

They capitalised to the full after turning over possession in a ruck, former South African skipper Gary Teichmann making the initial surge. Canadian prop Rod Snow provided the link before centre Andy Marinos powered home from halfway as the Caley markers were again slow to cover.

Teichmann was also involved in the move that led to the second touchdown, taking a clean lineout catch before Snow bullocked over under the crossbar.

Caley suffered another setback when Tommy Hayes wasted an easy penalty chance to have got them off the mark - and soon Newport were back in full flight and effectively killed off the game as a contest.

After another long-range attack featuring Franco Smith and Ben Breeze, Teichmann was typically up in support to send scrum half Dale Burn scampering through. Even worse was to come for Glasgow just a few minutes later when the nippy Burn dashed in for his second try in the wake of stolen scrum-ball.

Five minutes before the break Caley at last broke their duck as prop Alan Watt barged over from close-in - but the Black and Ambers replied in positive style to earn their fifth score through long-serving lock Gareth Taylor.

Newport stepped up the pace even further after the restart to rock the visitors with another fine touchdown as Burn bagged his treble.

Shane Howarth, Jason Jones-Hughes, Martyn Llewellyn, and Marinos were all involved as the Caley defence were again ripped to shreds.

The home troops, knowing the destiny of the points was safe, took their feet off the gas and allowed the Reds to counter with a try from No.8 John Petrie after slick lead-up work by Graeme Beveridge and Gordon Bulloch.

Tommy Hayes found his kicking touch to claim the extras, only to see Newport click back into gear. Another slick passage of handling, featuring backs and forwards, culminated in Smith sliding over in the corner for No.7.

The impressive Burn notched his fourth try before Caley began to mount their mini-revival. Substitutes Marty Waite and Roly Reid went over, along with Hayes - two of the scores coming when centre Ian Jardine was in the sin-bin for a dangerous tackle.

But Newport had the last words, Howarth goaling two rolling-maul tries in quick succession by replacement prop Ceri Jones.

Newport - F Smith; M Llewellyn, J Jones-Hughes (rep M Watkins, 57 min), A Marinos (J Pritchard 51), B Breeze; S Howarth, D Burn (J Gaunt 75); P Rogers (C Jones 64), P Young (D Cummins 72), R Snow, G Taylor (M Workman 73), S Rauwalui, A Popham, J Forster, G Teichmann (J Powell 57).

Glasgow Caledonians - R Shepherd (capt); J Craig (rep R Reid 40 mins), J Stuart, I Jardine, A Bulloch; T Hayes, G Beveridge (F Stott 70); A Watt, G Bulloch, G McIlwham, J White, S Campbell, G Flockhart (M Waite 57), D Macfadyen, J Petrie.

Scoring sequence - 7-0, 14-0, 21-0, 26-0, 26-5, 31-5, HT, 38-5, 38-10, 38-17, 45-17, 50-17, 50-22, 50-29, 57-29, 64-29.

Scorers - Newport - Tries - Marinos, Snow, Burn 4, Taylor, Smith, C Jones 2. Conversions: Howarth 7. Glasgow Caley - Tries - Watt, Petrie, Waite, Hayes, Reid. Conversions: Hayes, G Bulloch.

Referee: H Lewis (Cardiff).