Newport joined Llandovery at the top of the Premiership table thanks to a  bonus point try by replacement lock Elliott Ferriman seven minutes into injury time in the Gwent derby at Eugene Cross Park writes Huw S Thomas.

They trailed 25-24 in a no holds barred local derby before constant attacks brought home the bacon just when Jason Strange’s men looked set to gain a famous victory.

Even then, Ebbw had a close range line out and chance to snatch the game out of the fire in the very last movement of the game but lost possession at the crucial moment.

It was Newport’s eleventh successive bonus point win in an impressive run of form, orchestrated by their key player, fly half Matt O’Brien.

The Drovers and Black and Ambers are now tied on 90 points but Llandovery stay ahead for the moment by dint of having won more games than their nearest challengers for the title.

It sets up an intriguing clash between the two on Thursday night at the Newport Stadium (7 30) with the winners sure to end up leading the table with a handful of games to go..

Newport , however,  have played one more game than Llandovery , meaning that all is not lost for the Carmarthenshire side even if they fall to defeat this Thursday.

After Thursday, Newport will have just two games remaining – away at Neath and home to Bridgend whereas the Drovers have Aberavon away, Swansea and Bridgend at home.

All five games could end up with bonus point wins and it now very much looks like a two team shoot out for top place and the crucial advantage of home draws at both semi final and possibly final levels.

For Thursday’s clash, bookmakers Dragonbet have made Newport favourites to win at 4/7 with Llandovery rated 5/4 and the draw quoted at 16/1.

Of interest to one and all are the WRU regulations to decide top spot if the teams are equal on points at the end of the regular season

WRU regulations state:

National League placings will be decided on the basis of League points gained during the season. Where teams have gained equal numbers of League points, the team with the most wins shall be given preference. If the number of wins is equal, the team with the fewest losses shall be given preference. If the number of losses is equal then the Club having recorded the most tries in the Season shall be given preference. If the number of tries is equal the points ‘for’ shall be divided by the points ‘against’ and the team with the highest factor shall be declared to have the better record



Updated on 24/03/2024


  Teams P W D L Pts
  Llandovery 20 19 0 1 90
  Newport 21 18 0 3 90
  Ebbw Vale 20 14 0 6 71
  Cardiff 21 12 1 8 63
  Pontypridd 22 11 1 10 57
* Pontypool 19 11 0 8 51
  • 2 Points deducted