The Steelmen left Newport Stadium with the spoils thanks to a superb kicking performance from outside half Evan Lloyd, who amassed 23 points with seven penalties and a conversion of wing Harry Rees-Weldon’s first half try.
The Black & Ambers, who went into the match knowing a bonus-point win would have taken them above Llandovery, actually outscored The Steelmen three tries to one with Henry Palmer, Carwyn Penny and skipper Ben Roach all scoring.
The result ended Newport’s five-game winning streak while also saw Ebbw bounce back from that defeat at Pontypool Park more than a fortnight ago, which ended their own run of six straight league wins.
“It was a game I thought we were in control of and pretty much dominated from start to finish, which was really pleasing. I never thought we looked like losing it.” said Strange after his side’s win at Newport.
“Full credit to the players; they took the learnings on board [from Pontypool] and what they got right was the balance between getting the emotional levels right and the organisation.
“They got that spot on to be fair to them, so huge credit to the players and coaches for the way they approached the game and then executed. The performance and result and the manner of it was really pleasing.”
It also takes the Steelmen to within a point of Newport who, having missed the chance to go top, must now dust themselves down quickly as they prepare to head to champions Llandovery next Saturday.
Lloyd got the scoreboard ticking with a third minute penalty for Ebbw but the first try of the match went the way of Newport after 24 minutes when hooker Palmer on the end of a big driving maul to go over. Penny’s conversion attempt struck the posts.
It took the visitors just three minutes to hit back with a try of their own as Rees-Weldon finished off a move. Lloyd converted.
The hosts were, though, back in front on 34 minutes and it was Penny who found a gap and raced in under the posts. He converted his own try to make it 12-10.
However it would be the visitors with their noses in front at half time thanks to Lloyd twice splitting the posts before the interval. He then landed a 50-metre penalty four minutes after the re-start. Penny responded with a penalty for Newport but Lloyd’s fifth penalty of the afternoon on 49 took the visitors’ lead back to seven points.
With 10 minutes remaining, that lead had stretched to 13 points with two more Lloyd penalties putting Ebbw 28-15 to the good.Roach gave Newport a glimmer of hope with his side’s third try which went unconverted but Ebbw held on for victory.
Newport remain second and four points back Llandovery.
Scorers: Newport: Tries: H Palmer; C Penny, B Roach; Con: C Penny; Pen: C Penny. Ebbw Vale: Try: H Rees-Welden; Con: E Lloyd: Pens: E Lloyd 7