Reds secure top Euro billing
May 1, 2001

Glasgow Caledonians ended their home season with a win 28-20 win over Newport -but were made to fight to the end after they looked to be strolling to an easy win, and top Scottish seeding in next year's European Cup

Facing three games in eight days and with their Heineken Cup place assured, Newport made 11 changes from Saturday's team, allowing a number of young players to gain experience. This was reflected in their slow start and in the fact they only really came together in the last quarter.

However stand-off Scott Mitchell did open the scoring with a penalty. But the Reds then proceeded to run up 17 points in eight minutes and looked as though they would run away with the match. After Hayes had kicked a simple penalty, full-back Glenn Metcalfe entered the line to send winger James McLaren over with Hayes converting.

Barry Irving came on as early as the 12th minute for Metcalfe, who injured his left foot. Immediately he gave the scoring pass to Rory Kerr, who raced round the posts to let Hayes easily convert.

But as the half wore on Newport found their feet. In the 24th minute excellent sustained forward handling set up a try for centre Jonathan Pritchard, converted by Mitchell. A penalty from Hayes in the opening minute of the second half opened the home lead to 20-10 but failed to raise the quality of play. For Caley only Hayes threatened to penetrate while Newport were content to play in patches.

After Mitchell had kicked a second penalty, the Reds finally pulled away. From a line out, the ball was worked to replacement prop Lee Harrison who went round the front. Hayes then kicked a penalty when the crowd wanted a try, but the decision was vindicated when, with eight minutes left, the visitors' giant captain Simon Raiwalui crashed over for Mitchell to convert.

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