From the match programme:-
"GOAL OF AMBITION - THE BRISTOL HURDLE TO-DAY."
"Since the war Newport has won five of the six games with Bristol, but they have had two narrow squeaks at Rodney Parade, in addition, a record was at stake when the first post-war meeting took place at Newport, on February 7th, 1920, the Black and Amber side being up to then unbeaten, and in addition, were in the proud position of not having had their line crossed at home. Bristol were only defeated by 2 tries to 1 try, so that although they failed to check Newport, or take their ground record, they had the satisfaction of piercing the defence."
"That was a real game of thrills, for the record looked like going at more than one stage of the play. Newport were weakened that day by absentees, five of their number figuring in the Scotland v. Wales match, at Edinburgh, four on the side of the Principality, and one in the ranks of tne opposition. Len Attewell and Bert Morgan were the try getters for the Usksiders."
"In tne return game, at Bristol, on February 21st, Newport won with a bigger margin to spare, Jack Whitfield und Neil McPherson getting tries, one of which was converted by Fred Birt, without response from tne city."
"The first game was away in 1920-21, and Newport, having lost their record at Gloucester, met Bristol the following week-end - February 5th - and were fairly and squarely beaten on the general run of the play, Jack Rees and Reg. Plummer got unconverted tries for Newport, but Bristol scored two tries which were converted, and also got a penalty goal, so that the visitors retired beaten by 13 points to six."
"At Rodney Parade, on the 30th, the same season, Newport had their revenge, Reg Plummer (2), Jerry Shea and Len Attewell got tries, one of which Ernie Hammett converted, whilst Tommy Vile, who made one of his occasional appearances, kicked a penalty goal."
"Strange to say Newport won very decisively away on October 15th, last season. Jack Wetter was in brilliant form that day. He kicked a fine penalty goal, and also converted two of the three tries registered by Jack Rees, Tom Jones and W. Jones, and with Bristol failing to reply, Newport ran out victorious by 16 points to nil."
"Now the foregoing clearly shows that when Bristol strike their top form they are a very formidable proposition to tackle, both at home and away and naturally they have come to-day fully determined to endeavour to succeed where all others have up to now failed. Thus we have all the ingredients for a most delectable Rugby dish, and we venture on the prophesy that something with a real sparkle is in store for enthusiasts this afternoon."
"LEICESTER - AND THEN CHARITY."
"Shuld Newport, as we loudly hope, clear this obstacle, then all roads should lead to Leicester for the last match of the season on Saturday next, Newport will want all the helpful encouragement they can get in the way of supporters to cheer them on to victory, and should jack Wetter have the very rare honour of captaining an invincible side, then we would remind Rugby followers that they will have another opportunity of seeing Cardiff and Newport in opposition, at the Cardiff Arms Park, on Monday, April 30th - kick-off 6 p.m."
"The proceeds of this match are for the King Edward VII. Hospital, and the game, of course, will not count in the fixtures, but it should be a great pleasure to see Newport, freed from the care of a record, in opposition to their old and keen rivals once again. With nothing at stake we should witness a real bright and exhilarating game of football."
"MR. TOMMY VILE, NEWPORT."
"A GREAT FOOTBALLER. A GREAT CAPTAIN."
"A GREAT INTERNATIONAL. A GREAT REFEREE."
"Tommy Vile's great career as a footballer is well-known the world over and many admirers of him will long remember his most successful season, when except for two defeats, both games by one point - (Swansea and Neath), in 1910 and 1911 he captained the Newport side. He has also captained the Welsh side as recently as 1920 and 1921 against Scotland, at Swansea, in that memorable game when the crowd invaded the playing pitch."
"His latest success has been as a referee, and he holds the record for the refereeing the biggest number of international matches in one season (viz. 1922 and 1923), which are as follows: Scotland v. France; Scotland v. Ireland; England v. Ireland; and Scotland v. England; he has also refereed all the important games this season which are as follows : Oxford v. Cambridge; Army v. Navy; Army v R.A.F.; R.A.F. v Navy; Army Rugby Cup Final; Yorkshire v Cheshire; (English County Championship final) Leicestershire v. Somersetshire; (Hospital Cup Final) Guys' v. Barts. Hospitals; Welsh Trial match - Probables v. Possibles; which in itself is truly a most remarkable record. He has also refereed a numerous number of Welsh and English Union Club matches, sometimes as many as five matches in a week. It speaks well for his popularity and ability to officiate in the grand old game of Rugby, and which is a great honour to himself, especially seeing no fees are paid in these matches, only out-of-pocket expenses. He is without a doubt helping the handling code greatly."
"As a last word, Mr. Vile kindly consented to referee the W. J. Wall Cup final on Thursday last, turning down three other important games he had been asked to officiate in."
o - o - o - o - O - O - O - o - o - o - o
'The Sunday Times' of 22nd April 1923 reported:-
"LAST DAY OF THE SEASON"
"INTERESTING MATCHES AT LEICESTER AND NEWPORT"
"FROM OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT"
"NEWPORT 3 pts. BRISTOL 0"
"Ten years ago Bristol created tremendous surprise by beating Newport on their own ground in the opening game of the season. In twenty-one attempts they had never won at Newport before, and they have not won again since then. To-day, before 15,000 spectators, they made a great effort in Newport's last home match to destroy their opponent's unbeaten record. Newport were without Reg Edwards, the English International forward, but judged by the form displayed by the home pack in the early stages, his absence was little felt."
"Bristol showed fine judgement playing with the wind, and Pickles kicked grandly. There was, however, an absence of finished play, and Jack Wetter with his "threes" admirably placed showed lack of initiative which might have cost his side dearly. It was regrettable that no real effort was made for combined back play, but both sets of backs persisted in kicking, and Bristol kept Newport just inside their own half most of the time. Newport thrilled the crowd with a great forward rush led by McPhearson, Roche, and Whitfield, but they were driven back, and Spoors and Quick came within an ace of scoring. A brilliant run by Andrews and mis-fielding by Chantrill left the play a yard from the visitors' line, and Jack Whitfield, securing from the line-out, dashed over with a try after twenty-five minutes."
"Newport take the lead."
"Wetter, the Newport captain, kept the game very close and played Tom Jones as extra back, with the result that Bristol invariably heeled from the scrums and were the only side to attempt pasing. Quick and Pickles shone with a resolute burst, but great tackling by Davies and Andrews held them in check. The first half was a tussle for supremacy between two excellent packs who were very evenly matched in the loose."
"If Bristol had led at the interval there could have been no complaint, for territorially they often held the advantage. In defence, however, Newport were brilliant throughout, and when first Corbett and then Hore attempted to slip through in the second half, they found the "dummy" quite ineffective."
"Bristol were frequently penalised, but from one punt Spoors made a great run, and it was only a fine tackle that checked the movement. Newport put in a brilliant passing and running movement, and seemed definitely to have taken the initiative. Forwards and backs gave glimpses of invincible form, but they were handicapped, for in tackling Chantrill Harold Davies was badly injured and was carried off the field. Still Newport attacked, but they could not manage to score again."
"In the second half play was very strenuous, and Harold Davies had to go off the field hurt in the first ten minutes. In spite of this Newport had rather the better of the play and once nearly scored. The Bristol defence however, held out, and so Newport surmounted their last obstacle but one and saved their record."
"Harold Davies had to be taken off the field at this stage on a stretcher, and Corbett took advantage to try and burst through but without success, and Newport by passing, gained more ground. Wetter's kicking was of immense value at this stage, but Tucker and Shaw led many Bristol raids, which threatened to cause danger. For twenty minutes, however, they never got outside their own half."
"This was a tribute to the wonderful effectiveness of Newport's seven forwards. Tucker was injured, and he retired for a short time. Corbett, nicely placed, tried a drop at goal, but it did not come off. Having regard to the loss of a player, Newport did wonderfully well to preserve their unbeaten record."