Will Phillips was again captain for season 1879-80 but this was the season that Newport's invincibility finally ended. On 20th November 1879 Blackheath visited and won by 4g, 8t to 0. Interestingly, Blackheath player Mr Aubrey Spurling recorded that "most of the scoring was the result of Newport forwards standing close up to the touch-line when the ball was thrown in". Blackheath's L. Stokes would throw it over their heads to G. F. Vernon, who either scored or passed. (To celebrate the 50th anniversary of Newport's first loss a jubillee anniversary match was later played on 12th October 1929.)
Newport were then beaten in the cup by Swansea on 13th December and Clifton completed a double in January/February and so Newport had lost 4 matches.
New players were Theo Harding, J. Jex Wood, C. Jordan, R. Gould and E. Robathan.
The defeat by Blackheath was probably a blessing in disguise as they realised that England could teach them a thing or two about new techniques and methods. From that day Newport were students and teachers, learning from the English, Scottish, Irish and Welsh teams in turn. A shattering defeat planted the seed of Newport RFC's future greatness.