From the match programme:-
"Cardiff Arms Park welcomes Newport and Swansea"
"by PETER NYHAN, Cardiff R.F.C."
"Today the Cardiff Rugby Club takes great pleasure in welcoming two of its most opposed rivals to the Arms Park, Newport and Swansea. In extending a warm hand of friendship to the players, committees and supporters of both sides we congratulate them on their progress in the competition to date. We do so with a tinge of envy however, because today is one of the big dates in the Welsh Rugby calendar and the Cardiff Club would have dearly loved to have been one of the semi-finalists. However perhaps the next best thing is to be able to witness a semi-final game on our ground. Most clubs are only to willing to stage semi-finals on our ground because of the large capacity of the stand and thus take full advantage of the ensuing financial rewards."
"The Arms Park is a made to measure venue for both Newport and Swansea because as previously stated they are Cardiff's most played opponents. The Black and Ambers have played Cardiff on a massive 341 occasions while the All Whites have played 237. Thus, with approximately half those totals played at Cardiff, it makes them the most frequent visitors to the home of the Blue and Blacks than any other clubs in the world."
"Our hope for the sides today is that we are blessed with some fine rugby weather and that we are not lumbered, with the type of day that Newport experienced on their last semi-final visit to the Arms Park when they met Aberavon in the 1977-78 competition. So gentlemen of Newport and Swansea the Cardiff club again bids you a fond welcome and to show complete impartiality we wish both sides equal luck. To the eventual winners we say well done and to the losers commiserations but remember tomorrow is the first day of the rest of your life."
"Form counts little in the Cup!"
"If ever a Club have proved the theory that Cup fixtures are entirely different from ordinary Club fixtures and that form counts for very little in Cup Rugby, Newport have this season. For although they are experiencing the worst season in their illustrious history, here they are this afternoon confounding all the critics by appearing in the Semi-Finals ready to play the country's leading side Swansea, for the ultimate prize of appearing in this season's Schweppes W.R.U. Challenge Cup Final at the National Stadium on 26th April."
"Cup Rugby is all about taking one's chances when they appear and making the least number of mistakes when under pressure in defence. In this season's competition, the Black and Ambers, under their captain Gareth Evans, have displayed both these qualities to the full. They defeated Bargoed 34-0, and Pyle 12-6 at Rodney Parade, before venturing up the Llynfi Valley for the first time in their history to play Maesteg. None of the critics, and very few rugby followers outside the Newport fanatics gave them any chance of victory, but tries by Jim Dale and Peter Nowell, one converted by Leighton Davies, followed by magnificent defence saw the Old Parish defeated by 10 points to 6 points. Newbridge, who had already achieved 'the double' this season travelled down the Western Valley of Gwent to Rodney Parade, full of confidence for the Quarter Final tie. Once again, the challenge was accepted, and thanks to a Steve O'Donoghue try, and a Keith James drop goal, today's place in the Semi-Final was won by 7points to 3 points. In this season's competition so far, Newport have scored 63 points including 9 tries, and have yet to have their line crossed as the 15 points conceded have come from 5 penalty goals."
"Followers of both teams, and the neutrals, if there are any present, will need little reminding that it was Swansea who took the Cup from Newport in the 1978 Final by 13 points to 9 points, when the Black and Ambers were hoping to retain the trophy they had won the previous season by defeating Cardiff in the Final. Since the W.R.U. inaugurated the present Cup Competition in 1971-72, today's teams have met on four occasions, including the above Final with the All Whites winning on three occasions. This afternoon's team contains only two players, Gareth and Geoff Evans who took part in the 1978 Final, while only four, Leighton Davies, Alun Billinghurst, David Waters and Richard Barrell were in the Cup winning side in 1977."
"The one commodity that has been significant by its absence from Rodney Parade during this season has been that four letter word LUCK, and all those Black and Amber supporters who have travelled down the Cardiff Road this afternoon will be looking upwards and hoping that all the four leaf clovers, horse-shoes, rabbits feet, and any other lucky charms will produce the right kind of result. There is no doubt that whatever the result, one dressing room is going to be full of popping champagne corks, while the other will be like the local mortuary, for, there is no worse place to be than in the losing Cup Semi-Finalists' dressing room."
"Best wishes go to both teams and to the officials for what is hoped will be a game worthy of all that is best in Welsh Rugby."
The game did not go in Newport's favour however ...........
Newport the season’s perpetual cup underdogs, lacked none of the spirit and will to win which had seen them through to the last four, but they had no answer when the mighty Swansea machine moved into a higher gear. Newport shocked their more favoured opponents with the ferocity of their early onslaught. An early Blythe penalty was cancelled out by a Leighton Davies penalty goal and two splendid drop goals, one with the right foot and the other with the left from Keith James put Newport six points ahead. Swansea then equalised from a magnificent try by David Richards, but Newport refused to buckle, instead they came surging back with a try of almost equal quality, most of the team handling in a breath-taking rush which culminated with Gareth Evans getting over in the corner.
Swansea restored their lead within 5 minutes of the restart from two Blythe penalties but it was not until Newport lost Roger Powell (knee) and Justin Robinson (concussion) midway through through the half that the cup favourites added to their try tally. Newport started to struggle after being so solid up to that point and Swansea's immense power and strength began to tell. Newport kept battling away to the end and continued to surprise Swansea with their counter-attacking. Outstanding Geoff Evans and his colleagues did enough to stem the Swansea tide, but they finally had to settle for defeat, but there was no dishonour with defeat.