The Western Mail reported this game on two consecutive days 28th and 29th October 1878:-
On Monday 28th: "MANCHESTER V. NEWPORT - On Saturday afternoon the Manchester and Newport met on the ground of the latter club and played a splendid match. The day was fine, but cold. A large gathering witnessed the contest with unflagging interest from beginning to end. The contestants were well matched. Although Newport was victorious, Manchester played well throughout, and were frequently applauded for their skill. Newport won by one try, and they compelled their opponents to touch down twice in self defence. As the game was so full of interest, we shall give a technical description in to-morrow's (Tuesday) issue."
The Tuesday edition on 29th published the following: "MANCHESTER ATHLETIC CLUB V. NEWPORT.– This match was played at Newport (Mon.), on Saturday last, in the presence of about 1,000 spectators. The game resulted in a win for the home team by one try to nil; the visitors had to touch down three times, and their opponents four times. Owing to the very heavy rains during the week, the ground was not in such good condition as could be wished by both players and spectators; but, notwithstanding this drawback, some very good and brilliant play was exhibited by both teams. Phillips, the captain of the Newport men, having won the toss, elected to play with the wind. J. Unsworth, captain of the athletes, kicked off at a quarter-past three, and from that time, until the call of "No side," the game was very fast and furious. Scrummage after scrummage took place, first in one territory, then in the other, both sides failing to get the coveted leather over the goal line, until at last Spittle, for the home team, obtained the first and only point scored throughout the game. For the Newport team, Messrs. C. H. Newman, T. Spittle, E. Jenkins, T. Ponsford, and W. Phillips (captain), played in splendid style, and rendered great service to their side. On the part of Manchester Athletic Club, Messrs. J. Dearden, R. Sutton, Jones, R. Potter, and J. Unsworth (captain), played in grand form. The following are the names of the players:- Manchester: F. Bagshaw, B. Ashworth, J. Dearden, J. Dewse, J. Eardley, J. Gresty, Joseph Jones, H. Stuart, W. G. Inglefield, R. Potter, A. Roberts, T. R. Sutton, W. T. Tyldesley, J. Unsworth (captain), W. Williams and A. Unsworth (umpire). Newport: C. H. Newman and T. Spittle, half backs; G. Rosser and A. F. Goss, three quarter backs; C. F. Thompson and C. Phillips, backs; W. Phillips (captain), A. C. Phillips, E. Jenkins, H. S. Lyne, Ll. Evans, A. Dulin, A. Goss, G. Harding, and W. Ponsford, forwards; Richard Mullock, umpire. The proceeds of the match are to be given to the fund now being raised on behalf of the sufferers from the fatal colliery explosion at Abercarn."
[Editors note: On the morning of 11th September 1878 there were 325 men and boys working underground at Abercarn when a massive explosion ripped through the workings, 268 of them were killed, the worst colliery disaster recorded in Monmouthshire.]