In 1876-77 John Leonard was again captain and 11 matches were played of which 9 were won and 2 drawn (Ely and Hereford). Newport beat Pontypool (2), Cardiff (2), Hereford (2), Panteg (2) and Swansea.
The first match against Cardiff was played on 2nd December 1876 at Newport and this was the first match that admission was charged at 6d (2.5p). Hereford arrived at Newport for the third match short and Newport loaned them 5 players. Newport scored 4t to 1g, 1t in a 12-aside match which was then regarded as a 0 v 0 draw.
New names to appear were : T. E. Lewis, son of Ebenezer Lewis (Maindee), R. Lane, E. Jenkins, son of a ship-owner who lived at Brynderwen, Maindee, B. Newman (brother of A. A. and C. H.), T. Mitchell (brother of W. and A. C.), Edgar Evans and Mitchell Graham. It is interesting to note that a number of the early players were ex-Monmouth School boys including C. H. Newman, W. Wood, T. J. S. Clapp, G. F. Harding and G. Rosser. This reflected the influence of Old Monmouthians in launching the club and adopting rugby football.
Negotiations were opened with Viscount Tredegar and from Christmas 1877 the Club entered into possession on a yearly tenancy (a lease was granted about 10 years later) of what is now the tennis/bowls ground, surrounded by the cycle track at Rodney Parade.
J. Leonard was transferred from Newport by the National Provincial Bank and Will Phillips took over for more than half of the still remaining season. The opening of the new ground at Rodney Parade, described as adjoining Oliver's Nursery, took place on Whit-Thursday 24th May 1877 (Queen Victoria's birthday) and club sports were held.
Whilst no match against Swansea is listed at this time the Star of Gwent reported tongue-in-cheek on 3rd February, 1877:-
"Down on the Marshes"
"On Saturday 3rd inst. some young gentlemen of Newport who, (finding life flavourless and insipid) are desirous of violent deaths, were in solemn conclave and striped jerseys assembled on the Marshes, where they will be joined by a few kickers from Swansea, who, weary of the insanity of contemporary existence, as practised in their part of the principality, have reconciled themselves to the severance of all earthly ties and the adoption of varied hose. The final ceremony will comprise an energetic wrangle for a piece of puffed out, leather covered, never-to-be-sufficiently-condemned bladder, which has been chosen the inanimate recipient of the departing, before mentioned, life weary. A few wild yells, a few murmured 'good-byes' and the Marshes will again be peaceful and down trodden; while the inquest will be held in the adjoining inn. They call it 'football' while they live!"