As rugby is currently on hold, we look into the club archives at a match between two old rivals toward the end of the 1973-74 season, as Swansea seek to claim the Championship in their centenary season.
Swansea 23 – 4 Llanelli. St Helen’s 3rd April 1974
Three-try Dyer leads Swansea home in a canter. (By Norman Lewis WM)
“ROBERT DYER the captain who has led Swansea through a centenary season of fluctuating fortunes would be the first to admit that is has not been the most successful of campaigns for him. But optimist Dyer could still see it out with a flourish.
Last night he showed the full range of his scrum-half skill for about the first time this season to help lay on a Swansea victory which all but sunk Welsh Cup holders Llanelli without trace.
Dyer scored a blistering hat-trick of tries in his side’s thumping 23 – 4 win which squared the four match series with their oldest rivals.
And each try was a gem, the result of inventiveness and quick thinking to drive successive nails into the coffin of a makeshift Llanelli side who played throughout as if they had little hope of winning.
And while the composition of the reserve-studded Llanelli side might help to put the Swansea win in its true perspective, Dyer’s performance stood out starkly in a mistake ridden match in which the quality of play rarely lifted above the average.
He got two tries in the first half in the 24th and 32nd minutes, and added his third eight minutes from time when Llanelli, playing down wind threatened to strike back to limit the scope of Swansea’s victory.
But dashing Dyer only just edged top spot in the scoring stakes, second place being filled a point behind by full-back Roger Blyth who harvested the remainder of Swansea’s points with a try, two conversions and a penalty goal.
This two man scoring show was all too much for gallant Llanelli who went into the match without five of their current internationals. Theirs was a pretty forlorn hope, and valiantly as they stuck to their daunting task, there was little they could do to halt Swansea’s dominance as stand in half –backs John Powell and Clive Roderick struggled throughout to make any reasonable use of the meagre possession which came their way.
Llanelli’s only hope of making a match of it was in moving tha ball swiftly in midfield, the one area in which they looked sharper and more decisive. But with Powell and Roderick failing to get to grips with the situation they had little chance of accomplishing this.
So despite all the hard grafting of Charles Llewellyn, Hefin and Gareth Jenkins up front all they had to show from much hard endeavour was a clever try scored four minutes from time by left wing Huw Jenkins after good approach work by full-back Coslett.
And their cause was scarcely helped by their goal kicking failures. Hill and Roderick between them missing five penalty goal attempts.”
Swansea went on to win 7 of their final 8 fixtures and secure the Merit Table Championship in their centenary season of 1973-74.
More retrospective clips coming soon…