Swansea booked a place in the last 16 of the Swalec Cup with a routine win at St Helen’s over plucky North Walian side Rygbi Gogledd Cymru (RGC) 1404.
It took the All Whites just seven minutes to get their first try when flanker James Bija claimed good lineout ball before prop Matthew Norman charged through the middle, finding full back Nicky J Thomas in support who sent debutant James McWilliams-Gray crashing over for the score. Nicky J Thomas missed the conversion.
The home side doubled their lead six minutes later after Nicky J Thomas showed great ball handling skills to send winger Nathan Brooks over for a try in the corner. Nicky J Thomas failed to convert.
A loose clearance kick by RGC 1404 allowed the Whites to mount a counterattack and the ball was swept out wide quickly for centre Aled Jenkins to touch down. Nicky J Thomas converted.
Whites captain Sam Kiley and Paul John both charged towards the line as their side went in search of try number four but a determined visitors’ defence kept them out. However the fourth try did come on the stroke of half time when Bija created space in midfield before floating a pass out wide for Nicky Harwood to score.
Half-time:- Swansea 22 Rygbi Gogledd Cymru 1404 0
The North Walian side began the second half well and full back Llwarch Ap Myrddin and replacement prop Rhodri Evans linked up well only for Ben Fox to secure a vital turnover.
The visitors finally got a breakthrough after 62 minutes when Iolo Evans made a break through the middle and Afon Bagshaw did the rest. Mitch McGahan converted.
Swansea’s dominance up front showed four minutes from time when the pack sent their opponents backwards at the rate of knots with referee Kelvin Shorte having no option but to signal a penalty try. Cameron Clement converted.
The visitors had the final word and a second consolation try after huge pressure by the forwards resulted in Callum Mitchell stretching over to score. McGahan missed the conversion from in front of the posts.
Full time:- Swansea 29 Rygbi Gogledd Cymru 1404 12
Star man: James Bija
Referee: Kelvin Shorte
Tries:- McWilliams-Gray (7), Brooks (13), Jenkins (25), Harwood (40+2), Penalty try (76)
Cons:- N J Thomas (26), Clement (77)
Rygbi Gogledd Cymru 1404 scorers:
Tries:- Bagshaw (62), Mitchell (80+2)
Cons:- McGahan (63)
15 Nicky J Thomas
14 Nicky Harwood (rep: Ben Roberts 65)
13 Alex Jenkins
12 Chris Shelmerdine
11 Nathan Brooks
10 Cameron Clement
9 Jon Preddy (rep: Jake Cole 67)
1 Matthew Norman (rep: Daniel White 76)
2 Paul John
3 Ian Williams (rep: Nicky Thomas 54)
4 Ben Fox (rep: Jon Barley 76)
5 Sam Kiley ©
6 Scott Otten
7 James Bija (rep: Ieuan Dobbs 80+3)
8 James McWilliams-Gray
16 Ieuan Dobbs
17 Daniel White
18 Nicky Thomas
19 Jon Barley
20 Aled Leiws
21 Jake Cole
22 Ben Roberts
23 Richard Williams
Rygbi Gogledd Cymru 1404 team:
15 Llywarch Ap Myrddin
14 Carwyn Ap Myrddin
13 Harri Evans
12 Mike Jones
11 Richard Hopkins (rep: Iolo Evans 67)
10 Rhodri Carlton-Jones (rep: Mitch McGahan 41)
9 Alex Schwarz (rep: Afon Bagshaw 41)
1 Joe Simpson (rep: Rhodri Evans 41)
2 Andy Baston (rep: Ryan Kirby (61)
3 James Jones (rep: Callum Mitchell 54)
4 Mareddyd Francis
5 Bryn Williams
6 Andrew Williams (rep: Tom Parry 23)
7 Tom Parry (rep: Huw Worthington 51)
8 Kelvin Davies
16 Callum Mitchell
17 Ryan Kirby
18 Rhodri Evans
19 Afon Bagshaw
20 Mitch McGahan
21 Iolo Evans
22 James Grundy
23 Huw Worthington
By Paul Hopkins