By: Paul Hopkins
Swansea overcame a stern test at Pandy Park to run out 38-26 winners over a courageous and enterprising Tondu side.
The visitors were awarded an early penalty when the Tondu forwards crept offside at the breakdown – full back Nicky Thomas kicked to the corner. From the lineout the pack continued to drive forward before scrum half Rhodri Wells picked up and weaved his way over for a try. Nicky Thomas converted.
Number eight Steffan Jones looked to have grabbed a second try after good work in the backline by fly half Liam Popham and wingers Andrew Claypole and Will Lewis, but he was penalised for crossing.
Two minutes later Popham made a break and drew in the last Tondu defender to send flanker Mike Sully over for a try. Nicky Thomas missed the conversion.
To their credit the home side refused to give up and a powerful rolling maul by the pack created a platform for centre Matthew Davies to spot a gap to score under the posts. Fly half Paul Smithson converted.
A quick tap penalty by Matthew Davies inside his own half began a pacey attack with full back Kristian Jenkins providing support by sprinting to the twenty-two, before he offloaded to lock Tom Jones, who scored. Smithson converted.
The All Whites came close to retaking the lead when first Popham and then hooker Paul John came close to scoring, before Sully was held up over the line.
A powerful scrum by the All Whites’ pack gifted Wells an easy platform to squeeze over for a try in the corner. Nicky Thomas missed the conversion.
Half-time:- Tondu 14 Swansea 17
Swansea began the second half on fire and lock Matthew Dodd started an attack on half way and got the ball out wide to Nicky Thomas, who made good yardage into Tondu territory. Popham then created enough space to send centre David Watts over for a try. Nicky Thomas converted.
Steffan Jones made a barnstorming run through midfield, knocking defenders backwards on his way, before replacement centre Richard Thomas raced forward and got the ball out wide for Nicky Thomas to score a try that he also converted.
The visitors scored another try when Sully made a break and Lewis collected a chip to the corner to touch down. Nicky Thomas converted.
It was the home side that finished stronger and replacement flanker Dean Fitzgerald stole a lineout and raced clear to score a try under the posts. Smithson converted.
Fitzgerald was the orchestrator of Tondu’s bonus point as he sprinted through the middle and threw a scoring pass out to replacement Nick Hopson. Smithson’s conversion fell short of the posts.
Next up for Tondu is a trip to Tata Steel, while Swansea host Narberth.
Full time:- Tondu 26 Swansea 38
Referee:- Kelvin Shorte
Man of the match:- Nicky Thomas
Tries:- M Davies (29), T Jones (33), Fitzgerald (70), Hobson (76)
Cons:- Smithson (34, 71)
Tries:- Wells (13, 40+1), Sully (24), Watts (45), N Thomas (51), Lewis (61)
Cons:- N Thomas (14, 46, 52, 62)
15 Kristian Jenkins
14 Aled Jones (rep: Nick Hopson 57)
13 Joseph Gatt (rep: Tom Rees 57)
12 Matthew Davies
11 Lloyd Gully
10 Paul Smithson
9 Gareth Lindenburn (rep: Darren Jones 60)
1 Graham Davies
2 Jake Lewis
3 Gavin Eagle
4 Hywel Davies
5 Tom Jones
6 Lloyd Tucker
7 Matthew Morgan (rep: Dean Fitzgerald 60)
8 Ross Megraw
16 Darren Jones
17 Dean Fitzgerald
18 Tom Rees
19 Matthew Murphy
20 Nick Hopson
15 Nicky Thomas
14 Andrew Claypole
13 Jedd Evans (rep: Richard Thomas 41)
12 David Watts
11 Will Lewis
10 Liam Popham
9 Rhodri Wells (rep: Scott Maynard 67)
1 Justin Hughes
2 Paul John (rep: Ricky Guest 70)
3 Ryan Thomas (rep: Liam Brooks 60)
4 Matthew Dodd
5 Sam Kiley
6 Jon Vaughan
7 Mike Sully
8 Steffan Jones (rep: Tudor Hughes 67)
16 Tudor Hughes
17 Liam Brooks
18 Ricky Guest
19 Scott Maynard
20 Richard Thomas
By Paul Hopkins