TRYLINE & TOUCHLINE:
Tryline action and post match reactions as Laura Kerslake interviews Richard Lancaster...
By: Paul Hopkins
BRIDGEND ATHLETIC 12 SWANSEA 39
A hat trick by star winger Andrew Claypole helped Swansea to a 39-12 victory over Bridgend Athletic at the Brewery Field.
The home side made a strong start and a well weighted chip through by scrum half Jake Williams just evaded the chasing winger Alex Fenton into touch.
However it was the All Whites who scored the first try and it was a thrilling effort. David Watts handed a short pass to fellow centre Richard Thomas, who sprinted through the middle. He chipped ahead and the bounce favoured Claypole, who gratefully collected to touch down. Fly half Ian Brooks converted.
Brooks extended his side’s lead moments later with a penalty goal after the home defence crept offside in midfield.
Following a break by flanker Ben Howe, lock Tom Penry Ellis was desperately close to scoring under the posts, but he was held up just short of the line.
Swansea winger Will Lewis picked up a loose ball and hacked upfield, but the bounce didn’t favour him and Bridgend Athletic managed to clear.
After the home side almost made a complete mess of clearing the ball, Jake Williams finally brought some calm to proceedings and he sprinted through the defence, only to fail to send the ball out wide. Flanker Sean Williams did pick up the ball from the ruck though, and drove into the twenty-two, but the move broke down.
Number eight Rory Gallagher was penalised for killing the ball, but fly half Scot Govan’s effort at goal drifted horribly wide of the posts.
Thomas spotted a gap and made a break through the middle and he was well supported by Lewis, who sprinted up to the line, but the Whites’ pack was too slow in reaching the breakdown and Athletic turned the ball over.
The visitors began to probe the Swansea defence and flanker Jack Perkins did well to defuse a tricky chip through by Govan.
The home side finally got the try they deserved inside first half stoppage time when full back Dan Howells made a break on the wing, leaving the Swansea defence in his wake, before he threw an inside pass to Jake Williams, who raced clear to score. Govan’s conversion attempt sailed well wide.
Half-time:- Bridgend Athletic 5 Swansea 10
Athletic winger Rhys Ward Jones came close to scoring after he hacked on a loose ball, but lock Tudor Hughes matched him for pace as he got back to defend.
From the scrum five the home pack drove their counterparts backwards and got the ball out wide for Fenton to squeeze over at the corner. Govan converted.
Swansea hit back immediately when Gallagher stole lineout ball inside the Athletic twenty-two and he found Watts at pace. The home defence killed the ball, allowing Brooks to kick his side back into the lead.
Govan had an opportunity to kick Athletic back ahead after scrum half Rhodri Wells failed to retreat ten metres from a tap penalty, but he missed his effort at goal.
The introduction of replacement hooker Paul John reignited the All Whites’ belief, not more so than when he ripped the ball from Jake Williams to set up a dangerous attack. Claypole raced up to within a couple of metres of the line, before lock Sam Kiley dived over from close range for a try. Brooks converted,
Arguably the Whites’ best try of the match came after 67 minutes when Wells took a quick tap penalty and found Thomas in midfield, who showed quick hands to send Claypole sprinting over for a try in the corner. Brooks missed the conversion.
To make matters worse for the home side number eight Stuart Edbrooke was sent to the sin-bin for persistent offside.
A minute later Claypole completed his hat trick and earned Swansea a bonus point when he glided into midfield to take a lineout ball, before dancing his way under the posts. Brooks converted.
The visitors rounded off the win when full back Josh Flye picked up a loose pass, before Brooks took the ball forward and threw out a long pass that sent Perkins over for a try. Brooks converted.
Next up for Bridgend Athletic is a trip to Newbridge, while Swansea host Beddau.
Full time:- Bridgend Athletic 12 Swansea 39
Bridgend Athletic scorers:
Tries:- Jake Williams (40+3), Alex Fenton (50)
Cons:- Scot Govan (51)
Y cards:- Stuart Edbrooke (70)
Tries:- Andrew Claypole (16, 67, 71), Sam Kiley (65), Jack Perkins (77)
Cons:- Ian Brooks (17, 66, 72, 78)
Pens:- Ian Brooks (20, 59)
Venue:- Brewery Field, Bridgend
Referee:- Elgan Williams
Weather:- Partly cloudy, 6C
Man of the match:-
Bridgend Athletic team:
15 Dan Howells
14 Alex Fenton
13 Mike Hathaway (rep: Tom Jenkins 40)
12 Chris Price
11 Aled Thomas
10 Scot Govan
9 Jake Williams
1 Matt Muir
2 Nathan Hollman (rep: Benji John 75)
3 Wayne Fooks (rep: Zach Evans 75)
4 Tom Penry-Ellis (rep: Jonathan Stoker 71)
5 Gryffydd Davies
6 Sean Williams
7 Ben Howe (rep: Ruben Tooze 75)
8 Stuart Edbrooke
16 Zach Evans
17 Benji John
18 Jonathan Stoker
19 Ruben Tooze
20 Tom Jenkins
15 Josh Flye
14 Andrew Claypole
13 Richard Thomas
12 David Watts (rep: Richard Thomas 74)
11 Will Lewis
10 Ian Brooks
9 Rhodri Wells (rep: Scott Maynard 74)
1 Neil White
2 Ricky Guest (rep: Paul John 63)
3 Justin Hughes (rep: Richard Murphy 56)
4 Tudor Hughes
5 Sam Kiley
6 Chris James (rep: Jon Vaughan 56)
7 Jack Perkins
8 Rory Gallagher
16 Paul John
17 Richard Murphy
18 Jon Vaughan
19 Scott Maynard
20 Jedd Evans