By: Paul Hopkins
Swansea’s hopes of reaching the end of season playoffs were dealt a severe blow by neighbours Llanelli, who recorded a bonus point win at Parc Y Scarlets.
The Whites struggled to match the home side up front and were constantly on the back foot at set pieces and unable to create many attacking platforms.
Llanelli set the tone inside the first couple of minutes when the forwards drove their Swansea counterparts off a scrum. Centre Ryan Davies chipped through, but scrum half Matthew Aubrey managed to track back to ground the ball dead.
Full back Rhys Williams held onto the ball on the ground, allowing fly half Ioan Hughes to kick to the corner. From the lineout, the Whites were caught offside in midfield and Hughes duly converted the penalty goal.
Winger Kalum Evans raced down the wing, but was stopped by a superb tackle by centre Josh Martin. However, the ball was then swept out to the other wing with Ryan Davies touching down for a try. Hughes converted.
Scrum half Declan Smith was penalised for holding on after the tackle and opposite number Aubrey kicked to touch. The home side killed the ball a couple of phases after the lineout and Aubrey took a quick tap penalty, with the supporting hooker Paul John held up a metre short of the line. The Whites managed to recycle the ball out to Martin, who spotted a gap and used his strength to score. Fly half Phil Jones converted.
Llanelli winger Tom Rogers made a break out wide and was supported by number eight Trystan Lloyd, who battered the Whites defence. Support was too slow to arrive though, which resulted in a turnover on the stroke of half time.
Half-time:- Llanelli 10 Swansea 7
The home side looked like breaking away down the wing through Lloyd, but play was stopped due to a fight involving both hookers, with Taylor Davies and John both yellow carded.
Hughes extended his side’s lead to six points with a penalty goal after the visitors killed the ball.
The gap was reduced back down to three points when the home backs were penalised for crossing. Jones duly converted his kick at goal.
Llanelli took the game by the scruff of the neck when replacement centre Nathan Edwards made a break, splitting the Swansea defence, before he threw a long pass out wide for temporary substitute hooker Craig Thomas to score in the corner. Hughes converted.
John powered forward, but his side lost possession and a box kick by Smith was almost picked up by the chasing Rogers, but Swansea winger Jon Bayliss shepherded the ball to touch.
Flanker Josh MacLeod came close to scoring, but was held up just short of the line. The home side made the most of an overlap out wide, but the pass from Edwards to Kalum Evans was a metre forward.
A powerful scrum by the Llanelli pack forced a penalty and Hughes kicked to the corner. The fly half made a break into the twenty-two and Taylor Davies superbly clung onto a high pass and threw a pass out wide for Kalum Evans to score. Hughes converted.
The All Whites tried desperately to get a foothold in the match and a neat move by the backs saw Jones dance past a couple of defenders, only for him to run out of room at the touchline.
Swansea gave themselves a lifeline with ten minutes remaining when lock Matt Dodd rose high to collect a lineout and the forwards rumbled towards the line. The ball spilled out, but Aubrey was alert enough to gather and touch down for a try. Jones missed the conversion.
A well weighted crossfield kick by Hughes was taken by replacement winger Dion Jones, but he was wrapped up in the tackle. Macleod drove forward and the Whites’ defence were penalised for offside at the ruck. The move came to an end though when Hughes’ chip bounced into touch.
Llanelli sealed a bonus point victory when Macleod took a quick tap penalty and the All Whites killed the ball on the try line. The home side opted for a scrum and got the ball out quickly to Edwards, who crashed over to score. Hughes missed the conversion.
Next up for Llanelli is a home match against Bargoed, while Swansea travel to Newport.
Full-time:- Llanelli 32 Swansea 15
Tries:- Ryan Davies (31), Craig Thomas (54), Kalum Evans (66), Nathan Edwards (80+3)
Cons:- Ioan Hughes (32, 55, 67)
Pens:- Ioan Hughes (18, 47)
Yellow cards:- Taylor Davies (46)
Tries:- Josh Martin (37), Matthew Aubrey (72)
Cons:- Phil Jones (38)
Pens:- Phil Jones (49)
Yellow cards:- Paul John (46)
Venue:- Parc Y Scarlets, Llanelli
Referee:- Robert Price
Weather:- Light rain shower, 12C
Man of the match:- Josh MacLoed
15 Ashley Evans
14 Kalum Evans (rep: Dion Jones 72)
13 Ryan Davies
12 Gareth Owen (rep: Nathan Edwards 25)
11 Tom Rogers
10 Ioan Hughes
9 Declan Smith (rep: Matthew Flanagan 72)
1 Rhys Fawcett (rep: Tom Kaijaks 55)
2 Taylor Davies (rep: Craig Thomas 67)
3 Simon Gardiner (rep: Nicky Thomas 48)
4 Chris Long
5 Ben Davies (rep: Adam Powell 48)
6 Tom Phillips ©
7 Josh MacLoed
8 Trystan Lloyd (rep: Craig Thomas 50-57) (rep: Dan Davies 67)
16 Tom Kaijaks
17 Craig Thomas
18 Nicky Thomas
19 Adam Powell
20 Dan Davies
21 Matthew Flanagan
22 Nathan Edwards
23 Dion Jones
15 Rhys Williams (rep: Rory Garrett 67)
14 Jon Bayliss (rep: Ricky Guest 50-57)
13 Ryan Evans
12 Josh Martin (rep: Jedd Evans 65)
11 Will Lewis
10 Phil Jones
9 Matthew Aubrey (rep: Rhodri Wells 76)
1 Richard Murphy (rep: Dan Kenny 76)
2 Paul John (rep: Ricky Guest 63)
3 Mitchell Walsh (rep: Sam Martin 67)
4 Tudor Hughes (rep: Gavin Ronan 67)
5 Matt Dodd
6 Jon Vaughan ©
7 Jack Perkins (rep: Jon Fox 70)
8 Rory Gallagher
16 Ricky Guest
17 Dan Kenny
18 Sam Martin
19 Gavin Ronan
20 Jon Fox
21 Rhodri Wells
22 Rory Garrett
23 Jedd Evans