- Last gasp penalty try secures victory for Carmarthen
- Whites begin second league phase with impressive display
- Carmarthen dominate proceedings up front
By: Paul Hopkins
It was heartbreak for the All Whites as a late penalty try gave Carmarthen victory in the first match of the combined Premiership.
It wasn’t an ideal start for the Quins when they lost captain Shaun Evans to a shoulder injury inside the opening three minutes.
But they regrouped immediately and hooker Torin Myhill made a break from the lineout. Full back Steffan Marshall raced into the twenty-two and had one defender to beat, but he wasted the opportunity by failing to pass out wide to winger Morgan Griffiths, who would have had an easy run in to the line.
The home side took the lead when flanker Ben Davies was penalised for pulling down a maul. Marshall kicked the three points.
Carmarthen were awarded another penalty when the visitors again collapsed a maul illegally. Marshall kicked to the corner and lock Haydn Pugh collected the lineout with replacement flanker Shaun Jones and fly half Jac Wilson both probing the Swansea defence.
Play was brought back for a Quins penalty and new captain Pugh opted for a scrum five. It proved the right call as the home pack powered forward, giving referee Rhys Thomas no option but to award a penalty try.
Swansea were right back in it when centre J Rhys Williams gathered a chip through and raced up to the twenty-two. Winger Andrew Claypole spotted a gap and was brought down a few metres short of the line. The ball was quickly recycled to J Rhys Williams, who strolled through a tackle to score under the posts. Fly half James Davies converted.
Centre Josh Batcup then powered forward after taking a crash ball at the lineout. Fellow centre Nick Reynolds and flanker Elis Lloyd provided good support to move play over the twenty-two, but the visitors managed to secure a turnover and clear.
The impressive Batcup set up another attacking platform for the Quins, but a dangerous chip through, meant for winger Dylan Morgans, was well marshalled into touch by scrum half Matthew Aubrey.
Griffiths fielded a loose kick and ran back at the Swansea defence. Elis Lloyd then powered forward down the wing, before Batcup took the ball in midfield to score under the posts. Marshall converted.
The Whites refused to let Carmarthen run away with it and were awarded a penalty after the Quins’ defence failed to release the man after the tackle. A second professional foul shortly after saw Elis Lloyd sent to the sin bin.
The Whites should have scored a try on 33 minutes when full back Gareth Walters chipped through and looked set to dive on the ball over the line, only for Davies to inexplicably touch down from a clear offside position. Play was brought back though for an earlier infringement by Quins and Davies kicked a penalty goal.
J Rhys Williams was a thorn in the Quins’ side throughout the match and he again knocked defenders back as he strode over the gain line. The ball was then quickly spread out wide to Claypole, who looked to have scored in the corner, only for referee Thomas to penalised him for crossing.
Half-time:- Carmarthen 17 Swansea 10
Davies cut the gap to just four points with a penalty goal immediately after the interval when the home side illegally slowed play down at the ruck.
Offside at the break down again gave Swansea another penalty. This time Aubrey kicked to the corner and Claypole took the ball at pace in midfield, only to be penalised for holding on after the tackle.
The deficit was down to a single point when Wilson was penalised for killing the ball, and promptly handed a yellow card. Davies added the three points.
A clever chip through by winger Dan Howells forced Morgans into touch on the twenty-two. The visitors were unable to form a rolling maul and were instead driven back by a determined Carmarthen pack.
Prop Jevon Sebastian charged deep inside Swansea territory, allowing his backs to get quick ball out wide. However instead of keeping possession, they tried a clever chip through which was well defended by the Whites.
Morgans dropped the ball under no pressure to gift Swansea an attacking scrum. However, a deft grubber kick by Davies was well gathered and Carmarthen managed to clear the danger.
Swansea took a deserved lead in the closing stages when Claypole picked up a Davies chip through to use his strength to score under the posts. Davies converted.
In search of victory the home side began to throw the kitchen sink at the Swansea defence and were awarded a number of penalties in quick succession for infringements at the maul. Replacement lock Tudor Hughes was sent to the sin-bin for persistent offside.
With a man advantage up front, the Quins opted for a scrum five and were duly awarded an inevitable match winning penalty try to send the home support into raptures.
It’s a four week break for the Quins as they wait to see who they will face in the WRU National Cup second round, while Swansea have a first round tie at home to Newport next week.
Full-time:- Carmarthen 24 Swansea 23
Tries:- Penalty Try (15, 80), Josh Batcup (27)
Cons:- Steffan Marshall (28)
Pens:- Steffan Marshall (8)
Yellow cards:- Elis Lloyd (31), Jac Wilson (52)
Tries:- J Rhys Williams (18), Andrew Claypole (73)
Cons:- James Davies (19, 74)
Pens:- James Davies (33, 45, 53)
Yellow cards:- Tudor Hughes (77)
Venue:- Carmarthen Park, Carmarthen
Referee:- Rhys Thomas
Weather:- Cloudy, 11C
Man of the match:- Javan Sebastian
15 Steffan Marshall
14 Dylan Morgans
13 Nick Reynolds
12 Josh Batcup (rep: Scott Lloyd 50-59)
11 Morgan Griffiths (rep: Gavin Thomas 56)
10 Jac Wilson
9 Ifan Beynon-Thomas
1 Gethin Robinson (rep: Nathan Williams 71)
2 Torin Myhill (rep: Rhodri Clancy 74)
3 Javan Sebastian (rep: Steffan Thomas 74)
4 Josh Helps
5 Haydn Pugh ©
6 Elis Lloyd
7 Shaun Evans (rep: Shaun Jones 3 (rep: Lewys Millin 41))
8 Richard Bloomfield
16 Nathan Williams
17 Rhodri Clancy
18 Steffan Thomas
19 Shaun Jones
20 Lewys Millin
21 Aron Hemmings
22 Scott Lloyd
23 Gavin Thomas
15 Gareth Walters
14 Andrew Claypole
13 Rhys R Williams
12 J Rhys Williams
11 Dan Howells
10 James Davies
9 Matthew Aubrey
1 Tom Sloane ©
2 Ashleigh James (rep: Tom Ball 15)
3 Richard Murphy (rep: Mitchell Walsh 50)
4 Sam Kiley (rep: Tudor Hughes 50)
5 Matt Dodd
6 Jay Williams (rep: Jon Vaughan 68)
7 Ben Davies
8 Steffan Jones
16 Tom Ball
17 Hugh Gustafson
18 Mitchell Walsh
19 Tudor Hughes
20 Jon Vaughan
21 Rhodri Wells
22 Jedd Evans
23 Callum Carson