- Opening day defeat for All Whites
- Nathan Trowbridge scores try on first start
- Whites hand debuts to six players
By: Paul Hopkins
The All Whites suffered a disappointing opening day defeat against Ospreys regional rivals Aberavon.
It was the Wizards who embarked on the first notable attack of the match, but the move broke down when full back Jon Phillips dropped a pass in midfield.
A powerful home scrum turned over possession and sent winger Matthew Jenkins racing through the middle, but a superb tackle by scrum half Josh Guy prevented the winger from scoring in the corner.
Flanker Jac Morgan was penalised for failing to release the man after the tackle and full back Rhys Williams chose to kick for possession on the twenty-two. However, former All Whites lock Rhodri Hughes telegraphed the throw and the home side were able to clear the danger.
A period of pressure for the visitors almost resulted in a try, but both hooker Sion Jones and centre Jake Randall were held up on the line. The Aberavon pack were penalised at the scrum and fly half Foard Cooksley kicked a simple three points.
Aberavon responded immediately when Phillips sprinted into space on the wing to feed Jenkins for a well taken try. Fly half James Garland converted.
A clever dart out wide by flanker Joe Tomalin Reeves set up an Aberavon attack, but the move came to an end following a late tackle on Garland.
The Wizards continued to attack and the pack camped on the try line, allowing scrum half Pritchard an easy touch down. Garland converted.
Hooker Ieuan Davies found himself in an unusual place on the wing as the home side raised the tempo and centre Will Price spotted a gap in the middle to ease over for a try. Garland converted.
Half-time:- Aberavon 21 Swansea 3
Swansea started the brighter side after the interval and winger Andrew Claypole took a high ball and raced up to the twenty-two, but support was too slow to arrive.
The visitors got themselves back into the match with a well-deserved try when Williams made a break down the wing, finding replacement centre Owen Howe, who sent winger Nathan Trowbridge sprinting clear to score. Howe converted.
Garland extended the lead to 14 points with a penalty goal after the Whites strayed offside at the breakdown.
Replacement lock Ben Jones collected good lineout ball to set up an Aberavon attack, but Shaun Pearce held on after the tackle, bringing an end to the move.
The Wizards came within inches of scoring a bonus point try when winger Chris Banfield turned up the pace on the wing, but he was brought down just short of the line and spilled possession forward.
Next up for Aberavon is a trip to Ebbw Vale, while Swansea host RGC 1404.
Full-time:- Aberavon 24 Swansea 10
Tries:- Matthew Jenkins (24), David Pritchard (35), Will Price (40+2)
Cons:- James Garland (25, 36, 40+3)
Pens:- James Garland (56)
Tries:- Nathan Trowbridge (50)
Cons:- Owen Howe (51)
Pens:- Foard Cooksley (21)
Venue:- Talbot Athletic Ground
Referee:- Elfyn Morris-Roberts
Weather:- Light cloud, 19C
Man of the match:- Matthew Jenkins
15 Jonny Phillips (rep: Liam Popham 68)
14 Matthew Jenkins
13 Will Price
12 Joe Gage (rep: Shaun Pearce 51)
11 Chris Banfield
10 James Garland ©
9 David Pritchard (rep: Jacob Flynn 78)
1 Rhys Forse (rep: Joe Thomas 65)
2 Ieuan Davies (rep: Luke Davies 63)
3 Chris Davies (rep: Geraint James 57)
4 Rhodri Hughes (rep: Ben Jones 71)
5 Sam Williams
6 Jac Morgan (rep: Lee Purnell 63)
7 Joe Tomalin Reeves
8 Luke Joseph
16 Jacob Flynn
17 Shaun Pearce
18 Liam Popham
19 Luke Davies
20 Lee Purnell
21 Jon Thomas
22 Geraint James
23 Ben Jones
15 R Rhys Williams
14 Ryan Griffiths
13 Gareth Rees (rep: Owen Howe 34)
12 Jake Randall (rep: Andrew Claypole 41)
11 Nathan Trowbridge
10 Foard Cooksley
9 Josh Guy (rep: Tom Ham 67)
1 Tom Sloane (rep: Jack Powell 72)
2 Sion Jones (rep: Josh Clark 57)
3 Greg Cunliffe (rep: Tom Harper 57)
4 Jon Fox ©
5 Tudor Hughes
6 Jon Vaughan (rep: Owen Morgan 57)
7 Ben Davies (rep: Callum Bowden 62)
8 Duane Eager
16 Josh Clark
17 Jack Powell
18 Tom Harper
19 Owen Morgan
20 Callum Bowden
21 Tom Ham
22 Owen Howe
23 Andrew Claypole