By: Paul Hopkins
The All Whites fell to a second defeat of the season, but showed good character to secure a fourth try bonus point at the death against much fancied RGC 1404.
It was a positive start for the visitors as their backs had an early run at Swansea, earning a penalty when the home pack killed the ball. Fly half Billy McBryde chipped to the corner, but his forwards lost possession at the maul.
A poor error by full back Nathan Trowbridge on his own line let centre Tom Hughes in for a soft try under the posts after he chased down a kick. McBryde converted.
Just minutes later the lead was doubled when scrum half Efan Jones broke loose in midfield and left the Swansea defence behind as he sprinted home to score. McBryde converted.
A scrummaging infringement by RGC in their own twenty-two gave centre R Rhys Williams an opportunity to find touch near the try line. Prop Tom Sloane collected the lineout, but the ball became trapped, giving the All Whites an attacking scrum five.
The Swansea forwards inched towards the line, but ill-discipline conceded a penalty and RGC were able to clear.
Winger Ryan Griffiths thought he had scored after a well worked scrum on the twenty-two, but referee Ben Breakspear brought play back for an earlier knock on.
An outstanding move by the Swansea backline saw play switched between the two wings, before lock Owen Morgan popped up in midfield to power over for a try. Fly half Foard Cooksley converted.
But the North Walian side responded immediately when winger Rhys Williams chipped into space with the bounce favouring fellow winger Sam Jones, who scored in the corner. McBryde converted.
Swansea were soon back on the front foot and a quick penalty by number eight Jon Fox sent centre J Rhys Williams crashing over for a try under the posts. McBryde converted.
Half-time:- Swansea 14 RGC 1404 21
Swansea were very quick out of the blocks after the interval and R Rhys Williams danced through a couple of tackles to score under the posts. Cooksley converted.
Winger Joe Jenkins made a break into the twenty-two, but failed to find the support on his shoulder and the visitors were able to clear long.
RGC were penalised for failing to roll away after the tackle and R Rhys Williams turned down the kickable chance to chip to touch. It almost proved a disaster, but McBryde spilled forward his attempt at an interception.
The visitors retook the lead with a McBryde penalty goal after the Swansea defence strayed offside in midfield.
McBryde found touch deep inside the Swansea twenty-two and replacement flanker Dan Owen rose high to collect the lineout, but hooker Evan Yardley failed to throw straight.
Lock Tudor Hughes stepped offside, giving McBryde another chance to find touch inside the twenty-two. The visitors inched towards the line, but the Swansea defence gave away a penalty, which McBryde duly converted.
Swansea threw everything at the RGC defence, but every door was firmly shut by an outstanding defence.
Replacement scrum half Cam Davies sealed victory in style after an RGC scrum marched forward and he was able to loop around to score under the posts. McBryde converted.
In the dying seconds, the Whites went in search for a losing bonus point and were rewarded with a pushover try for replacement hooker Paul John. Cooksley missed the chance to secure a second bonus point.
Next up for Swansea is a trip to Bridgend, while RGC face a home match against Ebbw Vale.
Full-time:- Swansea 26 RGC 1404 34
Tries:- Owen Morgan (29), J Rhys Williams (38), R Rhys Williams (43), Paul John (80+8)
Cons:- Foard Cooksley (30, 39, 44)
Tries:- Tom Hughes (7), Efan Jones (10), Sam Jones (32), Cam Davies (79)
Cons:- Billy McBryde (8, 11, 33, 80)
Pens:- Billy McBryde (57, 69)
Yellow cards:- Nick Butterworth (80+7)
Venue:- St Helen’s, Swansea
Referee:- Ben Breakspear
Weather:- Light rain, 17C
Man of the match:- Billy McBryde
15 Nathan Trowbridge (rep: Andrew Claypole 45)
14 Joe Jenkins
13 R Rhys Williams (rep: Ben Cambriani 70)
12 J Rhys Williams
11 Ryan Griffiths
10 Foard Cooksley
9 Josh Guy (rep: Tom Ham 70)
1 Tom Sloane (rep: Jack Powell 78)
2 Sion Jones (rep: Paul John 56)
3 Greg Cunniffe (rep: Tom Harper 60)
4 Tudor Hughes
5 Owen Morgan
6 Jon Vaughan (rep: Ben Davies 60)
7 Callum Bowden
8 Jon Fox ©
16 Paul John
17 Jack Powell
18 Tom Harper
19 Ed Cousins
20 Ben Davies
21 Tom Ham
22 Ben Cambriani
23 Andrew Claypole
RGC 1404 team:
15 Dion Jones
14 Sam Jones
13 Tom Hughes
12 Danny Cross (rep: Bailey Rae 80+2)
11 Rhys Williams
10 Billy McBryde
9 Efan Jones (rep: Cam Davies 49 (rep: Nick Butterworth 80+4))
1 Joe Simpson (rep: Jordan Scott (74)
2 Evan Yardley © (rep: George Roberts 70)
3 Sam Wainwright (rep: Joel Ringer 56)
4 Bryn Jones
5 Robin Williams
6 Andrew Williams
7 Mei Parry (rep: Dan Owen 56)
8 Tim Grey (rep: Ilan Rowlands 56)
16 George Roberts
17 Jordan Scott
18 Joel Ringer
19 Dan Owen
20 Ilan Rowlands
21 Nick Butterworth
22 Cam Davies
23 Bailey Rae