By: Paul Hopkins
Swansea battled to an outstanding victory over high flyers Carmarthen Quins thanks to a late Ben Cambriani try.
But it wasn’t an ideal start for Richard Lancaster’s men. After a couple of early penalty touch finder exchanges, a Quins rolling maul forced Swansea offside inside their own twenty-two. Fly half Steffan Marshall chose to chip to the corner and from the lineout a second maul resulted in a try for centre Nick Reynolds. Marshall converted.
Swansea looked to hit back immediately and the Quins defence prevented quick ball when flanker Duane Eager charged through. Fly half Steffen Williams kicked the three pointer.
The visitors were awarded a penalty straight from the restart when the Whites’ were guilty of deliberate obstruction and Marshall was successful with his effort at goal.
Scrum half Tom Ham caught opposite number Liam Davies at a scrum and forced him to hold on after the tackle. Steffen Williams’ penalty fell short of the line, but placed the Quins in a difficult position on their own line, although they just about managed to hold onto possession.
A powerful scrum by the home pack earned a penalty and Steffen Williams found touch five metres from the try line. Lock Matt Dodd collected the lineout and Steffen Williams chipped across field, only for Cambriani to drop the ball.
Play was brought back for a Swansea penalty and quick thinking by Ham caught the Quins’ defence cold as he took a quick tap and dived over for a try. Steffen Williams tied the scores with a successful conversion.
A long kick by full back Dale Ford took an awkward bounce and ended up sailing over the dead ball line, giving the home side a scrum on half way, but the Quins regained possession and winger Dylan Morgan found touch on the Swansea twenty-two.
Winger Matthew John fielded a loose kick by Steffen Williams to set up a Quins attack, but he was held up over the try line. Carmarthen were awarded a penalty try from the resulting after Ham strayed offside to prevent a certain score as the pack advanced towards the line.
Eager burst through the middle as Swansea refused to be disheartened, but Ford tracked back to ground Steffen Williams’ grubber kick dead.
Number eight Morgan Morris then powered through a tackle up to the twenty-two, but he was unable to chase down his chip through and the Quins’ defence grounded for a drop out.
Swansea ran back at the visitors and were awarded a penalty for offside. Steffen Williams kicked to the corner and Ham peeled off a maul, but was stopped in his tracks. The Quins gave away another offside penalty and Steffen Williams kicked the three points.
Centre Josh Batcup raced past a tackle to set up a Carmarthen attack and hooker Torin Myhill sprinted up to within five metres of the line, but Marshall held onto possession for too long and the visitors surrendered possession.
Half-time:- Swansea 13 Carmarthen 17
After the interval the Quins pack inched their way into the Swansea half and John was dragged down on the twenty-two. Cambriani picked up a loose ball, but his chip through bounced into touch.
A powerful Quins maul earned a penalty, which Marshall chipped to touch. As the visitors’ pack charged forward, replacement prop Greg Cunniffe ripped the ball out of a tackle to allow his side to clear.
Dodd collected lineout ball on the Quins twenty-two, but a Steffen Williams drop goal attempt fell well short of the posts.
Replacement lock Ed Siggery charged upfield, but the visitors were knocked backwards in the tackle. A quick tap penalty by number eight Lee Taylor took his side up to half way, but he dropped the ball under pressure.
A powerful scrum by the Carmarthen pack forced the Whites into reverse gear and they earned a penalty. However the visitors were unable to gather the lineout, allowing Swansea to clear.
A late penalty for the Whites was chipped to the corner by Steffen Williams. From the lineout a break by replacement hooker Ifan Phillips saw Cambriani take the ball at speed and score under the posts to the delight of the home crowd. Full back Josh Thomas missed the conversion.
A shell shocked Carmarthen gave away a penalty after the pack entered a maul offside. Luke Griffiths kicked the three pointer to extend his side’s lead.
In the dying seconds replacement fly half Jac Wilson found touch deep inside the home twenty-two with a penalty. The visitors probed the Swansea line, but were held up by an outstanding defence, who were able to celebrate hard earned victory.
Full-time:- Swansea 21 Carmarthen 17
Tries:- Tom Ham (20), Ben Cambriani (80+1)
Cons:- Steffen Williams (21)
Pens:- Steffen Williams (7, 40+3, 80+8)
Tries:- Nick Reynolds (5), Penalty try (32)
Cons:- Steffan Marshall (6)
Pens:- Steffan Marshall (9)
Venue:- St Helen’s, Swansea
Referee:- Martin Evans
Weather:- Cloudy, 15C
Man of the match:- Matt Dodd
15 Josh Thomas
14 Gareth Rees (rep: Andrew Claypole 67)
13 R Rhys Williams
12 J Rhys Williams
11 Ben Cambriani
10 Steffen Williams (rep: Luke Griffiths 73)
9 Tom Ham (rep: Chris Morgans 70)
1 Jack Powell (rep: Richard Murphy 49)
2 Dewi Lake (rep: Ifan Phillips 49)
3 Mitchell Walsh (rep: Greg Cunniffe 49)
4 Jon Fox ©
5 Matt Dodd
6 Duane Eager (rep: Charlie Davies 49)
7 Callum Bowden
8 Morgan Morris (rep: Tudor Hughes 80+5)
16 Ifan Phillips
17 Richard Murphy
18 Greg Cunniffe
19 Tudor Hughes
20 Charlie Davies
21 Chris Morgans
22 Luke Griffiths
23 Andrew Claypole
15 Dale Ford
14 Dylan Morgan
13 Nick Reynolds
12 Josh Batcup
11 Matthew John
10 Steffan Marshall (rep: Jac Wilson 49)
9 Liam Davies (rep: Ifan Beynon-Thomas 80+5)
1 Gethin Robinson (rep: Steff Phillips 75)
2 Torin Myhill (rep: Tom Ball 41-46)
3 Kemsley Mathias (rep: Javan Sebastian 49)
4 Jack Price (rep: Ed Siggery 56)
5 Josh Helps (rep: Haydn Pugh 46)
6 Lewys Millin
7 Elis Lloyd
8 Lee Taylor ©
16 Steff Phillips
17 Tom Ball
18 Javan Sebastian
19 Haydn Pugh
20 Ed Siggery
21 Ifan Beynon-Thomas
22 Jac Wilson
23 Curtis Ford