CARDIFF 17-10 SWANSEA
By: Paul Hopkins
The Whites battled to a losing bonus point defeat at the Arms Park against a tough Cardiff outfit
It was the visitors who enjoyed the first attack when scrum half Chris Morgans made a half break and found Rhys Williams and in support. The centre threw a pass out wide and winger Gareth Rees raced up to the twenty-two only for the Cardiff defence to kill the ball. Fly half James Davies kicked the resulting penalty goal.
A superb burst of pace by winger James Beal out wide gave the Blue and Blacks their first foray into Swansea territory and he found centre Sam Beard in support, but the Whites were penalised for illegally slowing down play. Fly half Gareth Thompson kicked the three pointer.
The home side continued to exert pressure on Swansea and Thompson penned their defence deep inside the twenty-two with a clever grubber kick to touch.
And the hard work paid off when full back Joe Scrivens powered past a tackle before the ball was quickly swept out to the other wing for Beard to squeeze over for the opening try. Thompson converted.
A second try followed soon after when centre Ben Thomas cut through the visitors’ defence and found winger Joe Gatt, who drew in the last defender to send a scoring pass to scrum half Tom Habberfield. Thompson converted.
It should have been a third try seconds later when Habberfield chased down a chip through but James Davies managed to get back to ground the ball dead over his own try line. A scrum five followed and the Cardiff pack looked to rumble over the line, but a superb defence forced hooker Evan Yardley to hold on after the tackle.
Winger Max Nagy looked to attack for the Whites but he became isolated and gave away a penalty. Cardiff again used their forward power and Beal looked to have scored, but the try was ruled out following a double movement.
Moments before half time a clever short lineout to prop Greg Cunniffe saw the visitors mount a rare attack inside the Cardiff twenty-two, but hooker Ifan Phillips held on after the tackle.
Half-time:- Cardiff 17 Swansea 3
Cardiff were temporarily reduced to 14 men early in the second half when Beal tackled Rhys Williams in the air, forcing the centre off with a suspected shoulder injury.
It gave Swansea the impetus they needed and James Davies kicked to the corner with a penalty after the Blue and Blacks’ defence crept offside. Lock Shaun O’Rourke powered forward to take his side up to within a metre short of the line and the Cardiff defence killed the ball. The home pack managed to win a penalty at the scrum and were able to clear the danger.
Another Swansea attack broke down when full back Phil Jones threw a loose pass, but the visitors were soon back in possession with lock Jay Williams charging up the middle, but replacement centre Callum Carson’s chip ahead was dealt with by the Cardiff defence.
A superb move by the Cardiff backs should have resulted in a try, but replacement full back Dan Fish’s chip ahead ricocheted into touch off a Whites player.
The Blue and Blacks were back on the attack straightaway and could have easily been awarded a penalty try, when prop Eddie Drake deliberated tapped down a pass one-handed, although he escaped with a yellow card.
Centre Kieran Williams dropped a regulation pass and Ben Thomas chipped ahead, but Jones remained calm to scoop up the ball, with the overeager Thomas diving on the full back to give away a penalty.
The Whites grabbed an unlikely bonus point in the dying seconds when Jones picked up a loose ball to score under the posts. He also converted.
Full-time:- Cardiff 17 Swansea 10
Tries:- Sam Beard (21), Tom Habberfield (31)
Cons:- Gareth Thompson (22, 32)
Pens:- Gareth Thompson (12)
Yellow cards:- James Beal (46)
Tries:- Phil Jones (80+5)
Cons:- Phil Jones (80+6)
Pens:- James Davies (4)
Yellow cards:- Eddie Drake (74)
Venue:- Cardiff Arms Park
Weather:- Cloudy, 15C
Man of the match:- Sam Beard
15 Joe Scrivens (rep: Dan Fish 47)
14 James Beal
13 Sam Beard (rep: Leon Andrews 79)
12 Ben Thomas
11 Joe Gatt
10 Gareth Thompson
9 Tom Habberfield (rep: Ben Williams 65)
1 Thomas Davies (rep: Kirby Myhill 74)
2 Evan Yardley (rep: Lewis Francis 47)
3 Ollie Drake (rep: Will Davies-King 65)
4 James Ratti
5 Teddy Williams
6 James Thomas (rep: Sam Pailor 65)
7 Zach O’Driscoll (rep: Alex Everett 65)
8 Morgan Allen ©
16 Will Davies-King
17 Kirby Myhill
18 Lewis Francis
19 Sam Pailor
20 Alex Everett
21 Ben Williams
22 Leon Andrews
23 Dan Fish
15 Phil Jones
14 Max Nagy
13 Rhys Williams (rep: Callum Carson 46)
12 Kieran Williams
11 Gareth Rees
10 James Davies (rep: Kieran Charles 80+1)
9 Chris Morgans (rep: Liam Seaward 67)
1 Eddie Drake
2 Ifan Phillips
3 Greg Cunniffe (rep: Jordan Pritchard 74)
4 Shaun O’Rourke
5 Jay Williams
6 Morgan Morris
7 Callum Bowden (rep: Duane Eager 69)
8 Jon Fox © (rep: Cai Davies 74)
16 Matthew Moore
17 Dean Howells
18 Jordan Pritchard
19 Cai Davies
20 Duane Eager
21 Liam Seaward
22 Kieran Charles
23 Callum Carson