Cardiff 38-33 Swansea

By: Paul Hopkins

The All Whites came up agonisingly short in a thrilling encounter against Cardiff at the Arms Park.

The home side were awarded an early penalty after the visitors crept offside in midfield and fly half Arwel Robson chipped to the corner.

From the lineout, the Blue and Blacks – playing in their red change strip – got the ball quickly out to the backs, with centre Jason Harries taking the ball in midfield and prop Freddie Barnes powering through, before the ball was sent out wide for winger Kodie Stone to score. Robson missed the conversion.

Flanker Lloyd Evans burst forward as Swansea looked to hit back, and back row Callum Bowden popped up at scrum half to keep the move flowing, but fly half Rhys Jones’ chip ahead was easily grounded in the dead ball line by full back Matty Young.

Stone made a superb break and fed Young, who raced into the Swansea 22, but support was too slow to arrive and the Blue and Blacks were was penalised for holding on after the tackle.

A superb link up between Young and Harries almost resulted in a try for the home side, but a pass to Barnes was inches forward, much to the Whites’ relief. The Cardiff pack pushed their counterparts off the ball though and almost grabbed a second try, but they were held up over the line.

The Blue and Blacks should have scored another try when lock Ethan Phillips and flanker Craig Hudd combined, but the latter lost the ball forward over the line.

Rhys Jones found touch just metres short of the Cardiff 22 with a penalty, with lock Lloyd Ashley taking the lineout and a superb chip to the corner by centre Joe Thomas saw winger Brandon Wood squeeze over for a try in the corner. Rhys Jones missed the conversion.

Things got even better for the visitors moments later when prop Cameron B Jones powered up to half way and found Wood, who sprinted down the wing and passed to full back Harri Houston who sidestepped past a player to scire under the posts. Rhys Jones converted.

Another break by Houston put the home side under pressure and he found scrum half Aron Hemmings in support, before the ball was swept out through the hands of centre Sam Matthews for number eight Cai Davies to score. Rhys Jones converted.

Winger Llien Morgan ran back at the Cardiff defence and made his way up to the 22, but the visitors were unable to capitalise, with prop Ed Thompson penalised for holding on after the tackle.

Swansea gained a turnover on half way and Rhys Jones dinked a kick into the corner and a poor forward pass by Stone put his side under needless pressure.

Thomas lost the ball in contact, but the home side kicked the ball away with Evans throwing a pass to Morgan, before Ashley was penalised on the ground.

Robson chipped up to the Swansea 22 with a penalty touch finder and the home pack mauled forward, with Robson tackled on the line, but he superbly popped the ball out to Craig Hudd, who scored on the stroke of half time. Robson converted.

Half-time:-   Cardiff 12-19 Swansea

The visitors were penalised for offside almost immediately after the restart and Robson found touch deep inside the Swansea 22. Craig Hudd took the lineout, and Barnes tried to charge through at the next phase Barnes, but was met by a solid defence.

The home side were awarded a scrum and number eight Morgan Allen controlled the ball from the back of the set piece, and powered over for a try under the posts. Robson converted.

Cameron B Jones charged down a Robson kick, but the bounce didn’t favour the Swansea man. However, the visitors were soon back in possession, but gave away a penalty after taking a man out in the air following a box kick.

Cardiff retook the lead with a bonus point try when the Swansea defence struggled to take out winger Joe Goodchild, who found centre Harrison James on his shoulder for a well taken try. Robson converted.

The Blue and Blacks attacked again with the ball fed out wide to replacement full back Jacob Lloyd, who was well tackled. The ball was quickly recycled and the visitors gave away a penalty, which Robson kicked to the corner, but Cardiff gave away a penalty at the lineout.

Houston ran onto a ball at pace to spark a Swansea attack, but Matthews was caught in possession in midfield and held on after the tackle.

A powerful rolling maul by the home pack earned a penalty, which Robson dinked into the corner. From the lineout, Cardiff got quick ball out and a long pass out wide saw scrum half Joe Williams dive over to score at the corner. Robson missed the conversion.

Houston made a superb break and found Bowden in support, but replacement prop Daf Davies became isolated and gave away a penalty at the tackle.

Then Robson chipped out on the full to put his side under pressure inside his own half, and it hurt the home side as replacement scrum half Gareth J Rees raced clear from a ruck to score a well taken try. Substitute fly half Jacob Symes converted.

All the hard work was undone seconds later though, when Gareth J Rees had a box kick charged down by lock Sean Moore, who followed up to score. Robson converted.

Swansea were back on the attack straight from the restart with Gareth J Rees making a break, supported by Morgan. Cardiff gave away a penalty which Gareth J Rees took quickly, and after a few phases of play, the scrum half popped up again for a try, which Symes converted.

Robson thought he had scored a winning try in the corner after he picked up a loose ball, but play was brought back for a knock on.

In the final seconds, Morgan sprinted down the wing and found his way up to the 22, but a determined Cardiff defence forced a knock on to break Swansea hearts.

Next up for Cardiff is a trip to Aberavon, while Swansea host title hopefuls Ebbw Vale.

Full-time:-   Cardiff 38-33 Swansea



Tries:-   Kodie Stone (3), Craig Hudd (40+2), Morgan Allen (44), Harrison James (48), Joe Williams (63), Sean Moore (69)

Cons:-   Arwel Robson (40+3, 45, 49, 70)



Tries:-   Brandon Wood (19), Harri Houston (21), Cai Davies (24), Gareth J Rees (67, 75)

Cons:-   Rhys Jones (22, 25), Jacob Symes (68, 76)


Match facts:

Venue:-   Cardiff Arms Park, Cardiff

Weather:-   Clear, 10C

Referee:-   Tom Spurrier

Man of the match:-   Alun Rees

Attendance:-   300


Cardiff team:

15 Matty Young (rep: Jacob Lloyd 38)

14 Kodie Stone (rep: James Beal 25)

13 Jason Harries

12 Harrison James

11 Joe Goodchild (rep: Tom Habberfield 55)

10 Arwel Robson

9 Joe Williams

1 Cam Tylergrocott (rep: Eddie Drake 64)

2 Alun Rees

3 Freddie Barnes (rep: Adam Williams 59)

4 Sean Moore

5 Ethan Phillips

6 Craig Hudd (rep: Tom Fitzpatrick 76)

7 Nathan Hudd (rep: Evan Rees 59)

8 Morgan Allen ©


16 James Goldsworthy

17 Eddie Drake

18 Adam Williams

19 Evan Rees

20 Tom Fitzpatrick

21 Tom Habberfield

22 Jacob Lloyd

23 James Beal


Swansea team:

15 Harri Houston

14 Llien Morgan

13 Joe Thomas (rep: Gareth O Rees 55)

12 Sam Matthews

11 Brandon Wood

10 Rhys Jones (rep: Jacob Symes 55)

9 Aron Hemmings (rep: Gareth J Rees 64)

1 Cameron B Jones (rep: Daf Davies 50)

2 Jamie Cox (rep: Llew Phillips-Taylor 50)

3 Ed Thompson (rep: Kian Hire 50)

4 Lloyd Ashley

5 Joe Greaves

6 Lloyd Evans (rep: Dai Francis 55)

7 Callum Bowden ©

8 Cai Davies


16 Llew Phillips-Taylor

17 Daf Davies

18 Kian Hire

19 Jake Baker

20 Dai Francis

21 Gareth J Rees

22 Jacob Symes

23 Gareth O Rees