By: Paul Hopkins
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Swansea fell to a disappointing loss to Carmarthen in an error strewn match at The Park.
The visitors began the better side but a well weighted high kick by former All Whites fly half Jack Wilson was regathered by the Quins and prop Greg Cunniffe was penalised for an infringement on the ground, although the home side lost the resulting lineout.
The Whites were content to play for territory in the early stages and fly half Josh Thomas found touch inside the twenty-two. A mistake at the lineout gifted Swansea an attacking scrum. From the set piece Cunniffe made good yards, but centre Callum Carson tried to be too clever with an offload and Quins were able to clear.
A quick tap penalty by scrum half Tom Lucas set up a Whites attack, with centre Gareth Rees and winger Ryan Griffiths making headway, although the home side again turned over possession.
After a sniping run by the lively Lucas, winger Nathan Trowbridge shrugged off a tackle to race up to the twenty-two, but support was slow to arrive, allowing Carmarthen to clear through a penalty.
Lock Jay Williams superbly claimed a lineout against the head and, after a loose period of play, Trowbridge restored Swansea’s territorial advantage with a grubber kick into touch inside the twenty-two.
A collapsed scrum by the visitors gave Carmarthen a first sniff of an attack, but yet another poor throw at the lineout allowed Swansea to clear through Carson.
A superb touch finder by full back Leon Randall penned Swansea inside their own twenty-two, but lock Shaun O’Rourke took the lineout to clear the danger. The clearance failed to find touch through and scrum half Aron Hemmings raced forward, with Wilson making a half break, only for the move to end when hooker Shaun Evans drove into a ruck from the side.
The home side struck against the run of play when Randall spotted a gap in defence and raced into the twenty-two and found Evans in support, before the ball was swept out wide for winger Morgan Griffiths to score. Wilson missed the conversion.
Hooker Owen Thomas burst through the middle as Swansea looked to reply immediately, but a forward pass from Rees to Griffiths meant the move broke down.
An odd bounce from a well weighted Dale Ford chip and chase caused a problem for Trowbridge and he was forced to run the ball into touch. Swansea turned the ball over and counterattacked through Owen Thomas, with Carson kicking his side back into Quins territory.
A calamitous throw at the lineout by Evans handed the visitors a surprise attack and it looked as though Griffiths was destined to score in the corner, but his side were penalised for offside.
Quins grabbed a second try when the pack drove forward and centre Nick Reynolds raced down the blindside and threw a short inside pass to fellow centre Osain Knott, who touched down under the posts. Wilson converted.
The visitors were reduced to 14 men when Cunniffe was yellow carded for foul play. Wilson found touch on the twenty-two with a penalty and lock Haydn Pugh battered his way forward, finding flanker Lewys Millin in support. Another penalty followed in front of the posts and Wilson added the three pointer on the stroke of half time.
Half-time:- Carmarthen 15 Swansea 0
Swansea looked to attack immediately after the interval with Lucas feeding Trowbridge on the wing, but Millin charged down a Lucas chip through, but the Quins were penalised for killing the ball.
Full back Phil Jones was penalised for holding on after the tackle when he tried to run the ball out of defence and Wilson chose to chip to the corner. The lineout throw was poor and Swansea were able to clear.
Flanker Rich Bloomfield charged over the twenty-two to set up a Quins attack, but Ford was penalised, and yellow carded, for a dangerous clearout.
Number eight Jon Fox lost possession in the tackle and Griffiths used his strength to gain vital yards before the Whites were guilty of a high tackle. Wilson converted the penalty.
The home pack marched upfield, but prop Steff Thomas held onto the ball for too long in the tackle, giving Swansea a chance to clear.
Replacement prop Tom Sloane took a crash ball and offloaded to flanker Sam Pailor, before Josh Thomas sprinted into the twenty-two. The Whites’ pack remained patient and quick ball out wide saw Jones crash over for a try. Josh Thomas converted.
Morgan Griffiths did superb to stay infield after he picked up a Chris Morgans box kick, but the winger used his strength to hold off a couple of tackles, before Ryan Griffiths killed the ball and was promptly sent to the sin bin. Wilson kicked the penalty goal.
Replacement hooker Torin Myhill threw a crooked lineout inside his own twenty-two to give the visitors an attacking scrum. A crucial turnover by the Quins saw them clear long.
With five minutes left on the clock substitute number eight Cai Davies made a break through the middle, but failed to spot the man inside, although it didn’t matter as quick ball out wide resulted in a try for Jones in the corner. Josh Thomas missed the conversion, which proved crucial as it meant Swansea missed out on a losing bonus point.
Full-time:- Carmarthen 21 Swansea 12
Tries:- Morgan Griffiths (23), Osain Knott (35)
Cons:- Jack Wilson (36)
Pens:- Jack Wilson (40+2, 50, 63)
Yellow cards:- Dale Ford (48)
Tries:- Phil Jones (56, 80)
Cons:- Josh Thomas (57)
Yellow cards:- Greg Cunniffe (39), Ryan Griffiths (62)
Venue:- Carmarthen Park
Weather:- Light cloud, 9C
Man of the match:- Morgan Griffiths
15 Leon Randall
14 Dale Ford
13 Nick Reynolds
12 Osain Knott
11 Morgan Griffiths (rep: Jake Newman 63)
10 Jack Wilson
9 Aron Hemmings (rep: Josh Batcup 80)
1 Steff Thomas (rep: Kemsley Mathias 57)
2 Shaun Evans (rep: Torin Myhill 48)
3 Connor Allen (rep: Ben Leung 48)
4 Shaun Jones
5 Haydn Pugh ©
6 Rich Bloomfield (rep: Gethin Davies 80)
7 Lewys Millin
8 Lawrence Reynolds (rep: Ed Siggery 65)
16 Kemsley Mathias
17 Torin Myhill
18 Ben Leung
19 Ed Siggery
20 Gethin Davies
21 Jake Newman
22 Josh Batcup
23 Gareth Rees
15 Phil Jones
14 Nathan Trowbridge (rep: James Davies 46)
13 Gareth Rees
12 Callum Carson
11 Ryan Griffiths (rep: Liam Seaward 73)
10 Josh Thomas
9 Tom Lucas (rep: Chris Morgans 46)
1 Tom Northy (rep: Tom Sloane 46)
2 Owen Thomas (rep: Dewi Lake 46)
3 Greg Cunniffe (rep: Jordan Pritchard 65)
4 Shaun O’Rourke (rep: Owen Morgan 75)
5 Jay Williams
6 Sam Pailor
7 Callum Bowden
8 Jon Fox © (rep: Cai Davies 70)
16 Dewi Lake
17 Tom Sloane
18 Jordan Pritchard
19 Owen Morgan
20 Cai Davies
21 Chris Morgans
22 James Davies
23 Liam Seaward