Ebbw Vale 36-7 Swansea

By: Paul Hopkins

A disappointing Swansea were put to the sword by a clinical Ebbw Vale side, who scored five tries in a convincing win at Eugene Cross Park.

The Steelmen signalled their intent from the kick off with the forwards powering through and winger Jordan Thomas charging down a clearance kick.

The home side were awarded a penalty from the lineout and fly half Kieran Meek chose to kick deep into the 22. Swansea defended a maul from the resulting lineout and kept Ebbw Vale at bay, before excellent work on the ground by lock Lloyd Ashley secured a turnover.

Ebbw Vale were penalised for driving into a maul from the side, allowing fly half Rhys Jones to kick for his side’s first notable territory. Flanker Sam Pailor managed to keep hold of the lineout, but number eight Joe Greaves was penalised for holding on after the tackle.

A misfiring lineout throw by hooker Rhys Francis was gobbled up by hooker Jamie Cox and a superbly angled kick by scrum half Rhodri Lewis found touch a few metres from the Ebbw Vale line.

Swansea collapsed a scrum, giving the home side a penalty, which Meek chipped into the corner. Francis stretched towards the line but stopped was inches short, although lock Curtis Gregory spotted a gap and dived over for a try. Meek converted.

Scrum half Rory Harries nipped in at the base of a Swansea scrum to steal possession, but Meek’s high kick was marked by full back Brandon Wood.

The All Whites were awarded a penalty when Gregory strayed in front of a kick, but Jones’ effort at goal fell short of the posts.

A darting run by centre Gareth O Rees set up an attacking for the visitors with prop Ed Thompson making good yards, but Lewis’ chip through crept over the dead ball line, much to the frustration of the chasing Gareth O Rees.

Winger Morgan Rees made a break from his own 22, feeding fellow wing Matthew Jenkins, who switched to the left flank, and it forced Ebbw Vale offside. Jones again missed his effort at goal though.

Prop James Kenny stole in at the lineout to recapture possession for the visitors, and he was again involved as play was switched out to the wing, but Morgan Rees’ chip ahead went into touch.

Jenkins tried to run out of defence, but held onto possession after the tackle on half way. Meek found touch midway between the 22 and try line and flanker Cameron Regan collected the lineout with an unstoppable 10 metre rolling maul resulting in a try for Francis. Meek missed the conversion.

Jones found touch on the Ebbw Vale 22 with a penalty and lock Matt Dodd took the lineout, with Lewis making a superb break from the maul to take out the defence and send Morgan Rees over for a well worked try. Jones converted.

Thomas looked to have dropped a clanger in midfield, but play was brought back as the visitors’ chasers were in front of the kick. Instead, Meek kicked a three pointer.

Half-time:-   Ebbw Vale 15-7 Swansea

Wood dropped a regulation high kick in his own 22 to gift Ebbw Vale with a welcome attacking scrum. Swansea were driven backwards at the rate of knots so the home side were awarded a penalty, which Meek chipped to the corner. Francis tried to control a rolling maul but bumped into his own man.

The Whites were unable to get away from their own line though and Jenkins stepped into touch a metre from the line. Centre Dom Franchi tried to dive over and was stopped inches short of the line before prop Harry Drane picked up to score. Meek converted.

Jones used his powerful boot to kick Swansea up to the 22 with a penalty, but the Steelmen stole possession at the lineout and were able to clear.

A superb pass out wide saw centre Joe Thomas make good yards on the wing, but despite an initially patient build up, Wood chipped out on the full.

Ebbw Vale were awarded a penalty after an infringement at the lineout by the visitors and Meek kicked deep into the corner. Superb defence by the Whites secured a penalty, although Jones failed to find touch with his kick.

Thompson thought he’d secured a turnover, but referee Simon Mills awarded the Steelmen a penalty. The home side opted for a close range scrum and it paid off as an unstoppable maul resulted in a penalty try.

A long penalty touch finder by Jones gave Swansea rare possession inside the Ebbw Vale 22. Dodd took the lineout and replacement centre Osian Knott almost made his way through, but Pailor was penalised for holding on in the tackle.

A superb chip ahead by full back Carrick McDonough almost resulted in a try, but Wood managed to get back to ground the ball dead.

Replacement flanker Owen Conquer ran back at the Swansea defence and bounced off three tackles before handing a scoring pass to substitute scrum half Jon Evans. Replacement fly half Evan Lloyd converted.

Swansea almost scored a second try when Knott slipped a pass out wide to Morgan Rees, but it was adjudged forward.

The visitors tried to attack right until the end as the game descended into a bad tempered affair in the closing stages, where Evans was yellow carded. Replacement fly half Ieuan Bissell chipped to the corner, but the resulting lineout went awry, and Ebbw Vale cleared to mark full time.

Full-time:-   Ebbw Vale 36-7 Swansea


Ebbw Vale:

Tries:-   Curtis Gregory (16), Rhys Francis (35), Harry Drane (46), Penalty Try (62), Jon Evans (71)

Cons:-   Kieran Meek (17, 47), Evan Lloyd (72)

Pens:-   Kieran Meek (40+2)

Yellow cards:-   Jon Evans (80+5)



Tries:-   Morgan Rees (39)

Cons:-   Rhys Jones (40)

Yellow cards:-   James Kenny (62)


Match facts:

Venue:-   Eugene Cross Park, Ebbw Vale

Weather:-   Sunny, 3C

Referee:-   Simon Mills

Man of the match:-   Alex Howes

Attendance:-   900


Ebbw Vale team:

15 Carrick McDonough

14 Harry Rees-Weldon

13 Ethan Phillips

12 Dom Franchi

11 Jordan Thomas (rep: Ben Main 56)

10 Kieran Meek (rep: Evan Lloyd 56)

9 Rory Harries (rep: Jon Evans 56)

1 Luke Garrett (rep: Morgan Davies 56)

2 Rhys Francis © (rep: Ieuan Morris 56)

3 Harry Drane (rep: Owen Hatherill 61)

4 Dylan Bartlett

5 Curtis Gregory (rep: Jakub Malecki 62)

6 Cameron Regan

7 Kobi Rees (rep: Owen Conquer 56)

8 Alex Howes


16 Ieuan Morris

17 Morgan Davies

18 Owen Hatherill

19 Jakub Malecki

20 Owen Conquer

21 Jon Evans

22 Evan Lloyd

23 Ben Main


Swansea team:

15 Brandon Wood

14 Matthew Jenkins (rep: Ieuan Bissell 51)

13 Gareth O Rees

12 Joe Thomas

11 Morgan Rees

10 Rhys Jones (rep: Osian Knott 66)

9 Rhodri Lewis (rep: Gareth J Rees 62)

1 James Kenny (rep: Tom Sloane 73)

2 Jamie Cox (rep: Owen Thomas 41)

3 Ed Thompson (rep: Ellis Fackrell 56)

4 Lloyd Ashley (rep: Lewis Marsh 62)

5 Matt Dodd

6 Sam Pailor

7 Callum Bowden ©

8 Joe Greaves (rep: Lloyd Evans 56)


16 Owen Thomas

17 Tom Sloane

18 Ellis Fackrell

19 Lewis Marsh

20 Lloyd Evans

21 Gareth J Rees

22 Ieuan Bissell

23 Osian Knott