Swansea 10 Bargoed 0

By: Paul Hopkins

 

Swansea booked a place in the quarter-finals of the WRU Cup with a hard fought win over Bargoed at a wet and windy St Helen’s.

 

A torrential downpour in the opening few minutes did nothing to dampen the spirits of the home side, who almost took advantage of a powerful maul, but the Bargoed defence remained firm and were able to repel the attack.

 

It was the visitors who gave away the first penalty as they tried to run the ball out of defence. With the Bargoed defence getting ready for the kick at goal, a surprise tap penalty by scrum half Chris Morgans saw the home side swing the ball out wide for hooker Ifan Phillips to score in the corner. Steffen Williams converted.

 

Prop Jack Powell was penalised for offside at the ruck and fly half Calum Jones found touch inside the Swansea twenty-two. Flanker Louis Blacker took the lineout as the Bargoed forwards rumbled onwards, earning another penalty.

 

Sensing a huge advantage up front, the visitors opted for a scrum five under the posts, but a crooked feed gave Swansea some much needed respite.

 

Winger Ashley Norton dropped a routine kick inside his own twenty-two, but a mistake by the home side gave Bargoed a chance to clear.

 

With tempers beginning the flare, an off the ball push by Blacker gave Swansea a penalty, but fly half Steffen Williams missed the relatively straightforward kick at goal.

 

A tricky bounce caught out full back Julian Mogg inside his own twenty-two and he was forced to ground play dead over his own try line. From the scrum five, a Morgans grubber kick almost resulted in a try for full back Luke Griffiths, but he fumbled over the line.

 

Centre Mike Evans made a break over the twenty-two and the visitors were penalised for diving over the top of a ruck. Steffen Williams kicked the three pointer.

 

A poor grubber kick by Jones was picked up by Steffen Williams, who fed Phillips, but the rest of the pack was slow to arrive and Bargoed were awarded a relieving penalty.

 

Half-time:-   Swansea   10   Bargoed   0

 

It was the worst possible start to the second half for Bargoed when number eight Ben Fry saw yellow for a dangerous tackle. To make matters even more difficult, the gale force wind enjoyed by the home side in the opening period suddenly dropped at half time.

 

A superb break by Mogg sparked an attack for the visitors, but Jones’ grubber kick bounced over the whitewash agonisingly the other side of the dead ball line.

 

An error at the lineout by the visitors gave the Whites an opportunity to attack and Jones was yellow carded for killing the ball. Swansea opted for a scrum five and after a few failed attempts the visitors were able to secure a turnover.

 

Prop Alex Jeffries came within inches of scoring for the home side as he chased down a grubber kick, but Mogg managed to scramble back to shepherd the ball dead.

 

A superb chip through by winger Nathan Trowbridge saw Luke Griffiths sprint upfield, but the Bargoed defence got back to defend with replacement scrum half James Leadbeater clearing to touch.

 

Bargoed looked to counter attack out wide through replacement winger Jack Bunyan, but he wasted a three man overlap by throwing a loose pass into the grateful hands of opposite number Ryan Griffiths, who cleared.

 

The visitors won a scrum against the head, forcing the Swansea pack to kill the ball. Jones kicked to the corner, but replacement lock Matt Dodd crucially stole the lineout.

 

Morgans took a quick tap and raced over half way, but hooker Rhys Buckley was penalised for offside and became the visitors’ third man to see yellow. A fourth yellow followed when Norton tackled Ryan Griffiths above the shoulder.

 

The Whites were back on the attack with the forwards inching up to the Bargoed twenty-two, but replacement prop Richard Murphy was penalised for holding on after the tackle. It mattered little though as the referee blew up for full time in the last play.

 

Next up for Swansea is a home match against Cross Keys, while Bargoed host Cardiff.

 

Full-time:-   Swansea   10   Bargoed   0

 

Swansea:

 

Tries:-   Ifan Phillips (4)

Cons:-   Steffen Williams (5)

Pens:-   Steffen Williams (28)

 

Bargoed:

 

Yellow cards:-   Ben Fry (41), Calum Jones (50), Rhys Buckley (74), Ashley Norton (80+1)

 

Match facts:

 

Venue:-   St Helen’s, Swansea

Weather:-   Heavy rain, 9C

Man of the match:-   Ifan Phillips

Attendance:-   250

 

Swansea team:

 

15 Luke Griffiths

14 Ryan Griffiths

13 Gareth Rees

12 Mike Evans

11 Nathan Trowbridge

10 Steffen Williams (rep: Josh Thomas 66)

9 Tom Ham

1 Jack Powell (rep: Richard Murphy 69)

2 Ifan Phillips

3 Alex Jeffries (rep: Mitchell Walsh 69)

4 Sam Kiley (rep: Jon Vaughan 60)

5 Jay Williams (rep: Matt Dodd 41)

6 Duane Eager ©

7 Ben Davies

8 Charlie Davies

 

Replacements:

 

16 Paul John

17 Richard Murphy

18 Mitchell Walsh

19 Matt Dodd

20 Jon Vaughan

21 Tom Ham

22 Josh Thomas

23 Andrew Claypole

 

Bargoed team:

 

15 Julian Mogg

14 Duane Dyer (rep: Jack Bunyan 65)

13 Jordan Howells

12 Darren Humphries (rep: Barney Nightingale 75)

11 Ashley Norton

10 Calum Jones

9 Matt Bancroft (rep: James Leadbeater 48)

1 Rhys Morgan © (rep: Ashley Gibson 60)

2 Rhys Buckley

3 Alex Gardner-Key (rep: Keagan Bale 76)

4 Geraint Edmunds

5 Bryce Morgan

6 Louis Blacker (rep: Mike Kavanagh 76)

7 Grant Rogers

8 Ben Fry (rep: Gavin McDonnell 54)

 

Replacements:

 

16 James Leadbeater

17 Jack Bunyan

18 Barney Nightingale

19 Wade Langley

20 Gavin McDonnell

21 Ashley Gibson

22 Keagan Bale

23 Mike Kavanagh

TEAM P W D L PF PA PTS
Merthyr 27 21 0 6 798 501 107
Llandovery 28 20 1 7 803 492 98
Cardiff 26 19 1 6 771 547 95
Ebbw Vale 28 19 1 8 671 512 90
Pontypridd 25 18 0 7 840 480 89
Aberavon 26 17 2 7 612 490 83
Newport 29 16 2 11 726 678 83
Swansea 28 15 0 13 625 552 75
Rygbi Gogledd Cymru 1404 26 12 1 13 669 556 73
Carmarthen Quins 29 13 1 15 616 544 71
Llanelli 29 11 1 17 622 710 58
Bedwas 28 10 1 17 615 786 52
Bridgend Ravens 26 9 0 17 544 651 50
Cross Keys 27 5 1 21 552 925 35
Bargoed 27 6 0 21 522 872 33
Neath 27 1 0 26 379 1069 3