Photo Courtesy: BEN EVANS
By: Paul Hopkins
The All Whites fell to a heavy defeat to Rygbi Gogledd Cymru 1404 in a try fest at St Helen’s.
In the opening two minutes Swansea were awarded a penalty when the North Walian backs stepped offside in midfield. Fly half Liam Popham hit the post with his effort at goal, but a mistake from the rebound gifted the All Whites an attacking scrum.
The RGC pack transgressed at the scrum so scrum half Harvey Nash dinked the ball into touch at the corner. The home side kept up the pressure on the visitors’ line, but flanker Dai Francis was penalised for holding on after the tackle.
The visitors opened the scoring in style when flanker Dan Owen made a break from inside his own half, finding Danny Cross in support, before the centre threw an inside pass for fly half Dion Jones to shrug off a poor attempted tackle by full back Gareth O Rees to touch down in the corner. He converted his own try.
To make matters worse for the home side, Popham’s restart sailed out on the full. Winger Tudor made a break and found number eight Theo Mayell on the overlap, but Cross was brought down in the corner, before the home side killed the ball.
A second score followed when Dion Jones chipped to the corner, and from the lineout hooker Brodie Coghlan eased over for a simple try by crashing through a ruck. Dion Jones converted.
The home pack collapsed a scrum in a kickable position, but Dion Jones chose to kick to the corner. From the lineout, Coghlan and lock Bryn Jones both charged at the Swansea line, before Owen crashed over to score. Dion Jones converted.
A superb 30 metre run by Gareth O Rees set up the first notable Swansea attack and forced the RGC defence to kill the attack. Popham found touch deep inside the visitors’ 22 and number eight Charlie Davies rose high to take the lineout, but despite a good few phases of attack, the visitors were able to secure a turnover when hooker Garan Williams held on for too long in the tackle.
Winger Harri Evans sprinted down the wing and chipped ahead, but the ball beat him into touch. Play was brought back for an earlier offside, so Dion Jones chipped up to the 22. Bryn Jones powered forward, but full back Sam Earl-Jones was unable to take the pass in midfield and the move broke down.
Bryn Jones stole in to collect a Swansea lineout, but his side’s spell of possession didn’t last for long as the All Whites secured a turnover with prop Cameron Jones showing a superb turn of pace to send winger Matthew Jenkins over for a try. Popham converted.
RGC hit back with the last play of the half when Harri Evans spotted a gap in the Swansea defence and was ably supported by Earl-Jones, who handed a scoring pass to Owen for a bonus point try.
Half-time:- Swansea 7-28 RGC 1404
It was try number five for the visitors just minutes after the restart when Dion Jones made a superb break through the middle and handed a simple scoring pass out to flanker Ethan Fackrell. Dion Jones missed the conversion.
Nash made the most of a poor Williams lineout as he weaved up to the RGC 22. The visitors gave away a penalty, which Popham kicked to the corner but Fackrell intercepted a pass to end the move.
The Swansea defence were penalised for offside at the breakdown and Dion Jones surprised the Whites’ defence with a cheeky tap penalty. The decision paid off when replacement scrum half Henry Maitland-Davies switched play to the other wing for centre Delwyn Jones to score. Dion Jones converted.
Just seconds later, the All Whites grabbed a try of their own courtesy of a solo effort by replacement scrum half Gareth J Rees, who gathered his own grubber kick to score. Popham missed the conversion.
Gareth J Rees took a quick tap penalty and made 20 metres into the RGC half, before the visitors gave away a penalty. Popham found touch inside the RGC 22 and replacement lock Sam Martin took the lineout, but an outstanding defensive effort by the visitors forced a turnover.
A superb break by the Nash, who returned to the field as a bloody replacement, sent Gareth O Rees sprinting into the 22, but he delayed his pass for too long and the visitors were able to clear.
Earl-Jones made a break down the wing, but the home side turned over possession and a well worked move involving backs and forwards resulted in a try for flanker Callum Bowden. Popham converted.
A superb side step by Nash got Swansea back on the front foot and replacement prop Christian Hone was yellow carded for a professional foul. Popham found touch on the 22 and the home side managed to spread play out to the backs, but the ball was held up in a maul.
The home side came again though Liam Popham chipping into the RGC 22 with a penalty touch finder. Bryn Jones was also yellow carded for his part in bringing down a maul, but the attack failed to materialise.
Maitland-Davies rounded off the win with a superb try when he raced clear of the Swansea defence from a ruck. Dion Jones converted.
Next up for Swansea is a trip to champions and league leaders Cardiff, while RGC 1404 host second placed Aberavon.
Full-time:- Swansea 19-47 RGC 1404
Tries:- Matthew Jenkins (40), Gareth J Rees (58), Callum Bowden (74)
Cons:- Liam Popham (40+1, 59, 75)
Tries:- Dion Jones (9), Brodie Coghlan (15), Dan Owen (20, 40+4), Ethan Fackrell (42), Delwyn Jones (56), Henry Maitland-Davies (80+6)
Cons:- Dion Jones (10, 16, 21, 40+5, 57, 80+7)
Yellow cards:- Christian Hone (76), Bryn Jones (80)
Venue:- St Helen’s, Swansea
Weather:- Partly cloudy, 17C
Man of the match:- Dion Jones
15 Gareth O Rees
14 Matthew Jenkins
13 Hanno Dirksen (rep: Dan O’Sullivan 44)
12 Kieran Charles (rep: Chris Morgans 61)
11 Harvey James
10 Liam Popham
9 Harvey Nash (rep: Gareth J Rees 57-61)
1 Cameron Jones (rep: Freddie Chapman 51)
2 Garan Williams (rep: Kian Jones 67)
3 Ellis Fackrell (rep: Richard Murphy 51)
4 Liam Edwards
5 Joe Clarke (rep: Sam Martin 51)
6 Dai Francis
7 Callum Bowden
8 Charlie Davies (rep: Richard Davies 46)
16 Kian Jones
17 Freddie Chapman
18 Richard Murphy
19 Sam Martin
20 Richard Davies
21 Gareth J Rees
22 Chris Morgans
23 Dan O’Sullivan
RGC 1404 team:
15 Sam Earl-Jones
14 Rhys Tudor
13 Danny Cross (rep: Matt Buchanan 45)
12 Delwyn Jones
11 Harri Evans (rep: Sam Rogers 67)
10 Dion Jones
9 Efan Jones (rep: Henry Maitland-Davies 51)
1 Jessie Williams (rep: Christian Hone 60)
2 Brodie Coghlan (rep: Jordan Liney 48)
3 Pedr Jones (rep: Paddy Nelson 61)
4 Billy McQueeney
5 Bryn Jones
6 Dan Owen ©
7 Ethan Fackrell
8 Theo Mayell (rep: Owain Evans 61)
16 Jordan Liney
17 Christian Hone
18 Paddy Nelson
19 Jordan Jones
20 Owain Evans
21 Henry Maitland-Davies
22 Sam Rogers
23 Matt Buchanan