Swansea 20 Cardiff 17

By: Paul Hopkins

 

A late Ryan Griffiths try helped Swansea dent Cardiff’s Premiership title hopes with a 20-17 victory at St Helen’s.

 

The visitors started well and full back Ioan Davies spotted a gap in the Swansea defence and raced 20 metres upfield, but failed to throw a critical pass. The Blue and Blacks regrouped, but prop Peter Lloyd spilled a pass forward.

 

Scrum half Chris Morgans intercepted a high pass to give the home side a first opportunity to attack the Cardiff defence, but a poor chip ahead by fly half Steffen Williams ended the move.

 

The home side almost took the lead when a powerful run by number eight Charlie Davies set up a devastating attack, but the pacey full back Josh Thomas took too long to find Griffiths and Cardiff were given a reprieve.

 

Winger Max Llewellyn made a break and found prop Thomas Davies in support as the visitors went through over 20 phases. The Swansea defence stood firm though and flanker Sam Pailor was unable to get a scoring pass out to winger Joe Gatt.

 

A powerful rolling maul by the Swansea pack forced the visitors’ to enter from offside. Steffen Williams chipped to the corner and lock Matt Dodd rose to collect the lineout, but Steffen Williams’ crossfield kick beat the chasing Griffiths into touch.

 

It took the Blue and Blacks 39 minutes to get the first points of the match through a Gareth Thompson penalty following a high tackle.

 

Fly half Thompson looked to attack from deep, but ran into a huge James Ratti hit, forcing a penalty. Steffen Williams tied the scores with a successful kick at goal.

 

Half-time:-   Swansea   3   Cardiff   3

 

The visitors retook the lead a couple of minutes into the second half when centre Will Rees Hole cut through the Whites’ defence to score a superb solo effort. Thompson converted.

 

Swansea hit back straight away when Steffen Williams raced through but was tackled a metre short of the line, before flanker Duane Eager squeezed over to score. Steffen Williams missed the conversion.

 

Steffen Williams turned down a three pointer to chip to the corner from a penalty, but the home side were unable to capitalise thanks to a knock on. However, a powerful Whites scrum forced a penalty and Williams again chipped to the corner. A third penalty resulted in lock James Down taking a ten minute spell on the sidelines.

 

Swansea went into the lead for the first time when the pack kept ball tight, before a switch to the backline saw centre Callum Carson feed Thomas for a try.

 

Cardiff were straight back on the attack and replacement full back Edd Howley sprinted forward, before a fortunate break saw Rees-Hole collect a loose ball to grab his second try. Replacement fly half Steffan Jones converted.

 

The match took a further turn when Morgans chipped into the dead ball line for Griffiths to score. Steffen Williams missed the conversion.

 

In the dying minutes Cardiff were awarded a penalty, which Jones kicked to the corner, but the Swansea pack held up the maul to regain possession. Shortly after it was full time and the home faithful were able to celebrate a hard fought victory.

 

Full-time:-   Swansea   20   Cardiff   17

 

Swansea:

 

Tries:-   Duane Eager (51), Josh Thomas (65), Ryan Griffiths (75)

Cons:-   Steffen Williams (66)

Pens:-   Steffen Williams (40+5)

 

Cardiff:

 

Tries:-   Will Rees Hole (43, 69)

Cons:-   Gareth Thompson (44), Steffan Jones (70)

Pens:-   Gareth Thompson (40)

 

Yellow cards:-   James Down (61)

 

Match facts:

 

Venue:-   St Helen’s, Swansea

Weather:-   Sunny, 10C

Man of the match:-   James Ratti

Attendance:-   900

 

Swansea team:

 

15 Josh Thomas

14 Ryan Griffiths

13 R Rhys Williams

12 Callum Carson

11 Andrew Claypole (rep: Mike Evans 79)

10 Steffen Williams

9 Chris Morgans

1 Tom Sloane (rep: Rhys Davies 68-90+10)

2 Dewi Lake (rep: Ifan Phillips 66)

3 Greg Cunniffe (rep: Alex Jeffries 52)

4 James Ratti

5 Matt Dodd (rep: Sam Kiley 68)

6 Duane Eager © (rep: Jon Fox 56)

7 Callum Bowden

8 Charlie Davies

 

Replacements:

 

16 Ifan Phillips

17 Rhys Davies

18 Alex Jeffries

19 Sam Kiley

20 Jon Fox

21 Tom Ham

22 Jedd Evans

23 Mike Evans

 

Cardiff team:

 

15 Ioan Davies (rep: Edd Howley 66)

14 Max Llewellyn

13 Ben Thomas

12 Will Rees-Hole

11 Joe Gatt

10 Gareth Thompson (rep: Steffan Jones 66)

9 Martin Roberts

1 Thomas Davies (rep: Kieron Brown 57)

2 Joey Tomlinson © (rep: Ian Jenkins 47)

3 Peter Lloyd (rep: Will Davies King 57)

4 Kieran Martin

5 James Down

6 Sam Pailor

7 Zach O’Driscoll (rep: James Murphy 52)

8 Tom Daley

 

Replacements:

 

16 Ian Jenkins

17 Kieron Brown

18 Will Davies King

19 James Murphy

20 Fraser Young

21 Scott Gibson

22 Steffan Jones

23 Edd Howley

 

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