See more galleries HERE
A last gasp Callum Carson try secured a hard fought victory for the All Whites over high flying Pontypridd.
Swansea took a shock lead when scrum half Tom Ham spotted a gap in the visitors’ defence and raced 40 metres upfield, finding prop Greg Cunniffe in support. The home side quickly recycled the ball and Carson used is strength to hold off a tackler to score a well taken try. Fly half James Davies converted.
A huge scrum by the Swansea pack earned a penalty as tempers threatened to flare. James Davies found touch on the Pontypridd twenty-two and lock Jay Williams took the lineout before a chip through to the corner was collected by full back Josh Thomas, who touched down for a second home try. James Davies’ conversion hit the post.
Pontypridd finally mounted their first attack and winger Mason Grady threatened out wide, but was wrapped up. The ball was swept out to the other wing though and Dale Stuckey was tackled into touch a metre short of the line.
Play was brought back for a penalty and fly half Ben Jones chipped to the corner. And from the lineout hooker Rhydian Jenkins was mauled over for a try, which Jones converted.
The home side were awarded a penalty straight from the restart after the visitors’ were guilty of an offside offence. James Davies kicked the three pointer.
The points fest continued when a poor handling error gifted Pontypridd an attack and a patient build up by the forwards saw number eight Kristian Parker crash over for a try. Ben Jones converted.
A horrendous handling error by Stuckey gave Swansea a scrum on the twenty-two. A powerful drive by the home pack earned another penalty, which James Davies duly converted.
The Swansea defence were penalised for diving over the top of a ruck and Jones turned down a kickable chance to chip to the corner. An unstoppable to the line by Pontypridd was illegally collapsed by the home pack and a penalty try was awarded with prop Tom Sloane also sent for a spell in the sin-bin.
After a lengthy delay due to a nasty looking injury for Josh Thomas, Ham took the wrong route from the back of a scrum, got caught, and gave away a penalty, which Jones successfully kicked.
Half-time:- Swansea 18 Pontypridd 24
A scrummaging offence by the visitors gave Swansea a penalty early in the second half and James Davies cut the gap to three points.
Winger Max Nagy was yellow carded for a high tackle and Jones chipped up to the twenty-two. A powerful drive by the visitors’ pack should have resulted in a Pontypridd try but Grady dropped a pass out wide.
Centre Dafydd Lockyer came close to adding a fourth try but replacement full back Phil Jones superbly held him up over the line. The visitors tried to force the scrum and lost possession.
A superb run by Grady took play up to the twenty-two and a desperate Whites defence gave away a penalty, which Jones kicked to the corner. Stuckey beat a tackle, but was tackled a few metres from the line, but the move became fragmented and Pontypridd were driven back.
James Davies failed to take a high kick and gave away a penalty for offside. The visitors’ pack mauled forward but lost possession. Swansea looked to counterattack from deep, but Nagy crucially dropped the ball in midfield.
Replacement lock James Murphy was handed a yellow card for preventing a quick penalty and James Davies found touch to give the Whites one final chance.
A strong run by Nagy took the Whites into the twenty-two and James Davies threw a scoring pass to Carson, who sealed a sensational victory. James Davies missed the conversion.
Full-time:- Swansea 26 Pontypridd 24
Tries:- Callum Carson (3, 80+5), Josh Thomas (12)
Cons:- James Davies (4)
Pens:- James Davies (23, 32, 43)
Yellow cards:- Tom Sloane (36), Max Nagy (52)
Tries:- Rhydian Jenkins (20), Kristian Parker (24), Penalty Try (36)
Cons:- Ben Jones (21, 25)
Pens:- Ben Jones (49)
Yellow cards:- James Murphy (80+3)
Venue:- St Helen’s
Weather:- Sunny, 9C
Man of the match:- James Davies
15 Josh Thomas (rep: Phil Jones 40)
14 Max Nagy
13 Callum Carson
12 Rhys Williams (rep: Nathan Trowbridge 74)
11 Gareth Rees
10 James Davies
9 Tom Ham (rep: Chris Morgans 41)
1 Tom Sloane (rep: Rhys Davies 69)
2 Owen Thomas (rep: Shawn Howard 47)
3 Greg Cunniffe (rep: Dean Howells 78)
4 Matt Dodd (rep: Huw Sutton 67)
5 Jay Williams (rep: Huw Sutton 35-40+3)
6 Rhys Thomas (rep: Rhys Davies 36-47)
7 Callum Bowden
8 Jon Fox © (rep: Duane Eager 41)
16 Shawn Howard
17 Rhys Davies
18 Dean Howells
19 Huw Sutton
20 Duane Eager
21 Chris Morgans
22 Phil Jones
23 Nathan Trowbridge
15 Morgan Richards (rep: Lloyd Rowlands 78)
14 Mason Grady (rep: Corey Sheppard 78)
13 Garyn Smith
12 Dafydd Lockyer ©
11 Dale Stuckey
10 Ben Jones
9 Jamie Hill (rep: Joel Raikes 68)
1 Huw Owen (rep: Curtis Reynolds 69)
2 Rhydian Jenkins (rep: Nathan Huish 41)
3 Morgan Bosanko (rep: Ben Warren 74)
4 Lloyd Evans (rep: James Murphy 69)
5 Sean Moore
6 Rhys Shellard (rep: Cally James 6)
7 Sion Parry
8 Kristian Parker
16 Nathan Huish
17 Curtis Reynolds
18 Ben Warren
19 James Murphy
20 Cally James
21 Corey Sheppard
22 Lloyd Rowlands
23 Joel Raikes