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By: Paul Hopkins
A hat trick of tries by J Rhys Williams helped Swansea get back to winning ways as they comfortably defeated Newport at St Helen’s.
The Black and Ambers enjoyed most of the early possession, but were unable to pass a resolute Swansea defence, who managed to secure a turnover.
The home side took an early lead when the Newport pack gave away a penalty by pulling down a maul and fly half J Rhys Williams duly converted the three pointer.
An outstanding move by the visitors’ backs should have resulted in a try as centre Chay Smith and flanker Kyle Tayler combined well, but the latter became isolated, forcing the forwards to dive over the top.
Disaster struck on the 14th minute when Newport attempted to run out of defence only for fly half Matt O’Brien’s clearance kick to be charged down by J Rhys Williams who touched down for a try. He missed the conversion.
Winger Tom Williams looked set to sprint clear out wide, but the pass to him was forward so referee Jonathan Evans brought play back for a Newport scrum.
A superb run by O’Brien turned defence into attack as lock Josh Skinner provided support in midfield. Winger Morris then raced up to the twenty-two, forcing the Swansea defence offside, but O’Brien missed his effort at goal.
The Black and Ambers were penalised for handling in the ruck, but J Rhys Williams missed a relatively straightforward kick at goal from in front of the posts.
A period of Swansea pressure tested the Newport defence, but while they were able to stop a charge forward by flanker Jon Fox, they had no answer to J Rhys Williams, who crashed over for a second try, which he also converted.
Half-time:- Swansea 15 Newport 0
The Black and Ambers almost scored against the run of play after a mistake in defence by centre Callum Carson saw winger Elliot Frewen hack forward into the Swansea twenty-two. However, winger Nathan Trowbridge dealt with a crossfield kick, preventing a certain try.
A powerful drive by the All Whites’ pack created another attack and J Rhys Williams broke a tackle to get up to the five metre mark. Flanker Will Jones charged towards the line, but was brought down, forcing him to hold onto possession on the ground.
The home pack drove their counterparts off a scrum and were awarded a penalty. J Rhys Williams kicked to the corner and a powerful drive saw hooker Ifan Phillips crash over for a try. J Rhys Williams missed the conversion.
Flanker Morgan Morris came desperately close to adding a fourth try, but was tackled on the line, before quick ball into midfield saw J Rhys Williams crash over for his hat trick. He converted.
The visitors refused to give up and forced replacement prop Mitchell Walsh to kill the ball, earning him a yellow card. A quick tap penalty saw Skinner crash over for a consolation try.
Full-time:- Swansea 27 Newport 5
Tries:- J Rhys Williams (14, 38, 72), Ifan Phillips 62)
Cons:- J Rhys Williams (39, 73)
Pens:- J Rhys Williams (8)
Yellow cards:- Mitchell Walsh (78)
Tries:- Josh Skinner (78)
Venue:- St Helen’s, Swansea
Referee:- Jonathan Evans
Weather:- Light rain, 11C
Man of the match:- J Rhys Williams
15 R Rhys Williams
14 Joe Jenkins (rep: Nathan Trowbridge 47)
13 Joe Thomas
12 Callum Carson
11 Tom Williams
10 J Rhys Williams (rep: Steffen Williams 73)
9 Chris Morgans (rep: Ben Roach 73)
1 Tom Sloane (rep: Jack Powell 73)
2 Ifan Phillips (rep: Paul John 69)
3 Alex Jeffries (rep: Mitchell Walsh 69)
4 James Ratti (rep: Sam Kiley 69)
5 Will Griffiths
6 Morgan Morris (rep: Jay Williams 73)
7 Will Jones
8 Jon Fox ©
16 Paul John
17 Jack Powell
18 Mitchell Walsh
19 Sam Kiley
20 Jay Williams
21 Ben Roach
22 Steffen Williams
23 Nathan Trowbridge
15 Geraint O’Driscoll (rep: Harri Lang 11)
14 Jon Morris (rep: Duan Thomas 69)
13 Chay Smith
12 Tom Pascoe
11 Elliot Frewen
10 Matt O’Brien
9 Geraint Watkin (rep: Tom Lucas 68)
1 Dan Preece (rep: Lewis Smout 66)
2 Will Evans (rep: Henry Palmer 39)
3 Tom Piper (rep: Garin Harris 51)
4 Andrew Mann
5 Josh Skinner
6 Morgan Burgess (rep: Rhys Cresswell 68)
7 Kyle Tayler
8 Rhys Jenkins (rep: Chris Williams 66)
16 Henry Palmer
17 Lewis Smout
18 Garin Harris
19 Rhys Cresswell
20 Chris Williams
21 Tom Lucas
22 Harri Lang
23 Duan Thomas
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