Swansea 29 Ebbw Vale 15

By: Paul Hopkins

 

Swansea made it eight wins in a row with a thrilling victory over Principality Premiership high flyers Ebbw Vale.

 

The Whites began well and a step inside by flanker Callum Bowden set up an early attack, but centre R Rhys Williams’ chip through evaded the chasing winger Tom Williams into touch.

 

Ebbw winger Toby Fricker used his strength to power forward, but fellow winger Steff Thomas was penalised for diving on a Swansea defender when he attempted to run down a grubber kick.

 

A break by Tom Williams on the wing set up a home attack and he found scrum half Chris Morgans in support, but Ebbw were able to turn over possession.

 

The visitors were penalised at the first scrum of the match and fly half Steffen Williams found touch on the Vale twenty-two. The pack mauled forward from the lineout and were awarded a further penalty when the Ebbw forwards were guilty of offside at the ruck.

 

Steffen Williams again chipped to the corner and prop Tom Sloane was held up just short of the line. The move lost some momentum when Swansea spread play out wide and a fumble brought an end to the attack and fly half Rhys Jones was able to clear.

 

The entire opening 15 minutes was played inside the Ebbw Vale half, but the Whites were unable to make a decisive breakthrough. And when the Steelmen finally looked like creating some sort of attack, Thomas was unable to take a difficult pass out wide that would have sent him clear.

 

With only their second foray into Swansea territory it was the visitors who struck first when centre Paul King powered over half way and quick ball out wide saw Thomas sprint clear of the chasing R Rhys Williams to score the opening try. Rhys Jones converted.

 

Fricker proved a handful for the Swansea defence who struggled to tackle him, but the winger was penalised for failing the release the ball on the ground. Steffen Williams chipped to the corner, but prop Ross Jones scavenged a loose ball, allowing Rhys Jones to clear.

 

Steffen Williams cut the gap to four points with a snap drop goal after a period of forward pressure by his Swansea side.

 

But a moment of brilliance followed when flanker Lloyd Evans stole possession at the scrum and raced 50 metres upfield to score a second Ebbw try. Rhys Jones missed the conversion.

 

A routine chip through by full back Josh Thomas was fumbled on his own twenty-two by opposite number Dan Haymond. From the scrum Tom Williams made a mini break, but was brought down metres from the line. A couple of set pieces later the home side grabbed a try through lock Jay Williams who squeezed over at the corner. Steffen Williams converted.

 

Half-time:-   Swansea   10   Ebbw Vale   12

 

A superb run up to half way from the kick off by number eight Lewis Young showed the visitors’ intent. Fricker and hooker Joe Franchi made yards inside the twenty-two, but King had the ball ripped out of his hands as he dived for the line.

 

Play was brought back for an Ebbw Vale penalty and Rhys Jones opted to chip to the corner, but the home side stole the lineout and cleared.

 

Swansea were penalised for failing to release the man after the tackle, and Rhys Jones kicked a long range effort to extend his side’s lead.

 

A powerful scrum by the visitors’ pack earned a penalty and Rhys Jones kicked to the corner. Thomas was held up a metre short of the line, before lock Rhys Clarke knocked on over the line and an overzealous Ebbw scrum gave away a penalty.

 

Following a period of limited possession, Morgans raced out of defence as the Whites’ backs were able to stretch their legs. Replacement fly half Gareth Rees evaded a few tackles out wide, but was eventually brought down in the twenty-two and Jay Williams lost possession forward.

 

Steffen Williams found touch on the twenty-two from a penalty and flanker Morgan Morris rose high to collect the lineout. The Whites used their backs with winger Nathan Trowbridge tackled inches short of the line, before a turnover allowed scrum half Dai Jones to clear.

 

Swansea turned their possession into points when Morgans broke clear of a ruck and dummied his way over to score a great solo try. Thomas kicked his side into the lead.

 

The home side sealed victory with a late Trowbridge try when he successfully chased down a chip through to score in the corner. Thomas missed the conversion.

 

In a sensational finale, replacement centre Callum Carson hacked forward a ball from inside his own half and controlled it with his foot to score under the posts to seal a bonus point victory. Thomas converted.

 

Next up for Swansea is a trip to Pontypridd, while Ebbw Vale travel to Cross Keys.

 

Full-time:-   Swansea   29   Ebbw Vale   15

 

Swansea:

 

Tries:-   Jay Williams (38), Chris Morgans (71), Nathan Trowbridge (80), Callum Carson (80+7)

Cons:-   Steffen Williams (39), Josh Thomas (72, 80+8)

DGs:-   Steffen Williams (27)

 

Ebbw Vale:

 

Tries:-   Steff Thomas (20), Lloyd Evans (30)

Cons:-                   Rhys Jones (21)

Pens:-   Rhys Jones (50)

 

Match facts:

 

Venue:-   St Helen’s

Man of the match:-   Chris Morgans

Attendance:-   350

 

Swansea team:

 

15 Josh Thomas

14 Tom Williams

13 R Rhys Williams

12 Mike Evans (rep: Callum Carson 51)

11 Nathan Trowbridge

10 Steffen Williams (rep: Gareth Rees 51)

9 Chris Morgans

1 Tom Sloane (rep: Jack Powell 36)

2 Paul John (rep: Ifan Phillips 51)

3 Alex Jeffries

4 Sam Kiley (rep: James Ratti 48)

5 Jay Williams

6 Morgan Morris

7 Callum Bowden

8 Jon Fox © (rep: Will Jones 51)

 

Replacements:

 

16 Ifan Phillips

17 Jack Powell

18 Richard Murphy

19 James Ratti

20 Will Jones

21 Tom Ham

22 Callum Carson

23 Gareth Rees

 

Ebbw Vale team:

 

15 Dan Haymond

14 Steff Thomas

13 Paul King

12 Dom Franchi (rep: Dai Langdon 70)

11 Toby Fricker

10 Rhys Jones

9 Dai Jones (rep: Matthew Flanagan 72)

1 Ross Jones

2 Joe Franchi (rep: Rhys Francis 64)

3 Rob Sevenoaks

4 Rhys Clarke

5 Ashley Sweet ©

6 Cameron Regan

7 Lloyd Evans (rep: Kristian Parker 64)

8 Lewis Young (rep: Owen Young 64)

 

Replacements:

 

16 Rhys Francis

17 Mike Hutchings

18 Carl Sully

19 Kristian Parker

20 Owen Young

21 Matthew Flanagan

22 Dai Langdon

23 James Lewis

 

TEAM P W D L PF PA PTS
Aberavon 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Bridgend Ravens 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Cardiff 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Carmarthen Quins 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Ebbw Vale 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Llandovery 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Llanelli 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Merthyr 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Newport 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Pontypridd 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Rygbi Gogledd Cymru 1404 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Swansea 0 0 0 0 0 0 0