By: Paul Hopkins
Imagery courtesy: Riley Sports Photography
Bottom side Carmarthen Quins got the better of Swansea in a thrilling try-fest at St Helen’s.
Inside the opening 10 seconds a well weighted chip ahead from winger Iestyn Hopkins bounced into touch as a 50/22, although the home side were unable to recycle the ball from the lineout and surrendered possession.
The Quins struggled at their own scrum and a mistake gifted Swansea an attacking set piece, but a long pass out wide by fly half Dan Edwards evaded winger Harri Houston into touch.
The visitors’ pack walked forward over the half way line with a maul and quick ball out through the backs saw centre Josh Batcup feed winger Dylan Richards for a try. Fly half Dan Jones missed the conversion.
A poor lineout throw by hooker Lewis Lloyd gifted the Quins possession and the pacey Richards looked to cause a problem out wide again as he raced down the wing, finding scrum half Lucca Setaro in support. The move broke down soon after though as the All Whites’ managed to get back to defend.
Houston stretched his legs out wide and showed great power to break through a tackle, but the Quins regathered ball at the breakdown, though Dan Jones promptly kicked possession away.
Lock Lee Taylor took a lineout inside the Swansea half, but good work on the floor by opposite number Matt Dodd gave the home side a turnover.
A superb move by the Whites saw Edwards race through the middle from deep, before he threw a pass out wide to Houston, who sprinted towards the line, but was tackled five metres short.
Centre Ryan Davies made a break up to the 22 and was well tackled by Hopkins, but the supporting Batcup was unable to take the pass and Swansea were able to clear long.
The visitors struck again from deep when Batcup weaved past a Swansea tackler and found Setaro on his shoulder with the scrum half backing his pace to touch down in the corner. Dan Jones missed the conversion.
Flanker Ben Gregory stole lineout ball on the Quins’ 22 and the backs used their hands to send Houston on a run out wide, but he was well tackled.
The home side finally kicked into gear with the forwards going throughs few phases before quick ball out wide saw Hopkins beat his opposite number to score. Edwards converted.
An advancing Quins scrum earned a penalty with Dan Jones finding touch on the Swansea 22, but the visitors were unable to make the most of the move with a mistake soon forthcoming.
With the Carmarthen pack dominating proceedings, it allowed the backs the luxury of a decent platform and that’s how their third try came about. Setaro exploited an overlap outside with full back Dale Ford sprinting forward and rolling through a last gasp Houston tackle to score. Dan Jones missed the conversion.
Swansea hit back immediately when prop Cameron Jones charged through the middle and number eight Will Hickey picked up a loose ball and raced clear to score. Edwards converted.
Half-time:- Swansea 14-15 Carmarthen
In the early stages of the second half Carmarthen were awarded a penalty after the home side strayed offside and Dan Jones kicked to the corner. A routine lineout five metres out saw hooker Torin Myhill mauled over for the Quins’ bonus point try. Dan Jones converted.
Swansea grabbed a third try when Cameron Jones superbly charged down a box kick with Hickey on hand to pick up the loose ball to score under the posts. Edwards converted.
Dan Jones raced through the middle from the restart and chipped ahead but Edwards was able to shepherd the ball dead, despite the efforts of Setaro to chase it down.
Another powerful maul by the visitors but the Whites on the backfoot and an excellent move by the backs saw the ball shipped out wide for Ryan Davies to score. Dan Jones missed the conversion.
A superb break by full back James Davies from inside his own half sparked an exciting attack for the home side and replacement winger Gareth O Rees popped up in support, but a handling error saw the move end prematurely.
A monster 50/22 kick by Dan Jones found touch deep inside the Swansea 22. Taylor took the lineout and a rolling maul saw Myhill crash over for a try in the corner. Dan Jones converted.
Scrum half Gareth J Rees took a quick tap penalty as the home side looked to attack and a superb crossfield kick by Edwards found Hopkins, who raced clear to score. Edwards missed the conversion.
The All Whites tried everything in desperation to breach the Quins line and Edwards chipped to the corner with a late penalty. Dodd took the lineout but the Quins’ pack superbly held the ball up a metre short of the line.
With just a minute remaining the home side managed to grab a last gasp try to keep things interesting. Quick ball out wide saw Gareth O Rees touch down in the corner but it wasn’t quite enough. Edwards converted.
Full-time:- Swansea 33-34 Carmarthen
Tries:- Iestyn Hopkins (30, 74), Will Hickey (40+1, 52), Gareth O Rees (80+8)
Cons:- Dan Edwards (31, 40+2, 53, 80+9)
Tries:- Dylan Richards (7), Lucca Setaro (24), Dale Ford (38), Torin Myhill (45, 67), Ryan Davies (60)
Cons:- Dan Jones (46, 68)
Venue:- St Helen’s, Swansea
Weather:- Light cloud, 8C
Man of the match:- Lee Taylor
15 James Davies
14 Iestyn Hopkins
13 Tiaan Thomas-Wheeler
12 Kieran Charles (rep: Osian Knott 51)
11 Harri Houston (rep: Gareth O Rees 60)
10 Dan Edwards
9 Gareth J Rees (rep: Ben Ley 72)
1 Cameron Jones (rep: Garyn Phillips 59)
2 Lewis Lloyd (rep: Garan Williams 72)
3 Richard Murphy (rep: Oli Rees 80+6)
4 Lewis Jones (rep: Jack Regan 51-59)
5 Matt Dodd
6 Ben Gregory (rep: Lewis Ellis-Jones 72)
7 Callum Bowden © (rep: Lewis Ellis-Jones 53)
8 Will Hickey
16 Garan Williams
17 Garyn Phillips
18 Oli Rees
19 Jack Regan
20 Lewis Ellis-Jones
21 Ben Ley
22 Osian Knott
23 Gareth O Rees
15 Dale Ford
14 Dylan Richards
13 Ryan Davies
12 Josh Batcup
11 Kalum Evans
10 Dan Jones (rep: Jac Wilson 71)
9 Lucca Setaro
1 James Newnian (Rep: Sion Jones 51)
2 Torin Myhill (rep: Sam O’Connor 68-77)
3 Harri O’Connor (rep: Connor Allen 60)
4 Ryan Bean (rep: Lawrence Reynolds 77)
5 Lee Taylor ©
6 Richard Bloomfield (rep: Will Icke 56)
7 Gethin Davies (rep: Tom Curry 60)
8 Lewys Millin
16 Sam O’Connor
17 Sion Jones
18 Connor Allen
19 Will Icke
20 Lawrence Reynolds
21 Tom Curry
22 Aron Hemmings
23 Jac Wilson