- Hallowe’en horror for Llandaff as Swansea cut loose
- Opening match sees nine try haul.
- Strong defensive effort pleases new coaches.
It was a horror show for gritty Llandaff North as Swansea WRFC opened the defence of their League title yesterday at St Helen’s.
A bright but chilly afternoon saw them hold off a determined challenge from visitors Llandaff North WRFC with some fine controlled play. The final tally of 59 – 0 reflected The Whites’ ability to come away with points when applying pressure. But it was a misleading reflection on Llandaff North, who battled hard throughout. The difference was that Swansea possessed more threatening runners up front and behind the scrum and passages of broken play invariably ended with the whitewash being crossed.
The defensive effort by the whole team would have pleased the new coaching team of Steve Jones (Head Coach), Jason Whitlock (Asst. Coach) and Jess Smith (Team Manager), after last weekend’s opening fixture was postponed by the Gwernyfed club.
Swansea started brightly and it was not long before a turnover in midfield saw Kelly Tombs break into space and link with flanker Robyn Lock – playing at inside centre – who showed good strength to break the covering defence and grab the opener.
Lock was again the provider, taking a fine pass from Rosie Mankee to race clear and put the supporting Sasha Baily clear to go under the posts. Scrum-half Keira Bevan added the extras.
Llandaff looked to build and kept possession well but sure defence by The Whites meant that their patient moves broke down. Emma Hennessey took full advantage of another turnover to race clear from half-way for a 17 – 0 lead.
For Swansea gaps became easier to find while Llandaff were punished every time they lost possession. Llandaff scrum-half Jo Jones found Bevan tackling her as soon as she moved back from the scrum and the visitors could get no quick ball from set piece. Llandaff did manage to pressurise the home goal line for a brief spell, but it was not long before the impressive Robyn Lock again powered past grasping hands to link with Keira Bevan and put Kelly tombs over under the posts in a stylish and confident move. Bevan converted for 24 – 0.
With The Whites enjoying a period of full control toward the end of the half, Keira Bevan was able to take full advantage of the gaps opening up and crossed twice in succession, converting both to bring the first half to an end with the game effectively over at 38 – 0.
Steve Jones and Jason Whitlock rang the changes at the start of the second period, with Sasha Bailey, Keira Bevan, Cara Hope and skipper Siwan Lillicrap all making way as the subs got their game time. Swansea continued the fine tempo of the opening period when outside-half Meg Griffiths crossed under the posts and converted. Replacement full-back Courtney Edwards wasted no time in getting on the scoresheet. She was on hand as the ball went swiftly through hands to the wing, Edwards showing good strength to reach for the line when tackled. Griffiths converted.
Llandaff North, to their credit, pushed hard to keep Swansea in their own half and inside centre Claire Morgan showed good pace and strength breaking the line on several occasions. But the Swansea defence held firm and broke out with pace and power, Amy Thomas causing mayhem with strong bursts into the visitors’ 22. Another Llandaff attack broke up and Natalie Murphy stormed into midfield, breaking the cohesion of the visitors defence. Robyn lock was able to cross for her second try and Swansea’s ninth. Griffiths added the extras for a 59 to nil lead. The last ten minutes belonged to Llandaff North who stuck to their task well and got the ball back inside Swansea’s 22. But they were unable to unlock a home defence that had been miserly all afternoon and, though Swansea were made to work for their tries, the defensive effort will be the most pleasing to the new coaching set up.
Supporters will please note that next Sunday’s (11th Nov.) fixture away to Caernarfon has had to be postponed due to circumstances beyond our control. The next SWRFC match will be against Gwernyfed at St Helen’s on Sunday 11th November – kick-off: 2:30pm.