Sunday, 3 November 2013

Swalec Championship Review

With fireworks night fast approaching, there were more than a few sparks on and off the pitch this weekend in the Swalec Championship, while the weather also brought about a few damp squibs.

 It’s been a tempestuous week at Glan Yr Afon this week with strugglers Blackwood parting company with their Director of Rugby Matthew Back and skills coach David Brown.

 However, the removal of the duo didn’t help their on field exploits as they let a winning position slip out of their grasp, going down at home to Pontypool 25-20.

 Pooler crossed three times through Tom Organ, Steve Taylor and Matt Thomas, while Clayton Gullis added ten points from the tee.

 At the summit, Ebbw Vale continue to dominate proceedings and even at this early stage it will be difficult for any of their rivals to overhaul the Steelmen’s commanding 12 point advantage at the summit.

 Jason Strange’s only worry will be complacency creeping into the side, but there wasn’t any on display on Saturday when they easily dispatched Tata Steel 34-3.

The Steelmen once again pummelled the opposition into submission up front, running in five tries despite the dreadful conditions with Jordan Howells bagging a brace, while Ronny Kynes, Chris Thomas and Joe Bartlett also went over.

Last season’s runners up Bargoed have finally started to move through the gears, as they leapt up to fourth with a 32-13 victory over highfliers Llanharan.

 With both sides possessing formidable packs and conditions less than ideal, it was obvious that whichever team had the dominance here would go on to win.

 And it was the hosts that won the physical battle as they helped themselves to five tries through wings Lewis Protheroe and Luke Smalley, Geraint Edmunds, Rhys Morgan and a penalty try. Fly half Josh Prosser meanwhile added a penalty and two conversions.

 The conditions hampered proceedings down at the Lloyd Lewis Ground but Narberth still remain the closest challengers to Ebbw Vale at the summit thanks to the narrowest of victories over Newbridge, 6-5.

 It was a stalemate at the break as the horrendous conditions put paid to either side's hopes of playing expansive rugby. A Ianto Griffiths penalty put the Otters in front after the interval, before Newbridge thought they had clinched the win with a Lewis Hunt touchdown, but a late penalty from Nick Gale gifted the hosts their sixth win.

 Another match that failed to sparkle was RCG 1404’s contest with Beddau at Parc Eirias, with the hosts needing a dramatic last gasp score to snatch victory.

The Green and Golds took a 9-5 lead into the break thanks to three penalties from Tom Benjamin, after the hosts had taken the lead through a Tom Blackwell touchdown.

With time slipping away and the visitors looking likely to take the spoils, a final RGC attack provided dividends with winger Carwyn ap Myrddin darting over in the dying seconds to claim the spoils.

Bridgend Athletic distanced themselves from the dropzone and in doing so heaped more woe on basement boys Bonymaen with a 24-0 victory over the Swansea outfit.

Athletic touched down four times through Sion Williams, Griff Davies, Ben Howe and Steve Lewis.
Finally, the other scheduled match between Cardiff Met and Tondu at Cyncoed fell victim to the wet weather.


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