03 March 2019 / Club News

Swansea 27 Merthyr 5

Poor performance from the Ironmen.


Swansea 27 Merthyr 5

Posted By: Paul Hopkins

The All Whites celebrated their best win of the semi-pro era with a dominant bonus point display against back-to-back champions Merthyr. The home side stole possession at the kick off with prop Tom Sloane charging forward into the twenty-two, but the move broke down and Merthyr was able to clear. The visitors’ first attack came from an infringement in the Swansea lineout, but winger Jay Baker’s chip through was dealt with by full-back Phil Jones, who cleared to touch. A slow-moving roiling maul from the lineout meant the visitors were forced to spread the ball wide, but winger Tom James held on after the tackle surrendering possession. Phil Jones was slow to deal with a chip to the corner but was rescued by the supporting winger Andrew Claypole. Baker picked up a loose clearance but didn’t make the most of his pace as he lost possession forward on the twenty-two. A quick tap penalty by centre Callum Carson near his own line went horribly wrong as he spilled the ball forward. But an outstanding tackle by prop Greg Cunniffe forced Merthyr off the ball, allowing Phil Jones to clear. The visitors came close to opening the scoring when prop James Howe charged down a Tom Ham box kick, but the ball evaded him into touch a couple of metres short of the try line. Ham made a break over half way, and although support was initially too slow to arrive, the Whites managed to recycle possession. Lock Jay Williams broke through a tackle and raced through the middle, finding fellow lock James Ratti on his shoulder for a well-taken try. Phil Jones converted. It was a strong finish to the half for Swansea as a powerful rolling maul by the home pack forced Merthyr offside. Phil Jones kicked to the corner and Jay Williams collected the lineout to send Sloane crashing over for a try. Phil Jones missed the conversion. Swansea looked to play a percentage game early in the second half with fly half J Rhys Williams finding touch inside the Merthyr twenty-two. Jay Williams stole the lineout to set up another Whites attack, but the move slowed down, and the home side were penalised for killing the ball. Claypole took the ball on a devastating angle as the visitors struggled to contain a rampant Swansea. Deliberate offside by flanker Hemi Barnes earned him a yellow card and Phil Jones slotted the penalty through the posts. Disaster struck for Merthyr when replacement fly half Gareth Davies, with his first touch since coming on as a replacement, threw a loose pass that was scooped up by Claypole, who raced clear to score. Phil Jones missed the conversion. Replacement hooker Ifan Phillips fielded a loose chip through as his side went in search for a bonus point, but the Whites were unable to release the ball from the maul. The visitors were penalised for holding on after the tackle and Phil Jones kicked to the corner. J Rhys Williams took a crash ball and was tackled just short of the line, but flanker Morgan Morris powered over to score under the posts. Phil Jones converted. Winger Jon Bayliss almost put the icing on the cake as he raced towards the line out wide, but he was bundled into touch a meter short, but moments later centre Joe Thomas was shown a yellow card for an off the ball trip. Although the result was beyond doubt, the visitors refused to give up and replacement full back Matthew Jarvis used his pace to score a consolation try out wide. He missed the conversion. However, it was an unsavory ending as center Arron Pinches saw red for dangerous play.

Merthyr> 15 J Martin,14 T James,13 A Pinches,12 A Thomas,11 J Baker,10 R Powell, 9 J James,1 J Howe©,2 M Dwyer,3 J Rees,4 P Macbride,5 B Murphy, 6 H Barnes, 7 J Thomas, 8 P Rees, 16 R Williams,17 L Jones,18 C Phillips,19 J Davies,20 A Murphy,21 R Downes,22 G Davies,23 M Jarvis.

Scorers, M Jarvis 1t.

Referee Stephen Allsop(Caldicot).



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