Jones in rich vein

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The Independent Online
Swansea 23

Llanelli 16

Swansea were never in greater need of a win, for since their Bonfire Night disaster against the Springboks, their season has turned to ashes, with five consecutive defeats.

The race for the Heineken League championship has now become a three-horse race between Cardiff, Pontypridd and Brigend, and Swansea are fighting for the respectability of staying in the top four.

Unfortunately, the eagerly awaited shoot-out between Robert Jones and Rupert Moon never materialised, as the latter withdrew because of a chipped bone in his wrist sustained three months ago. The passing of Jones was a major factor and this, combined with the astute play of his outside-half, Aled Williams, was what saw Swansea home.

The match was ruined by driving rain, which lost Swansea not only some £20,000 at the gate, but most of the territorial advantage in the first half when they played into the wind.

Llanelli could only manage two penalty goals, kicked by Jason Strange, as Swansea kept matters tight and stole a try for an unlikely half-time lead.

Inevitably, it was Jones who instigated the Swansea score with a fine blindside attack, and then a quick ball saw Williams brilliantly engineering a try for David Weatherley, who scored under the posts.

When Richard Moriarty won a line-out soon after half time, Rob Appleyard and Garin Jenkins drove for the line for the latter to score.

Llanelli countered, and Matthew Wintle drove into the Swansea 22. A good pass by Julian Williams saw Neil Boobyer put Ian Jones over. Jason Strange dropped a goal to restore Llanelli's lead, and then a Williams penalty had Swansea ahead by a point. Another penalty and a drop goal by Williams increased Swansea's precarious lead.

Swansea: A Clement (capt); S Davies, D Weatherley, S Macintosh, S Marshall; A Williams, R Jones; I Buckett; G Jenkins, K Colclough, R Moriarty, M Evans, A Reynolds, I Davies, R Appleyard.

Llanelli: I Jones; W Proctor, M Wintle, N Boobyer, G Evans; J Strange, H Harris; R Evans, R McBryde, S John, L Williams, A Copsey (capt), C Quinnell, J Williams, A McPherson Referee: C Thomas (RFU)

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