Rugby Union: Pivotal Williams

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The Independent Online
Swansea. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .32

Aberavon. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3

SWANSEA duly won the Welsh League First Division at a canter to become the first team to win it twice since its inception. Apart from being a fine achievement it also put pounds 24,500 into the coffers of the club .

They have shown a remarkable consistency in winning 19 of the 21 games played, losing only three matches overall during the season, one being to Pontypridd in the Welsh Cup. The achievement becomes greater when you consider that they lost Richard Webster to rugby league and Scott Gibbs from injury for most of the season, before his acrimonious departure to league last week. Stuart Davies, their captain, was out for four months and Aled Williams their brilliant outside-half for six weeks, both with injury.

The match against Aberavon was no classic but Swansea did enough, and, as ever, victory was achieved by Swansea's commitment to 15-man rugby. But the foundation was laid by the excellent technique of their forwards in both the set-pieces and loose play, while behind the scrum the steady guiding hands as ever came from Robert Jones, who on Monday leaves to play for Western Province in South Africa.

The man of the match for Swansea, however, was Aled Williams. Returning to the league after six weeks, he made some marvellous incursions through the defence. Tony Clement at full-back was another class act in attack.

Aberavon early on attempted the old ploy of roughing up the Swansea pack but retribution was swift as a free-for-all ensued and the referee awarded a penalty against Aberavon.

Their next mistake was to miss two penalties before Swansea began to get a grip on themselves and assert their authority and obvious superiority.

A penalty by Aled Williams was followed by a penalty try for collapsing the scrum and this was converted by Williams who also kicked another penalty to make it 13-0 at half-time.

Aberavon, still dangerously close to relegation, fought with tenacity, but nevertheless Swansea proceeded to overrun them in the second period. On this evidence, after a summer's rest, Swansea look set for another good season.

Swansea: Trys Penalty try, Arnold, Davies, Jenkins; Penalties Williams 2; Conversions Williams 3. Aberavon: Penalty Morgan.

Swansea: A Clement; S Davies, D Weatherley, S McIntosh, S Barclay; A Williams, R Jones; I Buckett, G Jenkins, R Shaw, P Arnold, R Moriarty (S Moore, 77), A Reynolds, S Davies (capt), R Appleyard.

Aberavon: L Lewis; S Hutchinson, A Bucknall, N Davies, R Diplock; J Morgan, W Morris; G Richardson, A Thomas, J Hughes, J Jenkins (E Williams, 48), L Williams, B Shenton (capt) (C Thomas, 70), P Hamley, P Middleton.

Referee: D Davies (WRU).

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