Rugby Union: Plumtree generous in victory
Monday 01 February 1999
IF GENEROSITY of spirit has been the first casualty of Welsh rugby's internecine war, then nobody told John Plumtree.
The first priority of the Swansea coach was to see his side safely into the last 16 of the Swalec Cup, and this he did, albeit at the somewhat preventable expense of five Newport tries. But with victory in the bag, and being mindful of the weekend's Five Nations match in Scotland, Plumtree also did the right thing by Wales.
Four of those tipped to play some part against the Scots - Scott Gibbs, Mark Taylor, Chris Anthony and Matthew Robinson - were withdrawn by Plumtree during the rare moments in the second half when a try was not being scored. In the wake of Swansea's spat with the Welsh Rugby Union, the club's refusal to sign the 10-year loyalty agreement and all that has ensued, Plumtree's attitude was a ray of light on a grey afternoon.
"All I'm concerned with is the rugby," said the New Zealander. "I wanted to help Graham Henry out and that is the most important thing."
Swansea's future is worryingly uncertain, with announcements on next season's structure expected in the next two days. The club's agreement with English First Division Rugby, which spawned this season's series of unsanctioned friendlies, has another season to run, but Swansea's preference is for a genuine cross-border competition. If that does not happen then both Swansea and Cardiff face some tough decisions.
Meanwhile, Plumtree's compatriot Henry is set to name the Wales team for Murrayfield today. Robinson's possible promotion to a first cap is due to an injury to the Cardiff winger Gareth Thomas and the doubts over Anthony Sullivan's readiness for the international stage.
Robinson would not have played at all against Newport, his former club, if Simon Davies had not stubbed a toe in training. Having created one of Swansea's three first half tries with a dashing lateral break, Robinson was withdrawn after only 50 minutes.
Gibbs, Taylor and Anthony followed in the last quarter, and Colin Charvis would have done so, too, but he chose to play on. The impressive Charvis has the ability to achieve true star status in the Five Nations.
Swansea; Tries M Taylor, Charvis, Rees 3, Weatherly 2, Gibbs, R Jones; Conversions A Thomas 6; Penalty A Thomas. Newport: Tries Watkins, Nichols 3, King; Conversions Connor 2, Mitchell 3; Penalty Connor.
Swansea: D Weatherley; R Rees, M Taylor (L Davies 67 mins), S Gibbs (capt), A Lawson 70), M Robinson (C van Rensburg 50); A Thomas, R Jones; D Morris, G Jenkins, C Anthony (B Evans 70), T Maullin, A Moore (P Arnold 52), P Moriarty (D Thomas 60), C Charvis, L Jones (D Thomas 13-20).
Newport: M Cardey (D Burn 75); A Harris, M Watkins, K Nichols, M Llewellyn (G King 12); S Connor (S Mitchell 67), S Moore; R Snow, G Hicks (I Jones 67), S Cronk (capt), G Taylor, S Roy, J Powell (G Lucas 79), B Clark, A Gibbs.
Referee: Tony Rowlands (Treorchy).
Latest in Sport
Robin van Persie to Fenerbahce: Manchester United striker 'agrees to personal terms' with Turkish side
Arsenal defender Kieran Gibbs posts bizarre video of his Miami holiday being invaded by an iguana
Women's World Cup 2015: England secure third place as they beat Germany in extra time with penalty by Fara Williams
Arsenal transfer news: Gunners will only consider 'astronomical offer' from Atletico Madrid for Santi Cazorla
Why is it that there’s no women’s team at Manchester United? - Michael Calvin
- 1 Isis propaganda video shows 25 Syrian soldiers executed by teenage militants in Palmyra
- 2 Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
- 3 Right to die: Belgian doctors rule depressed 24-year-old woman has right to end her life
- 4 The biggest first date turnoff has been revealed
- 5 German man found living with 300 rats in tiny apartment
Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
Greece crisis: IMF was pushed around by Angela Merkel and Nicholas Sarkozy – and now it is being humiliated
'I wish the BBC would stop calling it Islamic State' – David Cameron unleashes frustration at broadcaster
Forget little green men – aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert
Girl, 7, stares down hate preacher at Ohio festival with pro-LGBT rainbow flag gesture
More Britons believe that multiculturalism makes the country worse - not better, says poll
£17000 - £21000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...
£17000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...
£17000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: If you are fluent in Japanese a...
£16000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...