Rugby Union: Swansea cheered by Charvis

Llanelli 10 Swansea 37
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The Independent Online
IT WAS bound to end in tears for one team, but nobody thought Llanelli's bold attempt to win the treble would be so brutally and comprehensively thwarted.

The post-match view of the skipper Scott Gibbs that it had been a case of "men against boys" was perhaps overstating the case. But there can be no doubting that Swansea's foray into England this season has given them a more battle-hardened edge.

All last week John Plumtree, the Swansea coach, was privately predicting his side would scrum Llanelli off Ninian Park to win the Swalec Cup. This they did with ease and they were too strong for them at the line-out, too. Starved of possession, Llanelli had no platform on which to build a game plan to retain their cup.

It did not help their case, either, that Byron Hayward was successful with only one out of five penalties. No ball, no points, no way could they add the cup to the Premier Division title and Challenge Trophy already safely locked away at Stradey Park.

Swansea drafted in the Wales flanker Colin Charvis, who since fracturing his cheekbone in three places last month against England, had seemed unlikely to play again this season. But the back row man came up trumps with two first-half tries which helped the All Whites into a commanding 24-10 interval lead.

Arwel Thomas drove more nails into the Scarlets' coffin after the break with a drop goal and penalty before Dean Thomas triggered off Swansea celebrations with a fourth try.

Llanelli: Try: Proctor. Conversion: Hayward. Penalty: Hayward. Swansea: Tries: Charvis (2), Maullin, D Thomas. Conversions: A Thomas (3), L Davies. Drop goals: A Thomas (2). Penalty: A Thomas.

Llanelli: B Hayward, W Proctor, S Finau, N Davies (C Warlow 78), S Jones, R Moon (A Thomas 78), M Madden (P Booth 72), R McBryde (captain), J Davies, C Wyatt, M Boyle (A Copsey 72), H Jenkins (V Cooper 72), S Quinnell, I Boobyer (M Thomas 39-45, I Jones 78).

Swansea: D Weatherley, R Rees, M Taylor, S Gibbs (captain) (C van Rensburgh 78), M Robinson, A Thomas (L Davies 78), R Jones (A Booth 79), D Morris, G Jenkins (C Wells 79), B Evans (C Anthony 72), T Maullin, A Moore (J Griffiths 79), P Moriarty (D Thomas 70), L Jones, C Charvis (D Thomas 59-70).

Referee: R G Davies (Dunvant)

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