Rugby Union: Swansea eclipsed

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The Independent Online
Pontypridd. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .13

Swansea. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3

PONTYPRIDD is the gateway to the Rhondda, and its rugby club has, comparatively recently, become the enfant terribles of the senior Welsh clubs. On the evidence of this well-earned, well-deserved and comprehensive win over league leaders Swansea in the sixth round of the Swalec Cup, they have certainly arrived as one of the best clubs in Wales.

There was little question that Pontypridd wanted to win more than Swansea and their eagerness to avenge that previous home defeat by the West Walians, 25-15, was written all over their faces.

Their big-hit tackles and the vigour with which they hit the rucks and intelligently rolled their mauls, all spelled doom for Swansea, who were never allowed to settle.

Allied to all this, Pontypridd possessed the most potent and prolific points scorer in Welsh rugby in the Welsh outside-half Neil Jenkins, who now appears to have come of age in international rugby. His maturity had a huge influence on affairs, and his mighty kicking has brought him 380 points in 25 matches this season.

Swansea never matched the sharpness of their opponents, and with the eclipse of their forwards we saw only occasional flashes of the qualities of Robert Jones, Aled Williams and Tony Clement. From the start, Pontypridd piled on the pressure, but for a while Jones helped Swansea to compose themselves with high kicks into the box, and a strong running attack by Williams and Clement saw Pontypridd reeling to concede a penalty at the ruck for Williams to put Swansea in the lead with a penalty.

Pontypridd struck back almost instantly through a terrific run by David Manley, who came across field inside his own half and carried the ball to the corner flag, where both he and Robbins were tackled by Clement and Jones. This brought a line- out on the line, from which Mark Rowley crashed over and Jenkins converted.

In the second quarter Pontypridd's pressure brought two further marvellous penalty goals by Neil Jenkins and there was no way back for Swansea.

Pontypridd: Try Rowley; Conversion N Jenkins; Penalty N Jenkins 2. Swansea: Penalty Williams.

Pontypridd: C Cormack; D Manley, J Lewis, S Lewis, O Robbins; N Jenkins, P John; N Bezani (capt), P John, A Metcalf, G Prosser, M Rowley, P Thomas, R Collins, D McIntosh.

Swansea: A Clement; M Titley, D Watherly, S McIntosh, S Davies; A Williams, R Jones; I Buckett, G Jenkins, R Shaw, P Arnold, R Moriarty, A Reynolds, R Appleyard, I Davies.

Referee: W D Bevan (WRU).

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