Rugby Union: Swansea still live in hope

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The Independent Online
Neath . . . .8

Swansea. . .18

THE auguries from the Gnoll for next Saturday's Wales-England game are mixed. On the upside for Wales, Swansea - the side which forms the core of the Welsh team against England - showed close control and tight discipline in winning at Neath for the first time in more than a decade.

Above all, Robert Jones maintained command of a tight, fierce struggle in the way he must hope to do at the Arms Park, overshadowing, in the process, his younger brother, Rhodri, playing opposite him.

But the English will be glad to know that Gareth Llewellyn, the Neath second row and the pillar of Welsh line-out hopes, failed to dominate while his brother, Glyn, was sent off for the crassest stamping, in full view of the stand and the officials.

Luckily for Wales, he was not in the side to play England, but Wales may regret having Swansea full-back Anthony Clement sitting idly on the bench next week when yesterday he looked the sharpest player on the field.

Swansea struggled free of a deadlock in the second half. Robert Jones made the first try, sending the ball wide from a ruck to give Simon Davies an overlap. The No 8 Stuart Davies jinked like a stand-off through the Neath pack for the second try and then Clement squeezed over in the corner.

Steve Bowling's try for Neath was mere consolation for the comprehensive defeat which destroyed their championship ambitions. Swansea still live in hope.

Neath: P Thorburn; A Donovan, J Bird, H Woodland, S Bowling; M McCarthy, Rhodri Jones; L Gerrard, A Thomas, J Davies, Glyn Llewellyn, Gareth Llewellyn (capt), I Boobyer, S Williams, M Morris.

Swansea: A Clement; Simon Davies, S Gibbs, K Hopkins (S Jones, 82 min), S Barclay; A Williams, Robert Jones; K Colclough, R McBryde, A Metcalfe, P Arnold, R Moriarty, I Davies, Stuart Davies (capt), A Reynolds.

Referee: D Bevan (Clydach).

Scorers: Thorburn (pen, 3 min, 3-0); Williams (pen, 9 min, 3-3); S Davies (try, 48 min, 3-8); Clement/Williams (try/conv, 53 min, 3-15); Williams (pen, 74 min, 3-18), Bowling (try, 75 min, 8-18).

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