Rugby Union: Swansea struggle

Swansea 26 Ebbw Vale 15
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The Independent Online
Perhaps it was because they were freed from the straitjacket of needing tries to rack up league bonus points that Swansea made such protracted work of disposing of Ebbw Vale in Saturday's Swalec Cup semi-final, writes Hugh Godwin.

Mike Ruddock, the Swansea coach, was probably closer to the truth when he drew attention to the number of injuries afflicting his team, who are likely to again be without their Welsh internationals Arwel Thomas, Colin Charvis and Christian Loader, for the final against Cardiff.

Swansea reached half-time only seven points to the good. Aled Williams, Thomas's understudy at outside-half, missed three penalty shots, but he was twice the fulcrum in the sweeping move which led to a try in the corner for wing Simon Davies.

The All Whites eventually pulled themselves together with a match-winning burst of 16 points sparked by centre Mark Taylor's 51st-minute try.

Swansea: Tries Simon Davies, Taylor, Williams. Conversion Williams. Penalties Williams 2. Dropped goal Booth.

Ebbw Vale: Tries: Harries, Jeffreys. Conversion Hayward. Penalty Hayward.

Swansea: M Back (L Davies, 39); W Leach, M Taylor, S Gibbs, Simon Davies (R Jones 71); A Williams, A Booth; I Buckett, G Jenkins (capt), S Evans, S Moore, P Arnold, A Reynolds, Stuart Davies, R Appleyard (D Thomas 53).

Ebbw Vale: A Harries; I Jeffreys, J Hawker, M Boys, S Marshall; B Hayward, D Llewellyn; A Phillips, S Jones (A Lamerton, 73), D Bell, C Billen, J Lillas, B Watkins, M Jones, K Jones (capt).

Referee: W Bevan (Clydach).

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