- Bridgend win latest 'Ospreys' club battle
- Whites outscore Ravens on try count
- Defeat means Swansea remain second from bottom
By: Paul Hopkins
The All Whites fell to a hugely disappointing defeat at the Brewery Field despite outscoring Bridgend on try count.
Neither side looked particularly comfortable all afternoon with countless handling errors and turnovers conceded.
It was the home side who mounted the first attack with flanker Adam O’Driscoll charging forward, but Swansea winger Andrew Claypole intercepted a pass and raced up to the Ravens’ twenty-two before he was tackled into touch.
A collapsed scrum by the visitors gave Bridgend an early penalty chance, and fly half Ryan Evans’ effort hit the post and crept over for three points.
When the Ravens’ defence crept offside in midfield full back Owen Howe turned down a simple three pointer, instead opting to kick to the corner. It proved the right decision as number eight Rory Gallagher scored a try from a rolling maul. Howe converted.
A superb break by the outstanding winger Ryan Griffiths sparked another Bridgend attack and when he was brought down on half way, the Swansea defence illegally slowed down play. Ryan Evans kicked the resulting penalty goal.
The home side scored their first try in style when centres Morgan Jones and Joseph Gatt combined well to cause panic in the Swansea backline, sending scrum half Will Baird over for an excellent try. Ryan Evans converted.
The Whites hit back when the Ravens’ defence was penalised for offside in midfield. Howe kicked for touch and flanker Emyr Williams claimed the lineout. The pack mauled forward with lock Jon Fox scoring his side’s second try. Howe missed the conversion.
Swansea should have added a third try just before half time as they found themselves in a similar position to their first touch downs. Howe kicked to the corner from a penalty and another maul almost saw Gallagher charge over, but he held on after the tackle.
Half-time:- Bridgend 13 Swansea 12
The Whites looked much sharper at the start of the second period and centre J Rhys Williams showed his intent by powering forward to set up an attack. He found prop Tom Sloane in support, but flanker Jon Vaughan was penalised for holding on after the tackle.
The ever-lively Griffiths made another break, forcing centre Jedd Evans offside in midfield. Ryan Evans kicked to touch and from the lineout lock Jack Pope charged forward, only for the Swansea defence to kill the ball. This time Ryan Evans kicked the three pointer.
A well worked scrum by the Ravens’ front eight created a platform for Grabham to race down the wing, but his inside pass to replacement scrum half Connor Tantum was forward, bringing an end to the promising move.
There was finally a degree of daylight between the sides when Grabham sprinted forward, before he fed Griffiths for a well taken try. Ryan Evans converted.
A professional foul by the Ravens gave away a penalty. Howe kicked to the corner, but lock Keiran Martin crucially rose high to claim the lineout to help his side clear the danger.
The visitors grabbed a lifeline a minute into injury time when Gallagher broke through a tackle and sprinted forward, finding Evans in support, who raced up to the twenty-two. A clever inside pass was taken by Claypole, who scored under the posts. Howe converted.
With time quickly running out, the Swansea backs looked to run from deep and earned a penalty after the home side crept offside in midfield. Howe found touch inside the Bridgend half and replacement lock Gavin Ronan collected lineout ball, only for a spilled pass to dash any hopes of an unlikely comeback.
Next up for Bridgend is a trip to Llanelli, while Swansea host Carmarthen.
Full-time:- Bridgend 21 Swansea 19
Tries:- Will Baird (24), Ryan Griffiths (63)
Cons:- Ryan Evans (25)
Pens:- Ryan Evans (8, 18, 48)
Tries:- Rory Gallagher (12), Jon Fox (36), Andrew Claypole (80+1)
Cons:- Owen Howe (13, 80+2)
Venue:- Brewery Field, Bridgend
Referee:- Jason Morris
Weather:- Cloudy, 11C
Man of the match:- Ryan Griffiths
15 Tyler Williams
14 Aaron Grabham
13 Joseph Gatt
12 Morgan Jones (rep: Nathan Edwards 31)
11 Ryan Griffiths
10 Ryan Evans (rep: Jacob Lloyd 79)
9 Will Baird (rep: Connor Tantum 54)
1 Owen Jordan (rep: Rhodri Apsee 62)
2 Iestyn Merriman (rep: Dewi Lake 70)
3 Cai Lewis
4 Jack Pope
5 Keiran Martin
6 Adam O’Driscoll (rep: Matthew John 54)
7 Zac ODriscoll ©
8 Ashton Evans (rep: Owain Lloyd 75)
16 Dewi Lake
17 Rhodri Apsee
18 Garyn Daniel
19 Owain Lloyd
20 Matthew John
21 Connor Tantum
22 Jacob Lloyd
23 Nathan Edwards
15 Owen Howe
14 Andrew Claypole
13 Jedd Evans
12 J Rhys Williams
11 Rhys R Williams (rep: Liam Smith (35)
10 James Davies
9 Tom Ham (rep: Rhodri Wells 62)
1 Tom Sloane (rep: Jack Powell 78)
2 Paul John (rep: Ashley James 45)
3 Richard Murphy (rep: Mitchell Walsh 54)
4 Jon Fox © (rep: Gavin Ronan 45)
5 Jay Williams
6 Jon Vaughan
7 Emyr Williams (rep: Tom Ball 45)
8 Rory Gallagher
16 Ashley James
17 Jack Powell
18 Mitchell Walsh
19 Gavin Ronan
20 Tom Ball
21 Rhodri Wells
22 Liam Smith
23 Dom Callaghan