- Second heavy defeat in a row for Swansea
- Wales international Ceri Sweeney stars in Pontypridd masterclass
- Whites fall one try short of a bonus point
By: Paul Hopkins
Swansea fell to a heavy defeat for the second week in a row as a magnificent Pontypridd side put 50 points on Richard Lancaster’s men.
It was the perfect start for the visitors when scrum half Jamie Hill took a quick tap penalty that caught the Swansea defence asleep. He took advantage of a missed tackle to race into the twenty-two, sending centre Cameron Lewis over for a try. Fellow centre Ceri Sweeney converted.
The visitors struck again seconds after the restart when Lewis sprinted down the wing, again taking advantage of a missed tackle. He chipped through for flanker Morgan Sieniawski to collect a fortunate bounce to score. Sweeney missed the conversion.
A promising break by full back Luke Griffiths took the All Whites into the Pontypridd twenty-two for the first time and they earned a penalty for offside. A solid lineout saw the home backs get the ball out wide for flanker Jon Fox to crash over for a try. Griffiths missed the conversion.
A devastating maul by the visitors’ pack earned a penalty, but Raikes spilled the ball forward at the base of the ruck.
Pontypridd soon recovered and deft handling across the backline should have resulted in a try for Sweeney, but he overran the pass.
The visitors bagged try number three when winger Matthew Billett made a break on the wing, drawing in the Swansea defence to send Sweeney over in the corner for a touch down, which he also converted.
Fly half Richard Fussell intercepted a pass in midfield, but the last Pontypridd defender managed to grab hold of his shirt to end the move before he could offload to winger Andrew Claypole.
Pontypridd clinched a bonus point in style with the backs injecting pace and power into an attack, resulting in a try for full back Lloyd Rowlands. Sweeney converted.
Half-time:- Swansea 5 Pontypridd 26
The Sardis Road men went straight on the attack after the interval with flanker Rhys Shellard picking up a loose ball at the ruck to score under the posts. Sweeney converted.
The visitors pack continued to provide a handful and lock Sean Moore claimed a deserved try as he outmuscled the Swansea defence to squeeze across the whitewash. Sweeney converted.
The Whites front row was again penalised for standing up in the scrum. From the lineout number eight Alun Lawrence looked to probe the Swansea defence but he lost possession.
A powerful run by centre J Rhys Williams saw the Whites embark on a rare attack, forcing Pontypridd offside at the breakdown. Fussell kicked to touch, but his side failed to claim the lineout.
An infringement at the scrum by the visitors gave Swansea a penalty and Fussell chipped to the corner. The Swansea pack remained patient with replacement prop Tom Sloane diving over for a try. Griffiths converted.
Moore intercepted a loose ball and raced 30 metres upfield, before chipping forward, but centre Jake Randall managed to get back to defend.
A superb run by Griffiths almost saw the Whites claim a third try, but the support was too slow to arrive and they lost the ball forward.
The Swansea forwards remained patient with prop Tom Sloane diving over for a try, but the visitors sealed victory with two late tries for Edwards and replacement winger George Thomas, though winger Dan Howells crossed over for the Whites on the last play.
Full-time:- Swansea 19 Pontypridd 54
Tries:- Jon Fox (15), Tom Sloane (69), Dan Howells (80+4)
Cons:- Luke Griffiths (70), Owen Howe (80+5)
Tries:- Cameron Lewis (7), Morgan Sieniawski (9), Diggy Bird (29), Lloyd Rowlands (40), Rhys Shellard (43), Sean Moore (49), Sion Edwards (79), George Thomas (80+2)
Cons:- Diggy Bird (8, 30, 40+1, 44, 50, 80, 80+3)
Venue:- St Helen’s, Swansea
Referee:- Jason Bessant
Weather:- Light rain, 7C
Man of the match:- Ceri Sweeney
15 Luke Griffiths
14 Andrew Claypole (rep: Ben Cambriani 41)
13 J Rhys Williams (rep: Owen Howe 75)
12 Jake Randall
11 Dan Howells
10 Richard Fussell
9 Rhodri Wells (rep: Josh Guy 44)
1 Jack Powell (rep: Tom Sloane 44)
2 Paul John (rep: Josh Clarke 56)
3 Fenton Holder (rep: Lewys Bullock 38)
4 Sam Kiley ©
5 Jay Williams (rep: Tudor Hughes 44)
6 Jon Vaughan
7 Ben Davies
8 Jon Fox © (rep: Steffan Jones 63)
16 Josh Clarke
17 Tom Sloane
18 Lewys Bullock
19 Tudor Hughes
20 Steffan Jones
21 Josh Guy
22 Owen Howe
23 Ben Cambriani
15 Lloyd Rowlands (rep: Rhys Morgan 67)
14 Matthew Billett (rep: George Thomas 56)
13 Cameron Lewis
12 Ceri Sweeney
11 Geraint Walsh
10 Diggy Bird
9 Jamie Hill (rep: Joel Raikes 80)
1 Ian George (rep: Will Davies-King 56)
2 Huw Dowden (rep: Joe Page 56)
3 Kieran Assiratti (rep: Huw Owen 56)
4 Sean Moore
5 Chris Dicomidis © (rep: Ross Barnes 52)
6 Morgan Sieniawski
7 Rhys Shellard (rep: Sion Edwards 63)
8 Alun Lawrence.
16 Joel Raikes
17 Rhys Morgan
18 George Thomas
19 Joe Page
20 Sion Edwards
21 Ross Barnes
22 Huw Owen
23 Will Davies-King