Swansea teenager Richie Pugh scored two tries in his first-ever game on the wing as the All Whites stunned Pontypridd in a Welsh Premiership match at St Helen's today.
Pugh, a promising Wales Under-21 flanker, was drafted on to the right wing by Swansea coaches Tony Clement and Paul Moriarty. The gamble paid off immediately when the 19-year-old scored two tries in the opening 14 minutes as Swansea took a shock 19-0 lead into the wind.
"He's never played on the wing before in his life, and he was a bit worried about it before the game," Moriarty said. "But he's got the pace and he's definitely got the intelligence to play there.
"Our forwards gave our backs a great platform today and they made the right decisions at the crucial times."
Swansea's upset win came at a cost, though, with talented youngsters, No 8 James Bater (neck) and fly-half Gavin Henson (ankle), both being stretchered off.
Pontypridd coach Lynn Howells named his strongest side in a warm-up to next Friday night's Parker Pen Challenge Cup semi-final decider against London Wasps, but their performance raised more questions than it answered as tackling became a rare commodity in the ine-try extravaganza.
Swansea: Tries - R Pugh 2, M Taylor, G Swales, J Griffiths; Pen - G Henson; Cons - G Henson 4.
Pontypridd: Tries - R Parks, G Baber, B Davey, M Davies; Pen - C Sweeney; Cons - C Sweeney 2, N Jenkins 2. Halftime: Swansea 26-17.
Yellow card: M White (Swansea 49)