Swansea tight five put stanglehold on Varisty rivals
9 April 2014 22:17pm
Matthew Jenkins of Swansea is tackled by Joe Franchi and Jack Neville of Cardiff
Swansea University battled to a 19-15 victory over Cardiff University to claim a hard-fought Welsh Varsity crown at the Millennium Stadium.
The Swansea tight-five were the difference as they dominated every set-piece. Tries from Jack Perkins and Matthew Jenkins, as well as a penalty try, put the game beyond the brave Cardiff students.
Tom O'Flaherty scored two opportunistic tries to give his team a chance of victory, but they failed to wrestle the advantage from a strong Swansea side. Jack Neville fired Cardiff into the lead after just five minutes, the Swansea students were penalised for diving over top of a ruck and the outside-half slotted over to put his side 3-0 ahead.
But the green and whites started to dominate the scrum after 20 minutes and won a succession of penalties in the Cardiff 22. Tight-head prop Aled Rees was shown a yellow card before the Swansea tight-five took full advantage of their man advantage, overpowering Cardiff at another scrum and eventually being rewarded with a penalty try.
It looked like it was going to be a long afternoon for Cardiff, but they hit-back against all odds through O'Flaherty. Down to 14 men, they spread the ball wide, Arthur Ellis threw a long miss pass to the winger who rounded his defender to score at the corner.
However, Swansea quickly overturned Cardiff's 8-7 half-time advantage. Cross Keys flanker Perkins crashed over at the back of a maul after Reuben Tucker's take at the line out.
Ospreys centre Jenkins broke clean through the Cardiff defence to score his team's third try of the evening. Will Thomas added the extras to take the score to 19-8. But Cardiff hit-back just two minutes later, scrum-half John Preddy darted past the Cardiff defence before the ball went to ground and ricocheted into the hands of O'Flaherty, who scored his second try of the match.
Cardiff rallied but couldn't find the crucial score, and the match ended 19-15 in Swansea's favour.
Cardiff University: Iwan Phillips, Tom O'Flaherty, Jack Watters, Arthur Ellis, James Brock, Jack Neville, John Preddy, James Thomas (Capt), George Lee, James Sawyer, Ben Egan, Ollie Green, Aled Rees, Joe Franchi, Tom Boot Replacements: Morgan Bozariko, Aled Rees, Dan Mock, begin Unwin, Dave Wayman, Bryn Phillips, Dan Brownlee, Ben Madgwick, Andy Evans
Swansea University: Eliott Jones, Andrew Claypole, Josh Bartlett, Mathew Jenkins, Hugo Jafari, Will Thomas, Josh Guy; Saman Razapour, Tom Bull, Nicky Thomas, Rory Thornton, Jon Barkley, Reuben Tucker (Capt), Jack Perkins, Adam Scanlon Replacements: Rhodri Clancy, Tom Kaijaks, Sean McDonald-Roberts, Josh Walker, Arun Thompson, Shaun Clarke, Jack Shields, Ashley Evans, David Evans, Jedd Evans
The winners of a filmmaking competition organised by the education charity Into Film and the WRU enjoyed a behind the scenes tour of the Millennium Stadium - and a chance to be photographed with the WRU's fire-breathing, rugby loving mascot, Scorch The Dragon, and Welsh international, Jake Ball.
The Wales Under 20 camp are in a quietly confident mood as they face Ireland in the U20 Championship, with Coaching Co-Ordinator Allan Lewis and full back Dafydd Howells targeting a top five finish in the tournament.
Wales U20 may start as favourites against Japan this evening in the U20 Championship, but Team Manager Mark Taylor is warning against complacency. He is also hoping a good win will boost morale and 'kickstart' performances.
Coach Richard Hodges is hoping Wales U20 can put a disappointing campaign behind them when they tackle Japan tomorrow as they look to finish the U20 Championship strongly to secure a good seeding for next year's tournament.