Swansea tight five put stanglehold on Varisty rivals
9 April 2014 22:17
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
Principality Stadium will host the UEFA Champions League Final in six weeks' time. WRU chairman Gareth Davies, Football Association of Wales chief executive Jonathan Ford and Ambassador Ian Rush joined young sports fans at the trophy arrival at the venue to celebrate the magnitude of the event on Saturday 3rd June (kick-off 19.45).
British and Irish Lions captain Sam Warburton is looking forward to bringing together players from Ireland, Scotland, England and Wales for the biggest challenge of their careers - a series against world champions, New Zealand.
For the fifth year running, Wales referee Nigel Owens will be in charge of proceedings at Judgement Day V at Principality Stadium. It promises to be 'extra special' for the Wales' favourite ref, as he will be making his 150th appearance in the league.
There will be no shortage of inside knowledge from Bowl Finalists Caerphilly and Amman United when they face each other on Sunday at National Finals Day. Caerphilly hooker Rhys Cleverly knows the Principality Stadium pitch better than most as a matchday groundsman, while Amman United can look to Wales' record try scorer Shane Williams for some helpful advice.
Two hundred and 40 teams competed in the inaugural Urdd WRU 7s held at Pencoed last week with Welsh internationals Steff Andrews and Jasmine Joyce impressed with the talent on display, as was Urdd chief executive, Sioned Hughes.
The countdown is on for Judgement Day V as tickets for the big day at Principality Stadium soar through the 50,000 mark. Players and coaches alike are bursting at the seams to play in the double header with Dragons coach Kingsley Jones claiming there is a 'real buzz' about the event.
WRU TV went behind the scenes when the four regions got together to test their skill set for the BBC's Scrum V Live rugby show, at the WRU National Centre of Excellene in the build up to Judgement Day V. Blues' Matthew Morgan was one of the stars of the show while the Dragons' Cory Hill proved a surprise package...the full set of results will be revealed on tv screens on matchday
Wales assistant coach Richie Pugh is confident his side can cause a few headaches in the Hong Kong Sevens this weekend. In a tough group, Wales kick off their campaign against New Zealand on Friday before playing Japan and Fiji, who are chasing their third consecutive Hong Kong title, on Saturday.
Bedwas had to overcome a stubborn Carmarthen Quins side before winning the Foster's Challenge Cup final in Bridgend with a 23-18 victory. Bedwas captain Nicky Griffiths pays tribute to his side who have claimed the club's first piece of silverware in the modern era.
Team coach Brett Davey is aiming to keep his unbeaten run in cup finals at Principality Stadium intact when his side take on Amman United in the WRU Bowl final, after he guided Caerphilly to a 20-14 win against Cilfynydd in the semi-finals.
Penallta are hoping to go one step further than last season when falling to Bedlinog in the WRU Plate Final. After a titanic struggle against Nant Conwy, they have given themselves a great chance, after a hard fought 18-13 semi-final victory.