Swansea close gap to six points at top of Championship
28 February 2016 11:58
Dai Watts was among the try scorers as the All Whites scored a dozen against lowly lanhaan
Swansea closed the gap at the top of the SSE Swalec Championships to six points as they thrashed basement side Llanharan 70-7 at St Helen's.
The All Whites ran in 12 tries to edge closer to Merthyr at the top of the table s they played their game in hand on the leaders. Wing Richard Thomas and full back Liam Popham both grabbed hat-ricks.
Mitchell Walsh, Olly Quick, Phil Jones, Elliot Clement, Andrew Claypole and Dai Watts grabbed the other tries for the home side and Phil Jones added five conversions. Llanharan travelled without any replacements and had to use the same 15 players for the full 80 minutes.
Third placed Pontypool were also able to secure a bonus point in their 29-20 home win over Beddau. A tight match saw Pooler come out on top after an inspired first half in which they led 24-8 after securing a bonus point with four tries.
But back came Beddau in the second half - Pontypool had won 10-9 in the earlier meeting between the two teams - and they outscored their hosts 12-5 in the second period to set the home supporters' nerves jangling.
But in their first game since 30 January, and their first since backs coach Stuart Lawrence departed the club, Pooler blew away the cobwebs as they prepared for a vital visit to north Wales this weekend to meet fourth placed RGC 1404. The win over Beddau took them 14 points clear of RGC, but the north Walians have two games in hand.
With four of the five teams that have achieved the WRU 'A' Licence set to gain promotion to the Principality Premiership next season, the closing stages of this campaign are likely to be hard fought. The reigning champions Bargoed are currently in fifth place and they closed the gap on RGC to four points with a bonus-point win at Glynneath.
In their game in hand over the fourth placed side, Bargoed ran in five tries in a 33-10 triumph that put them within striking distance of a top four finish the season after they failed to gain promotion because they didn't have the right facilities. Now things are different.
Darren Lynch, Lewis Protheroe, Gareth Dare, Darren Humphries and James Pizey scored tries for the visitors, who were forced to battle back from a 10-7 deficit early in the first-half. Next up for Bargoed this weekend is what could be a season defining clash at home against Championship leaders Merthyr.
Bridgend Athletic fought back to beat Tata Steel 24-20 at Groes Fields. The Saints were leading 13-7 at half time, but an inspired second half from the visitors saw them come out on top.
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.