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.
Wales Head Coach Rob Howley talks to WRU TV's Sebastian Barrett about the 36-man squad he has just named for the forthcoming Under Armour series, which includes two uncapped players, Ospreys duo Sam Davies and Rory Thornton.
Head coach Rowland Phillips is deligthed he can now call BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park home for his Wales Women's side, who launch their international season next month with games against Scotland and UK Armed Forces in the heart of the capital city.
Wales Sevens star Sam Cross has put his home town club of Brynmawr on the map after winning a silver medal at the Rio Olympics with Team GB. His club have now honoured him by naming their players bar after him, as WRU TV discovered at the official launch, recently.
One of the newest members of the Principality Premiership, Bargoed admit it's proving to be a steep learning curve at the highest level, but are determined to become a force to be reckoned with. WRU TV visited the club last weekend when they took on Llanelli.
Table-topping Aberavon travel to north Wales to tackle RGC 1404 as both teams defend unbeaten starts to the season in the Principality Premiership. WRU TV's Graeme Gillespie visited the Wizards to see how their preparations were going for the game of the weekend.
The Half a Game initiative is currently sweeping across Wales and proving a major success. The scheme aims to give every young player at least half a game every weekend. WRU TV recently visited a festival in Narberth where clubs have fully embraced the initiative.
Both Bargoed and Swansea were seeking their first win of the Principality Premiership season this afternoon. It proved a fruitful day for the hosts - not only did they win, but Bargoed claimed a try bonus point.
Cardiff managed to keep their unbeaten record at home intact, but only just as Bridgend made them work extremely hard before the Blue and Blacks secured a hard fought Principality Premiership win at the BT Sport Arms Park last night.
Former Wales back row Andy Powell gives a guided tour of The Wern, home of Merthyr RFC, who are determined to prove a lot of people wrong and make their mark in their first season in the Principality Premiership.