Monday, 28 September 2009

Round Up: Principality Premiership

Neath remain top of the Principality Premiership after thrashing Ebbw Vale 41-7 last Saturday.

With five wins from six games played, they lead the division from local rivals Swansea, who tied with Aberavon, by two points.

It was a comprehensive win for Patrick Horgan’s confident side. They established a 22-nil advantage at the break and were never likely to let that lead slip against a side who have failed to record a win all season.

Meanwhile, Swansea needed a touchline conversion from full-back Nicky Thomas with the final kick of the game ensured Swansea kept the only unbeaten record.

Both Thomas and the young Aberavon fly-half Matthew Jarvis landed all their eight shots at goal and all eight went way over the height of the uprights.
Swansea had pulled clear at 23-13 after a Rhys Jones try in first-half injury time that was a sucker punch.

But Aberavon refused to lie down and with Jarvis, in his first senior match since May, and Chris Morgans combining at half-back, they hit the front at 36-29 with 80 minutes gone. However five minutes into more injury time,

Swansea came back downfield and somehow worked Wales U18 cap Tom Prydie in at the corner.Time was up, but Thomas hit the mark and Swansea’s cheers showed they had kept their record of being unbeaten since last March.

Pontypridd kept in touch with the leaders with a big win over Cross Keys. In doing so they gained their sixth bonus point in as many matches, but head coach Paul John believes they should have grabbed more than their four tries.

Outside-half Dean Gunter cashed in with 22 points – a try, four conversions and three penalties with Keys full-back Gareth David replying with 14 from a conversion and four penalties in five attempts.

Both Llanelli and Newport kept themselves in the mix in the upper half of the table thanks to wins over Pontypool (37-11) and Bedwas (46-15) respectively.

Llanelli, still unbeaten at home, scored four tries to earn a valuable bonus point. Outside-half Luke Richards converted all four tries and kicked three penalty goals.

Pooler, still without a league win after five matches, made a bright start and they could have scored more than the one try if their finishing had been better. Right-wing Steve Taylor followed up a Nicky Williams chip ahead to pounce for the corner touchdown in the ninth minute. He also kicked two penalties.

Llanelli head of rugby Anthony Buchanan said: “We have a young team and we are trying to develop the way we want to play.

“It was good that we picked up a bonus point for scoring four tries but we still have a lot of work to do.We definitely haven’t seen the best of this team yet.”

In the other match in the division, Cardiff lost at home to Llandovery by a score of 20-25. It was the first time the Drovers had ever won at the Arms Park and another reminder of how tough it is to defend a Premiership title.

Cardiff are already eight points off the pace and in mid table after their second defeat of the season.

Principality Premiership results 26 October

Cardiff RFC 20 Llandovery 25
Carmarthen Quins 33 Glamorgan Wanderers 37
Llanelli RFC 37 Pontypool 11
Neath 41 Ebbw Vale 7
Newport 46 Bedwas 15
Pontypridd 37 Cross Keys 19
Swansea 36 Aberavon 36


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