Ebbw claimed victory over the All Whites as they eased out 14-5 victors at the CiNER GLASS Community Stadium. With the ground heavy underfoot and a northerly wind capable of launching a hot air balloon without assistance was never going to make for a flowing game.
Nevertheless, it was the hosts who got the scoreboard ticking after some heavy forward pressure told with Alex Grey going over, converted by Rhys Jones. Not to be outdone, Swansea soon retaliated with a try of their own, but minus the conversion.
Most of the action took place in the middle third of the park, with plenty of rugby tennis seeing out the minutes. It wasn’t until Ebbw had a succession of scrums in the clubhouse corner that anyone looked like scoring. It wasn’t to be, the visitors held out and Ebbw went in 7-5 up.
It took 20 minutes before the next, and final score would follow. The field fatiguing the forwards and limiting back play. Ebbw also hindered with Dan Haymond, Ethan Phillips and Rhys Jones all leaving the field with injuries.
Daf Howells bagged himself another Ebbw try when he clattered over at the cricket end, Evan Lloyd’s conversion taking it to a two-score game. The host held out for a win that sees them leapfrog Llanelli and Swansea in the table.
Speaking after the game, Head Coach Jason Strange said, “pleased with the result, we had a lot of disruption in the backline losing Dan and Ethan within half an hour, which always takes some adapting, then losing Rhys just after half time. Overall, it was a good performance, we controlled the game and looked a lot more assured and is all part of a longer journey.
“We all want to be winning comfortably, but it’s small steps for now. Our front five looked good, Ethan Doyle was awesome. In conditions like this your forwards win or lose you the game and full credit to the pack, they went well. Our lineout improved massively from last week.
“Winning gives us confidence, Swansea stuck in there and are a young team who made it difficult for us.
“It’s still early yet, but Ethan’s injury looked nasty, Dan was just a dead leg and some of the forwards were fatigued.”
By Rob Rees