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BBC Wales Sport's Roger Hughes reports
"Swansea have ended their losing streak at St Helens."
 real 14k

Swansea centre Mark Taylor
"It wasn't pretty, but it was effective at the end of the day."
 real 14k

Saturday, 29 September, 2001, 15:46 GMT 16:46 UK
Henson's boot saves Swansea
Swansea's Brian Liam is brought down by Steve Scott
Swansea's Brian Liam is brought down by Steve Scott
Swansea 21-16 Edinburgh

Gavin Henson kicked Swansea to an unconvincing Heineken Cup victory at St Helens as he scored all their points through six penalties and a drop goal.

But the teenage fly-half's performance could not disguise an error-strewn Swansea display.

There were boos from some sections of the home crowd after a dire match, much of their anger directed towards Swansea coach John Plumtree.

The All Whites had lost five of their eight games before today's Pool Three clash and they looked a team devoid of confidence.

Kevin Morgan
Kevin Morgan makes a rare break for Swansea
Henson, 19, was the shining line, booting all his kicks at goal and providing glimpses of a rare talent.

But a Swansea side containing nine Welsh internationals should have been far more clinical in attack.

They created few chances, and several players looked as if they were going through the motions.

Edinburgh scored the solitary try, Scottish international full-back Chris Paterson touching down in injury time, and although fly-half Gordon Ross slotted three penalties, they failed to take advantage of Swansea's off-day.

The Welsh club go to Bath next Saturday, and will not have been encouraged by news of the West Country side's stunning 14-6 victory over Biarritz in France.

Ross kicked two penalties while Henson landed a penalty and dropped a goal during a forgettable opening 30 minutes when Italian referee Giovanni Morandin repeatedly whistled for the slightest infringement.

A combination of his fickle officiating and the game's abysmal standard understandably frustrated the home supporters.

Swansea finished the first half on top though, with Henson finding the target on two further occasions and then slotted another penalty just after the break.

Edinburgh's Steve Scott spreads the play
Edinburgh's Steve Scott spreads the play
Swansea though, still could not produce anything constructive with ball in hand.

And it was not until six minutes from time when Henson hauled them into a 21-9 lead that they looked comfortable.

But even then, they had to endure a nervous final few minutes.

Paterson pounced for a try two minutes into stoppage time that substitute Duncan Hodge converted, and Edinburgh knew that a quick-fire repeat would have given them victory.

But Swansea held on, and Plumtree now faces a tough week on the training field lifting his players for the Bath challenge. On this evidence, Swansea looked nothing like quarter final material.


Swansea: Pens: Henson 6. Drop Goals: Henson.

Edinburgh: Tries: Paterson. Cons: Hodge. Pens: Ross 3.

Att: 2,750


Swansea: Kevin Morgan; Richard Rees, Shaun Payne, Scott Gibbs (capt), Brian Lima; Gavin Henson, Robbie Jones; Johnny Marsters, Garin Jenkins, Ben Evans, Tyrone Maullin, Andy Moore, Geraint Lewis, Colin Charvis, Hywel Jenkins.
Reps: Robert Jones, Nik Witkowski, Arwel Thomas, Chris Wells, Andrew Le Chavalier, Lee Jones, Dean Thomas.

Edinburgh: Chris Paterson; Derrick Lee, Marcus Di Rollo, Kevin Utterson, Conan Sharman; Gordon Ross, Graeme Burns (capt); Allan Jacobsen, Steve Scott, Craig Smith, Matt Jolly, Alastair Davidson, Andrew Dall, Graham Dall, Simon Taylor.
Reps: Joel Brannigan, Carlo Di Ciacca, Matt Taylor, Tony Walker, Iain Fairley, Duncan Hodge, Calvin Howarth.

Referee: G Morandin (Italy)

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