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Tuesday, 18 February, 2003, 14:46 GMT
Swansea brush Caerphilly aside
Swansea's James Bater drives into Mark Workman
Swansea's James Bater drives into Mark Workman
Principality Cup Round Seven
Caerphilly 21-46 Swansea

A slick second-half performance by Swansea ended Caerphilly's hopes of reaching the quarter-final of the Principality Cup.

The visitors scored four second-half tries to secure their safe passage into the next round.

Caerphilly managed three tries of their own, and trailed by just a point early in the second-half.

But the Swansea backs combined to devastating effect in a crucial ten minute period after the break to put the result beyond doubt.

Match details
Caerphilly (13) 21
Tries: Tuipulotu, Taufahema, G Jones
Pens: J Thomas (2)
Swansea (17) 46
Tries: Vaughton, Gibbs, Payne, R Jenkins, A Thomas
Cons: Henson (2), A Thomas
Pens: Henson (5)
Att: 850
Caerphilly had been quietly confident of producing an upset before kick-off, and their forwards started the match as if they meant business.

They demonstrated their superior power up front in the first scrum of the game as they totally demolished the Swansea pack.

But despite losing centre Kevin Morgan and Mark Taylor to international duty, the All Whites had plenty of class in their back division.

Soon after Gavin Henson had kicked his first penalty in the tenth minute, the Swansea backs produced some slick passing to send Jonny Vaughton over in the right corner.

A penalty apiece from Henson and Justin Thomas took the score to 3-11, and then an inspired break from Thomas created Caerphilly's first try.

The fly-half breached the Swansea defence with a classy side-step, and centre Taunaholo Taufahema was sent over after a couple of midfield passes.

Henson slotted over his second penalty over on the half-hour mark, but back Caerphilly once again.

After Swansea flanker Dean Thomas was sin binned for a high tackle on Thomas, the home side opted for a lineout near the Swansea tryline and flanker Gareth Jones was driven over.

But it was Swansea who had the final say of the half as a Henson penalty gave the visitors a 13-17 advantage at the interval.

During the break, Caerphilly coach Mark Ring told his players a win was easily within their grasp if they could cut out the elementary mistakes.

And an upset seemed increasingly likely after Thomas brought Caerphilly to within a point of Swansea with an early penalty.

Gavin Henson produced a man-of-the-match display
Henson scored 19 points for Swansea
But that was as close as Caerphilly got as the Swansea backs finally made their superior skills count in a devastating 10 minute spell.

Henson cancelled out Thomas' kick with a penalty of his own, and then winger Shaune Payne scored the try of the match as the backs combined in a move which started in their own half.

Henson then turned creator when his break eventually led to flanker Rory Jenkins forcing his way over the tryline.

The fourth try followed some five minutes later. Henson was again instrumental in a move which saw Scott Gibbs touchdown underneath the posts.

Caerphilly had 30 minutes to muster an unlikely comeback, but their lack of pace behind the scrum and constant basic errors meant Swansea were home and dry.

Sione Tuipulotu gave the sparse home supporters something to cheer with a consolation try in the final minute.

But Swansea grabbed their fifth score of the night in injury time as replacement Arwel Thomas strolled over after a midfield interception.

Caerphilly: Sione Tuipulotu; Ryan Howells, Taunaholo Taufahema, Sam Cox, Geraint Lewis; Justin Thomas, Allen Chiltern; Lee Manning, Feao Vunipola, Darren Sweet, Mark Workman, Neil Watkins, Gareth Jones, Simon Grainger, Andrew Williams.
Reps: Luke Richards, Roddy Boobyer, Geraint Liddon, Richard Skuse, Christian Ferris, Nic Rouse, Gareth Williams.

Swansea: Gareth Swales; Jonny Vaughton, Steve Winn, Scott Gibbs, Shaun Payne; Gavin Henson, Rhodri Jones; Steve Pope, Christian Balshen, Dan Dorsey, John Thomas (capt), Andrew Farley, Dean Thomas, Rory Jenkins, James Bater.
Reps: Darren Pittard, Arwel Thomas, Mattthew Robinson, Chris Wells, Lee May, John Slade, Richard Francis.

Swansea coach John Connolly
"We did the basics right"
Caerphilly coach Mark Ring
"We were the architects of our own downfall"
Follow all the knockout action

Round 7





See also:

28 Sep 02 | Celtic
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