Swansea retain Welsh Varsity under Millennium roof

Welsh Varsity

Welsh Varsity

Swansea University clinched their second successive Welsh Varsity as they overcame Cardiff University in front of 14,789 fans at the Millennium Stadium.


Cardiff took a 6-0 through two Cameron Pimlow penalties inside the first 15 minutes but Swansea hit back with first meaningful possession as they go the length of the pitch, offloading in the tackle, until henry Boot scored near the posts. Aled Lewis added the extras to put Swansea ahead 7-6.


The score could have been extended as Swansea cut through midfield almost immediately again, however the final pass was sniffed out by Cardiff as they stayed in within a point with 25 minutes on the clock.


As it looked like the scores would remain as they were going into half time, Swansea turned the screw following another cutting run through midfield. Some quick offloading led to captain Rhodri Clancy handing the ball to scrumhalf Tom Rowlands, who scored his side’s second try of the night. Aled Lewis converted the try to take the score to 14-6 as referee Nigel Owens blew the whistle for half time.


Five minutes into second half Pimlow had a chance to reduce Swansea’s lead to just five points, however his penalty attempt drifted wide of the posts.


After further pressure on the Cardiff line Swansea’s dominance began to show as number eight Dan George burrowed over for his side’s third try. Lewis obliged once again to edge Swansea further ahead with the conversion; this took the scores to Swansea 21-6 Cardiff with 25 minutes still remaining.


With 20 minutes remaining Cardiff had their best chance of the match to score following a lineout close to the Swansea line. Following two quick phases off the top of the lineout prop Jake Cooper Woolley dived over the whitewash for the first time for Cardiff. Pimlow converted from under the posts to take his side within eight points once again.


Lewis had an opportunity to hit straight back for Swansea after the home side gave away a penalty just outside the 22 metre line on the right wing, however the number ten saw his first miss of the match as his kick slipped to the left of the posts, keeping the score at 21-13 in favour of the green and white of Swansea.


The match began to open up even more than it had done in the previous hour as firstly Cardiff threatened to scythe their way through the opposition defence, before Richard Smart picked up a loose ball and in turn battered his way into space and up into the Cardiff half. Had his inside pass gone to the hand of the supporting runner Swansea would have been under the posts for the fourth time. As it was the ball was knocked on and yet another chance was missed in this lively encounter.


For the second time in the match the TMO was called into play. Following another break inside the Cardiff half the ball came to fly-half Aled Lewis. Lewis passed inside before he received the ball once more and was able to just place the ball down under a heavy tackle. Lewis converted his own try as Swansea extended their lead to 28-13 with just five minutes remaining.


Cardiff were given a glimmer of hope as replacement hooker James Reeves went over in the corner with just two minutes remaining, however Pimlow could not add the extras, leaving Cardiff adrift by ten points and two scores; and it was not enough as Swansea saw out the final minutes to lift the Welsh Varsity trophy aloft under the roof of the Millennium Stadium

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