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Neath RFC

SWANSEA  33 points  NEATH  25 points

Neath continue to improve but they fell short again after giving as good as they got for most of the game at a murky St. Helen’s.

It was a red-letter day for Neath flanker Jacob Blackmore who led the team out on his 100th appearance and both clubs joined in a minute’s silence for prop Martin Jones.

In blustery conditions, the opening exchanges were keenly and equally contested. A break by young flanker Gethin Tremlett and good work by wings Ryan Griffiths and Jon Bayliss promised much for the visitors who took the lead when full back Steff Williams slotted a penalty after 17 minutes.

Neath were then forced onto the defensive and five minutes later, Swansea’s line-out was effective and outside-half Rhys Jones nipped in for the opening try which he converted himself and on the half-hour Neath were well adrift when full back Harry Houston crossed for Jones to convert again.

Five minutes before the break, a superb break through the middle by centre Kieran Charles very nearly prompted a Neath response but failed for lack of support before the Blacks made it count as scrum-half Gruff Williams swiftly moved the egg and in-form Ryan Griffiths got in at the corner for his seventh league try of the season.

Half-Time – Swansea 14 points, Neath 8 points

Neath resumed with a bang, charging to attack the Mumbles End where Steff Williams landed a second penalty for 11-14.

Referee Mr. Ben Breakspear (Abercynon) contributed to an entertaining, highly-competitive affair and it was Swansea’s turn to score next when skipper Matthew Dodd plunged over from another line-out drive for 11-19.

It was then Neath’s turn to seize the upper hand and sustained pressure confined play to Swansea territory as Neath’s squeeze forced the home team to concede penalties.

That pressure told when the forwards battered away and centre Kieran Charles crashed in under the posts for a well-deserved fourth league try of the season which, with Steff Williams laid low with a hamstring injury, captain Kristian Jones goaled and there was one point in it at 18-19.


Neath replacement hooker Chris Morris was yellow carded and Swansea edged towards the try-line and a second penalty was quickly taken by Houston who achieved lift off with his second try and Rhys Jones converted.

Back came the Blacks with another threatening attack but Swansea sealed the game when replacement hooker Owen Thomas worked off a line-out drive for the home team’s fifth try and Jones converted.

Although disrupted by a series of late injuries, Neath battled to the end and, having held up a line-out drive on their own line, industrious back rower Ben Williams worked off a rock-solid scrum, Neath spun the ball right then left where Ryan Griffiths made progress and hooker Chris Morris scampered 35 metres for a wonderful length-of-the-field try which skipper Kristian Jones converted – a spectacular finish to a well-fought game.

SWANSEA  – H.Houston; C.Lewis-Jenkins (J.Symes), G.O.Rees, S.Matthews (M.Brown), L.Morgan; R.Jones, A.Hemming (G.J.Rees); D.Davies (T.Sloane), L.Phillips-Taylor (O.Thomas), E.Thompson (T.Mills); L.Ashley, M.Dodd (capt); J.Greaves (S.Pailor), C.Davies (D.Francis), L.Evans

NEATH – S.Williams (L.Hawkes); J.Bayliss (K. Al Muflahi), S.Wilcox, K.Charles, R.Griffiths; K.Jones (capt), G.Williams (B.Wood); M.Morgan (M.Thomas), S.Crocker (C.Morris), E.Hopkins (T.Dabeh); M.Davies, C.Arnold (I.Jones); J.Blackmore, M.Kneath (B.Williams), G.Tremlett

Referee – Mr. B.Breakspear (Abercynon)


Images courtesy of Len Kowalski




  • Next Saturday, Neath play their final home game of the season when RGC visit The Gnoll (kick off 2.30pm). A large crowd is expected as it is Neath RFC’s Community Day.
  • Thanks to the generosity of two of Neath’s main sponsors, admission is FREE FOR ADULTS AND CHILDREN so bring a guest – although the Club will be grateful if attendees would make a note donation and buy a programme.
  • Gates will be open at 12.30pm for pre-match entertainment including women’s rugby featuring the Neath Panthers.