Ruthless Whites kick off cup campaign in fine style
Swansea 43, Dundee 17.
SWANSEA opened their British & Irish Cup campaign with a clinical victory over Dundee High.
It was a victory the Whites needed, Mefin Davies's side having struggled during the early stages of the Premiership season.
But this will at least give them some confidence for the weeks ahead.
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It was the visitors who started the brighter and a break by wing Andy McLean set up a promising attack.
Forwards Richie McIver and Richie Hawkins drove through the middle, forcing the Whites to kill the ball. However, full-back Jamie Urquhart pulled his effort at goal well wide of the posts.
The home side took the lead two minutes later when prop Nicky Smith found a gap in the defence, with flanker James Bija on hand to score under the posts. Nicky Thomas converted.
A good break by captain Harry Duthie forced the Swansea defence offside at the breakdown but Urquhart again missed a penalty.
Urquhart then took the ball at pace on the wing and found McLean in space, but a superb ankle-tap prevented a try.
The Dundee pack showed early signs of dominance and were close to a pushover try, but desperate defence kept them at bay.
The home side stretched their lead when wing Richard Williams took the ball at pace on the 22 before side-stepping out of a tackle and then racing in to score under the posts. Thomas converted.
A good break by Taylor Paris sparked an attack for Dundee and the Swansea defence strayed offside. Urquhart this time kicked three points.
Whites scrum-half Jon Preddy caught the visiting defence asleep when he took a quick-tap penalty but was brought down inches short of the line.
The home pack then showed great power at a five-metre scrum and No. 8 Steffan Jones scored with comparative ease.
Thomas converted to give the hosts an 18-point lead at the interval.
Duthie was unlucky not to score in the corner almost immediately after the restart but Thomas snuffed out the threat.
And the Swansea full-back grabbed his side's bonus-point try when he intercepted a pass inside his own 22 and raced home to score.
A fumble on his own line by Thomas gifted prop Steve Longwell an easy try, which was converted by Urquhart. A resurgence from the visitors continued when flanker Chris Cumming was driven over for a try from a close-range line-out.
Swansea hit back almost immediately when flanker James McKenna drove up to the line before Steffan Jones gathered and squeezed over.
An excellent break through the middle by Nicky Harwood took his side into the 22.
Dave Currie killed the ball and was yellow-carded, with Thomas extending the lead with a penalty.
Dan Baker then picked up a loose ball inside his own half and showed excellent pace to leave the defence behind as he raced in to score a great solo effort in the corner.
In the dying moments, Bija was shown a yellow card for killing a dangerous attack.
Next up for Swansea is a trip to Carmarthen Quins, while Dundee host Cornish Pirates.
Swansea : Tries: J. Bija R Williams, S. Jones (2), N. Thomas, D. Baker. Cons: N. Thomas (5). Pens: N. Thomas (2).
Dundee : Tries: S. Longwell, C. Cumming. Cons: J. Urquhart (2). Pen: J. Urquhart.