GCS take regional bragging rights with their first win of the season.
Despite a strong comeback from Neath Port Talbot College inthe middle of the game they couldn't hold out a dominant Gower College who ran in seven tries over their regional rivals.
Last season the two teams met three times with Gower winning on all three occasions but this season with both teams going into week two of the competition looking for a first victory, it was anybody's game.
It was a quiet start to the game for both teams, for every chance GCS had so did NPTC, and neither were able to breach the other's defence. That was until, with 14 minutes on the clock, Gower College used an extra man on the wing to allow Jake Tucker to slide over. Tom Howell unable to add the conversion.
GCS looked energised by the try and were attacking from the off, only their basics letting them down when a bad pass stopped them crossing again immediately. However the Neath defence were unable to keep them out for long and as Neath fumbled clearing a 5m scrum on their own try line, Lawrence Thomas raced to collect it and score. Howell again unable to add the extra points as his conversion attempt went wide.
NPTC took their opportunity to attack next but Gower College showed their strengths also lay in defence as they repeatedly held out the NPTC runners. Once the home side got the ball back in hand it looked like when rather than if they would score and after another 5m scrum on the NPTC try line Gower quickly got the ball out wide with some great passing before George Mbofana threw himself over the try line. Jamie Sturgess, taking over kicking duties, getting the first succession conversion of the game.
That try kicking off a manic seven minutes of rugby in which five tries were scored. It was the visitors who made it on to the scoreboard next after being gifted the ball when GCS passed it forward. Sam Evans successfully converting.
A minute later after stealing the visitors line out, more good passing allowed Gower to make ground with Howell putting the ball down in the corner. The difficult angle meaning Sturgess' conversion attempt went just wide.
The frenetic pace continued with GCS collecting NPTC's restart kick and Mbofana racing all the way in from the half way line to score his second try of the afternoon. Sturgess' kick bouncing off the posts meaning the conversion was missed.
The referee decided there was just time to restart and despite trailing by 24 points Neath Port Talbot College made short work of getting the final try of the half. After GCS were penalised, NPTC took a short line out and raced straight through from the 22 to score. Evans' conversion attempt sailing wide meant that the first half finished:
Gower College Swansea 32 - 14 Neath Port Talbot College
NPTC looked much stronger in the second half than they did in the first and put GCS under early pressure. Just two minutes into the second half the Gower defence buckled and the visitors stretched over for an unconverted try.
The home side's earlier impressive play seemed to have stalled and they were penalised several times in the following minutes allowing NPTC to build their phases and drive up field. Gower had no answer for the attack and the visitors easily barged through to score their fourth try of the match. Despite the conversion attempt again failing to find its mark, NPTC were now just six points behind in a league where tries are now worth that.
At that point the game could have gone either way. Gower College Swansea started to make their way back into the match but against an improved Neath defence and their own errors they just couldn't find the try line. While NPTC just didn't look like scoring, GCS looked like they could but were making hard work of it for themselves.
Substitute James Woods and Mbofana both made dangerous runs but were both held out feet from the try line however GCS eventually did manage to break through for try number six. Sturgess again with a successful conversion.
Unsurprisingly it was the home team that brought the scoring and the game to a close. When they turned over the NPTC ball, Woods again made a huge run and raced from the halfway line to score before Sturgess added the final two points.
Gower College Swansea 48 - 26 Neath Port Talbot College
Dan Cluroe, Head Coach of Gower College, commented on the match:
"We made hard work of it today but it was good to get the win as it's always tough against Neath. It's always a good local derby. I'm disappointed we missed a good four or five scoring opportunities but happy with the win.
"Neath are a good side and giving them any momentum like we did in the middle part, is always dangerous. We were within six points but happy that we stuck to our game plan and came through in the end."
Max Howells of NPTC added:
"I'm most definitely pleased with our performance today. We did well in that middle period. We fell off a few tackles in the first half however in the second period we applied ourselves better, put some phases together and we got some lovely scores. We just weren't quite good enough for that 70 minutes but that's something that we are working towards.
"At one stage it could have gone either way however Gower applied themselves a little bit better in the contact area and had more turnovers than us. They got in behind us and got a few tries in so it was a fair result but I'm pleased with our endeavour and our effort."