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RUGBY UNION: A BATTLE TALE OF TWO THOMASES; CAERPHILLY.........19 SWANSEA..........20.

THE stout hearts of Caerphilly were broken when they lost to Swansea in a game they should have won by a mile.

In the end, the result was decided by the battle between the two outside-halves called Thomas.

Justin for Caerphilly, after playing like a hero for most of the match, failed with two penalty chances to clinch the game in the last minutes.

But his near-namesake, Arwel Thomas, amassed 15 of Swansea's points before being replaced by Gavin Henson.

Swansea began with typical professional confidence and scored two outstanding tries.

Arwel Thomas, gliding over the muddy surface, chipped a looping kick for Scott Gibbs to run on to for the first one.

And then in the 30th-minute he caught the bouncing ball himself after Caerphilly winger Taufahema lost possession in a tackle.

Mistakes abounded on both sides, Swansea playing the percentage game but Caerphilly equally could not keep possession long enough.

The two Thomases continued to exchange penalties in the second half. Matthew Robinson was penalised for not releasing the ball on his own line, while Swansea were pulled up for collapsing a scrum in front of their posts.

It was Arwell Thomas's turn to kick the penalty in the 50th minute which proved to be the match-winner, while Justin Thomas's fourth penalty in the 60th-minute also proved to be his last score.

With the seconds ticking away, Caerphilly had their best chance of a try when replacement Henson's kick was charged down on the Swansea line.

The ball bounced invitingly into the path of lock Mark Workman, but then careered against his chest to the frustrated gasps of the crowd.
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Sunday Mirror (London, England)
Date:Dec 22, 2002
Words:272
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