A FIRST-half red card left Swansea with too much to do as they lost at home to Hartpury College 3rds 21-18.
Steve Howorth was sent off in the 38th minute following a stamp which the referee adjudged to have been deliberate, which coach Oscar Savage felt was harsh.
“If yellow had been given I don’t think anybody would have argued,” he said.
“But in the eyes of the law a stamp is a red card.”
Swansea’s passing, something which Savage mentioned they had worked on in training, was much improved as they stormed into a ten-point lead in the opening 15 minutes.
The first of those points came via a penalty from Jack Shields which was followed nine minutes later by a try from Ben Doney, which was also converted by Shields, following some good play down the wing by Tayo Adesanya.
Hartpury however soon came back into the game with two tries themselves thanks to Will Hewer and Joshua Meadows.
Both were converted by the boot of Alex Moore. This left the score 14-10 to the visitors at the break.
Swansea looked to have got back into the game when Shields scored another penalty early in the second half.
But Hartpury were able to make the extra man count and Charlie Hubert found the gap to score another try, again converted by Moore.
Swansea continued to battle hard and managed to score an unconverted try through Sean Byrne to take the score to 21-18 in Hartpury’s favour.
Swansea could have leveled the match before the final whistle when they were awarded a penalty that narrowly went wide of the posts.
Savage is defiant following the defeat and believes they can still push for promotion.
He added: “It’s a tough ask, we’ve made it hard for ourselves but we’re not ones to shy away from a challenge and the season is far from over.”