What the Papers Say – Huw S Thomas reports
Copyright Huw S Thomas, and used by kind permission of Huw S ThomasLlandovery went down to disappointing defeat at the hands of the Black and Ambers who made better use of the ball in wet and difficult conditions writes Huw S Thomas
Newport last won at Church Bank in April 2011 when they got the better of the Drovers 29-18 and this was an equally impressive performance.
They had to withstand huge pressure on their goal line in the last minutes but terrific tackling by the pack exemplified by outstanding lock Josh Skinner brought home the bacon.
At 3-3 at half time the odds were with the Drovers to take advantage of the wind but an amalgamation of poor options and stout Newport defence saw them crash to a rare home defeat.
They now slip down the table into eighth place on 11 points after four league games.
“We have got to learn to play more cannily in poor conditions” said coach Euros Evans.
“We had enough possession but did not use it well and we lacked composure when in range of scoring”
“If we want to compete at the top of the table, we cannot afford to lose our home games in this most competitive of leagues”
Conditions were damp and miserable and kicking was the norm in the opening exchanges.
Fly half Matt O’Brien put Newport ahead with a penalty and the visitors almost got a try when three Newport players, chasing a kick, were just beaten to the touchdown by home wing Harri Doel.
Fly half Jack Maynard brought things level with an easy penalty before O’Brien used the wind to put his side into a good position with a long touch finder.
It came to nothing but Newport were giving as good as they got in the tight forward battle.
Llandovery got a close range line out but failed to control the ball and it allowed O’Brien to kick his side out of trouble.
Another close range line out was well defended by the Newport eight before they had their own chance to fashion a score at the other end.
From the line out they forced their way to the Llandovery line but were repelled by the firmest of tackling to leave the scores tied 3-3 at the break,
With the advantage of the wind, the Drovers pressed hard for the opening try and a fine run by hooker Dafydd Hughes took them into a dangerous position but Newport forced a vital turn over.
Full back Elliot Frewen then made a brave mark near his line to relieve more pressure and when Newport worked their way upfield, O’Brien kicked an easy penalty for the lead.
Back came Llandovery with good touch finder from full back Tomi Lewis but ill discipline by the pack cost them a penalty.
The Black and Amber pack began to bully the contact area and O’Brien kicked a great long penalty for a 9-3 lead with 11 minutes to go.
Llandovery made a late charge with both a close range line out and then scrum getting them close but wonderful Newport defence held the Drovers up on the line time after time.
*** The Drovers are not in action this week as they have a bye through to the last eight of the Welsh Cup
They resume Indigo Premiership action on Friday November 15 with a visit to Merthyr.
Pen: J Maynard
Pens: M O’Brien (3)
Llandovery:T Lewis; H Doel, R Evans, Rhodri Jones, M Williams; J Maynard, D Land; C Williams, D Hughes, H O’Connor, J Jones, J Powell, L Ellis-Jones, R Brooks (capt), S Worrall
Replacements: L Green, B Watkins, A Rees, Rhys Jones, S Miles, K Jones, A Warren, S Maynard
Newport: E Frewen; J Morris, H Griffiths, G O’Driscoll, J McCarthy; M O’Brien, G Watkins; L Jones, B Cochrane, T Piper, J Skinner, J Bartlett, J Skinner, R Jenkins (capt), G Price, K Tayler
Replacements: L Smout, B Coghlan, G Harris, A Mann, J Reid, L Crane, H Simons, L Ap Myrddin.