Bargoed 22 Llandovery 62

 

The rampant Drovers ran in no fewer than nine tries to put Bargoed to the sword in the opening game of the 2018-2019 Premiership campaign writes Tom Hughes.

In a fine exhibition of running rugby – true to the club’s tradition of recent years – they handled, ran and passed from all parts of the field to end up runaway winners over the hapless losers.

There were eight different try scorers, testament to Llandovery’s all round game alongside a penalty try at a retreating scrum.

Team Manager Andrew Jones was honest enough to admit that Llandovery had not envisaged such a high score.

“No one expected that score-line as Bargoed have had a successful pre-season and signed a lot of quality players. They beat Bridgend 38-36 at the Brewery Field and overcame Neath 40 -28 at home before today so they were in confident mood for our visit to Moorland Road.”

“So to get sixty points on the board against them was hugely encouraging for what is going to be a very long and hard season of 30 Premiership games.”

“A lot of our tries came from counter attacks with scrum half Lee Rees, wing Aaron Warren and centre Rhodri Jones always looking for opportunities to look for gaps in the defence.”

New boys in full back Gavin Thomas and wing Richard Williams were also quick to relish our style of play.”

“Hard work in the set piece always got us on the front foot and we must make special mention of the front row Jamie Hughes, Ricky Guest and Berian Watkins who got the upper hand at scrum and carried effectively around the park.”

Early exchanges were even and at 10-10 there was little sign of what was to come.

A try from flanker Stuart Worrall and conversion and penalty from fly half Jack Maynard had been cancelled out by a home try for wing Ashley Norton plus conversion and penalty from fly half Josh Prosser.

But a penalty try and smart effort from the ever impressive Jones put the Drovers ahead 24-10 at the break.

In an avalanche of four tries from Watkins, Rees, Williams and Thomas and three Maynard conversions in just over 10 minutes, the West Walians reached a half century of points.

Multiple changes gave Bargoed the chance to mount a mini comeback from a penalty try and another for wing Norton but order was soon restored.

A converted try from Hughes and a late effort from centre Ryan Evans even had home supporters applauding Llandovery verve and daring at the end of an outstanding 62-22 win.

Leading scorer of the last few years, Jack Maynard, ended up with 15 points in another assured performance alongside half back partner Rees.

Bargoed

Tries:A Norton (2), pen try

Con: J Prosser

Pen: J Prosser

Llandovery

Tries: S Worrall, pen try, R Jones, B Watkins, L Rees, R Williams, G Thomas, J Hughes, R Evans

Cons: J Maynard (6)

Pen: J Maynard

TEAM P W D L PF PA PTS
Cardiff 16 13 0 3 396 243 61
Carmarthen Quins 17 10 3 4 372 278 54
Aberavon 16 11 0 5 371 272 53
Llandovery 16 9 2 5 344 285 48
Pontypridd 18 10 0 8 394 376 47
Merthyr 18 8 0 10 362 374 44
RGC 1404 17 8 1 8 409 381 43
Newport 15 7 0 8 294 278 37
Swansea 17 7 0 10 246 292 35
Llanelli 15 6 0 9 293 412 27
Ebbw Vale 17 4 2 11 283 351 27
Bridgend Ravens 18 3 0 15 271 493 19