What the Papers say: Tom Hughes reports
The Drovers went down to Premiership newcomers RGC after an exciting see-saw game at Colwyn Bay’s Parc Eirias. It was their second defeat in three Premiership matches and they are on the road again this week when they face Cardiff at the Arms Park.
A big four figure crowd witnessed a thriller of a battle with the North Walians coming from behind to snatch the spoils with a late try from full back Afon Bagshaw, converted by fly half Jacob Botica.
The prodigious boot of the son of All Black Frano Botica was a key factor in the RGC win, one of his penalties zooming over from half way, but the Drovers had more than enough chances to win in a full blooded contest played in very good spirit.
Llandovery President Handel Davies – one of many Llandovery supporters to make the 300 mile round trip to Colwyn Bay – praised RGC for their attractive approach but bemoaned Llandovery errors and ill discipline.
“In a very tight game, discipline was paramount,” said Davies “and we gave Botica the opportunity to keep the scoreboard ticking over. When we led 25-21 near the end I thought we would hang on but, fair play to RGC, they fashioned a very good converted try to take the points.”
“Even then Rhodri Wall and Jack Maynard came close to winning the game and we also ambitiously opted to kick for touch rather than kick for goal. Sadly for us, we failed to control the close range ensuing line out and that was that. We got a losing bonus point but a draw would have been a fairer result.”
Maynard had another sound game at fly half, putting over five penalties with his last three taking Llandovery from 21-16 to 21-25.
The roller coaster tightness of the contest was reflected in the sequence of scores - 3-0, 3-5, 6-5, 6-8, 6-13, 13-13, 16-13, 16-16, 21-16, 21-19, 21-22, 21-25, 28-25 – with the Bagshaw try five minutes from time the crucial score.
RGC coach and former Drovers wing Mark Jones – capped 47 times for Wales from Llanelli – was delighted at the win in his first year at Parc Eirias. “Llandovery are a quality side and this win tells us we are holding our own in a highly competitive Premiership.”