What the Papers Say - Huw S Thomas reports
Copyright Huw S Thomas, and used by kind permission of Huw S Thomas
The Drovers were clear winners of this pre-season friendly in Cinderford outscoring the Forest of Dean side by five tries to two.
Coach Euros Evans used the game against the England National Two side to give 30 players a run out and was pleased to see a number of newcomers make telling contributions to the success.
Australian wing Owain Davies – son of former Loughborough College, Llanelli and Bridgend centre Geoff Davies - finished off sweeping moves with a couple of first half tries under the watchful eyes of both father and also uncle Phil Cooper, a former back row and captain of Brazil.
Centre Jack Parkinson also caught the eye when finishing off a smart break from scrum half Scott Gibson who took over from scrum half Rhodri Davies at the interval.
“It was great to see these and some other smart newcomers add strength to our squad ahead of a demanding season in the expanded 16 team Premiership,” said Evans. “It was a good all round performance although there is a lot of work to do in getting cleaner possession and organising the defence at the line out before we face Aberavon in the first league game on September 3.”
Evans was delighted to see classy performances from core players in fly half Jack Maynard, indefatigable skipper and flanker Phil Day, open side Shaun Miles and hooker Dafydd Hughes. Maynard controlled possession with confidence and clarity and also got a fine dummying individual try in the first half to add to one from the livewire Hughes to help establish a 22 -3 half time lead.
Despite a lot of possession Cinderford could only muster a penalty from fly half Luke McMahon but improved after the break against a much changed Llandovery to get tries from flanker Aaron Ryan and wing George Bvuma. These sandwiched the Parkinson try and were never enough to threaten the overall advantage that the Drovers held through their extra pace and creativity behind the scrum.
Cinderford coach Paul Morris played the Drovers a warm compliment. “They are an excellent all round side and we will be working hard to approach the invention and creativity shown by their back division.”