What the Papers Say - Huw S Thomas reports
Copyright Huw S Thomas, and used by kind permission of Huw S Thomas
Llandovery hopes of qualifying for the knockout stage of the Fosters Cup were given a real blow by this six tries to one defeat at Llanelli. It was the Drovers’ second setback in four Pool Two matches and with Carmarthen Quins still unbeaten, the chances of Llandovery going any further in the competition are now all but gone.
There was however no despondency in the Llandovery camp as the club see the Fosters Cup as the opportunity to give game time to fringe and developing players. The coaches are prepared to suffer setbacks in exchange for a return in evaluating performance and the promise of better things from players they see part of long term plans.
“You would obviously like to go further and win the pool,” said Euros Evans, “but in this competition it is more important that ambitious players who have been training hard with us are given chances to perform on a higher plane.”
Not one in the Llandovery starting line up against Llanelli had featured in the latest Premiership win over Neath on December 3 but their replacements gave it their all against a more experienced opposition.
Llanelli fly half Jonny Lewis and the centres Nathan Edwards and former Drover Paul Davies (22 appearances for the Drovers 2010-2013) were big influences in midfield and flanker Owain Morgan was a dominant personality up front.
The Drovers took an early lead with a try from No 8 Tom Powell, converted by fly half Jamie Davies but away scoring stopped there as Llanelli took control up front.
Full back Leon Randell – one of a clutch of promising youngsters also in the Llanelli ranks - snatched a try, converted by fly half Johnny Lewis and in a purple patch of attacking rugby Llanelli secured the bonus point.
Well worked tries from No8 Nathan Hart, lock Ed Curtis and Edwards, all converted by Lewis, clinched a comfortable 28-7 interval lead. The experienced Edwards and replacement No 8 Elliott Rees rubbed more salt into the Llandovery wounds with Johnny Lewis converting the last try for good measure.