What the Papers Say - Huw S Thomas reports
Copyright Huw S Thomas, and used by kind permission of Huw S Thomas
On the opening day of this season’s Fosters Cup, Llandovery kept up their recent fine record against Swansea with this seven tries to four win at Church Bank.
Both the Drovers and All Whites fielded virtually totally different line ups from the sides that had played in the Premiership the Saturday before and Llandovery coach Euros Evans was well pleased with the decisive win.
It brought to an end what was a very happy day for the ex-Dunvant and Swansea hooker. As Director of Rugby at Coleg Sir Gar, he had earlier in the day seen his school side beat defending champions Coleg Y Cymoedd 20-5 in the Welsh Colleges Elite League before witnessing 40 minutes of sparkling rugby from the Drovers.
“The great thing for us in the Challenge Cup is to identify talent that will push our regular starters,” said Evans “and there were a number of men who looked capable of pushing for a first team place. With wins over Cross Keys in the Premiership and now Swansea in the Challenge Cup, we are building up a bit of momentum and are looking for more improvement in next Wednesday’s Fosters game against Llanelli.”
Potential first teamers in fly half James Davies, centre Rhodri Wall, scrum half Scott Gibson and lock Joe Powell showed up well against the All Whites as did props Jamie Hughes and Scott Jenkins. There was further evidence too of Llandovery’s strength in the back row where stand in captain Duane Eager, Richard Rees and Shaun Miles were in grand attacking and defending form to confirm the club’s enviable riches of back row talent.
Llandovery led comfortably 38-7 at the break after tries from Jenkins, wing Shaun Pearce, outstanding centre Craig Woodall and two scrummage penalty tries - all converted by Davies – had stunned the visitors.
Swansea’s only reply was a try from Mumbles centre Ewan Gully, converted by Ospreys Academy fly half Phil Jones but they bravely rallied after the break when Llandovery carelessness gave away a string of penalties.
Lock Matthew Donohoe and hard working No 8 Rory Gallagher got converted tries before impressive Llandovery replacement Jack Parkinson and the elusive Wall finished off sharp counter attacks to bring up the half century of home points.
To their credit the All Whites kept going until the end and scrum half Mike Jones – on permit from Newcastle Emlyn- went in under the posts for a fighting losing bonus point.