What the Papers Say - Huw S Thomas reports
Copyright Huw S Thomas, and used by kind permission of Huw S Thomas
Llandovery went down to their third successive defeat in Tier One when Bedwas all but guaranteed their play-off spot with this comprehensive seven tries to two win.
With a young front row pitted against some vastly experienced opposite numbers and shorn of some key players the Drovers have conceded 166 points in their last three games,
“A very disappointing day for us,” said Llandovery Team Manager Andrew Jones. “We have usually very close games against Bedwas but we were never at the races today. We competed well enough in the first half and were unlucky not to get two more tries but we collapsed after the break in the face of the power of the Bedwas scrummaging and their hard ball carrying.”
“To be honest our chances of a play-off spot look very remote. We will have to win all three of our last games – at home against Aberavon, Ebbw Vale and Carmarthen Quins – to have just an outside chance of making it.
“We have not been at full strength for a while but the boys will have to lift their game appreciably to have a sniff of a chance.”
There were some very good individual contributions from the likes of lock Joe Powell, flanker Stuart Worrall and scrum half Scott Gibson but the Drovers never looked like a team.
Llandovery were well in touch in the first half to go in just 18-7 down and scored a very well worked try when Aaron Warren – in his 100th appearance for the club – came cleverly off his wing to split the defence and race in under the posts.
They even got back to 18-14 after the break following a brilliant run from scrum half Scott Gibson had made a try for centre Craig Woodall and had one try surprisingly disallowed for a forward pass.
But retreating at the scrums and finding the big back row of James Thomas, Robson Blake and Nicholas Hudd hard to defend against, they let in five second half tries.
A penalty try and one from wing Rory Budina had trumped one from Warren in the competitive first half but as the Drovers tired, the power and greater accuracy of the home side took them clear. Bereft of any kind of platform up front the Drovers conceded five tries – four in the last 15 minutes – as their tacking crumbled.
Ex-Llandovery College skipper Thomas, wing Matthew John, veteran replacement prop Chris Budgen - twice - and rangy lock Joe Davies made it a miserable day for the Drovers and home fly half Richard Powell ended up with 14 points from the boot.