What the Papers Say - Huw S Thomas reports
Copyright Huw S Thomas, and used by kind permission of Huw S Thomas
The high flying Drovers were never seriously threatened as they racked up their fifth win in six games to keep firmly on top of the West Conference. They remain six points clear of RGC but will expect a big challenge away at Carmarthen Quins this Saturday.
The wet and windy conditions were not suited to their free flowing style but the forwards got well on top in the second half. And this despite a referee whose only consistency was his wondrous inconsistency.
The Drovers eventually put away a brave All Whites side with two tries in extra time from Man of the Match and scrum half Lee Rees plus replacement prop Jamie Hughes.
Winning coach Euros Evans was more than happy with the result. “It is the first time in the season that we have had to deal with wet and windy conditions so it was encouraging to see the pack come through strongly and guarantee another bonus point win. Another big plus for the future of the club was to see very young front row replacements Jamie Hughes, Matthew Moore and Llyr Green show up so strongly in the last quarter” said Evans. “We also stopped Swansea from crossing our line to stress how much we value the team’s commitment in defence.”
Also prominent up front was veteran lock Bryn Griffiths who came on at half time for the injured Joe Powell. He scored a rare try two minutes into the second half and then proceeded to be a huge force in both tight and loose.
Fly half Rhys Jones – on loan from the Scarlets – was an influence behind the scrum with some of his wind assisted kicks gaining huge swathes of ground in the second half.
As much as the combative All Whites contested the break down and as much as they were ready to run ball in hand, they had very few try scoring chances. Their only points came from three penalties from young full back Phil Jones.
Llandovery, on the other hand, always had more pace and were it not for some outstanding defence - and particularly from flanker Morgan Morris and Jon Vaughan - they would have sewn up the game far earlier than in injury time.
Scrum half Lee Rees was again in great form with his darting runs and none did better up front than veteran Griffiths whose work in the engine room was an important factor in the strong Llandovery finish.
The Drovers led 13-6 at the break, a try from lock Joe Powell making the difference and went further ahead through the Griffiths try but it was not until late that Swansea faltered. The mercurial Rees sniped in from close range and prop Jamie Hughes - on his 21st birthday – went over at the end of an unstoppable driving maul to seal the bonus point win at the death.