What the Papers Say - Huw S Thomas reports
Copyright Huw S Thomas, and used by kind permission of Huw S Thomas
Llandovery suffered only their second defeat of the season when they were outmuscled by the Quins in a tightly fought Tywi Valley derby.
The Carmarthen pack, which contained two former Drovers in lock Haydn Pugh and flanker Shaun Jones, had the lion’s share of possession and territory and were well served by Scarlets fly half Dan Jones who kicked 16 points.
That said the game revolved around a contentious decision by referee Ian Davies when the Drovers trailed 16-12. A line out take and surging drive for the Llandovery pack looked certain to bring a score only for Davies to penalise them for illegal protection of the ball.
That and a yellow card for replacement hooker Ricky Guest against his old club did for the Drovers, who conceded a late penalty and converted try to come away from the Park pointless.
“We are disappointed not to get anything out of the game especially after looking certain to take the lead,” said coach Euros Evans, “but we are still top of the West division at the exact half way stage of the 14 West games and satisfied with the way that things are going. And we again blooded some youngsters – 18 year old lock Morgan Jones did well - in search of a strong squad for what will be another 22 league games.”
The Quins were delighted to get one over their old rivals and although they remain in fifth position, they look sure to improve that position in the light of a strong all round performance.
A Dan Jones penalty gave the Quins an early lead before they were hit by two excellent Llandovery tries. Centre Rhodri Jones made good ground before flanker Duane Eager burrowed through from close range and a minute later they were 12-3 up. A skilful chip, chase and gather by fly half Kristian Jones followed by quick handling from the strong support put flanker Shaun Miles racing under the posts, the fly half converting.
A Dan Jones penalty brought it back to12-6 and then powerful wing Morgan Griffiths slipped tackles on his way to the line, Jones adding the conversion to take the Quins back into the lead.
The tackling was of local derby intensity and the only other score of the first half was a close range Jones penalty to give the home side a 16-12 interval lead.
A serious looking injury to Llandovery prop Dean Howells held up play for nearly 10 minutes before a slashing break from full back Lee Rees all but regained the lead for the Drovers.
The Quins pack were now edging possession and territory and the powerful Griffiths was nearly over in the left corner.
The Drovers were dangerous on the break and it took a great tackle by Quins replacement wing Gavin Thomas to stop Kristian Jones in full flight.
A yellow card for replacement hooker Ricky Guest proved costly with Dan Jones putting over his fourth penalty in injury time. And a minute from time hooker Torin Myhill went through from a line out to get a try converted by Jones and take away Llandovery's bonus point