What the Papers Say - Huw S Thomas reports
Copyright Huw S Thomas, and used by kind permission of Huw S Thomas
The Drovers good vein of form continued on Tuesday night when they outscored Bargoed by seven tries to three with another fine display of attacking rugby writes Huw S Thomas.
The bonus point win takes them to 53 points – the same as the Quins – but having won 10 games to Carmarthen’s nine, they move into third place behind Merthyr (61) and Pontypridd (57).
They face Swansea at St Helen’s on Saturday and then entertain Llanelli at Church Bank on May 19 in the last game of the 2017-2018 campaign.
Two bonus point wins would guarantee at least second place with even an outside chance of top spot if Merthyr were to surprisingly lose their last two games.
Llandovery set their stall out quickly at Moorland Road on Tuesday evening in scoring three converted tries without reply in just over a quarter of an hour.
Prop Jamie Hughes, scrum half Lee Rees and wing Aaron Warren all crossed with fly half Jack Maynard kicking the conversions for an easy 21-0 lead.
Bargoed were shaken to the core by the speed of execution of the Llandovery play but to their credit joined in with plenty of gusto.
Scrum half Matthew Bancroft got a try converted by fly half Calum Jones only for the Drovers to secure the attacking bonus point as soon as the 24th minute with a try from skipper and No 8 Richard Brooks.
A good effort from full back Julian Mogg plus a Jones conversion saw Bargoed go into the interval 26 14 down.
But when wing Ashley Norton got their third try and Jones added five points from the boot to make it 26-24, Llandovery said enough was enough.
Crisp approach work, good support, accurate handling and straight running brought three converted tries to the galloping Warren, sprightly wing Lee Williams and replacement forward Steffan Phillips – on permit from Narberth.
Maynard kept up his kicking form by ending with another 12 points from six conversions to again underline his value to the side.
Team Manager Andrew Jones was delighted with the way the side performed in the final quarter.
“What was pleasing for us - having just played three days before - was the way took control of the game in the last twenty minutes scoring three tries to finish things off.”
“It shows how much the squad has worked on their fitness throughout the season. It is very difficult to pick players out after a good team performance.”
“We started the game very well, keeping the ball in hand from all areas of the pitch and scored a number of our tries from our own half. “
“Lee Rees and Jack Maynard always looking for opportunities, Jack Jones and Joe Powell went well up front, with the rest of the forwards very clinical in the ruck area.”
“We probably left two or three tries out there in the first half but fair play to Bargoed they responded well after half time, playing an open game themselves which brought them back into the match.”
“We have a great chance now to push for the runner-up spot, which would be a massive achievement for the club but we have to pick ourselves up again for Swansea away and Llanelli home - two tough matches.”
*** The Drovers face Swansea at St Helen’s on Saturday (KO 2 30 pm)