2017/2018 Principality Premiership
Pontypridd 10 v 30 Llandovery
24 March 2018 - Sardis Road, Pontypridd

Match Report

Pontypridd 10 Llandovery 30

In front of the live S4C cameras Llandovery created quite a shock by beating high flying Pontypridd on their own Sardis Road patch writes Tom Hughes.

It was the Drovers third win in seven exhausting days to confirm they have hit form just at the right time.

With this fourth win out of five games in Phase 2 of the Premiership, they move menacingly up to seventh place with two - and in some cases three - games in hand over the top six.

 A 17-6 league win over Ebbw Vale and a 14-13 quarter final Cup win at Cross Keys were bettered by an outstanding performance at the House of Pain.

Llandovery had won just the once at Sardis Road – back in September 2006 - but not only did they have much the better of Pontypridd on this occasion, they also came away with a rare bonus point win.

It came through scoring four tries – one in the first half from fly half Jack Maynard and three after the break from scrum half Lee Rees, flanker Stuart Worrall and replacement hooker Ricky Guest.

And with Maynard also adding ten points from the boot, the win was as conclusive as the score suggests.

Indeed if they had not blown a number of golden chances in a dominant first half, the Drovers would have been so far ahead as to be uncatchable.

Pontypridd did lose centre and skipper Dafydd Lockyer after just nine minutes but were the first to acknowledge the opposition’s superiority.

Llandovery President Handel Davies described the win as “b***** brilliant – we have gone to Sardis Road with tidy sides and lost but this performance was as good as it gets.”

Team Manager Andrew Jones who spent many a hard time at Sardis Road as a player supported the comments.

“We have had many a pummelling here so to win with such conviction was hugely satisfying “ said the man who played an incredible 577  matches for his home town club.

The win also posted notice that the so called “Cinderella” clubs of the Premiership – Llandovery, Carmarthen Quins and Bedwas – now dine at the same table as their more famous Merit tables club.

And with the forthcoming decision to reduce the Premiership to 12 teams from 2019-2020, the WRU will need to evaluate the worth of all aspiring clubs by their current rather than historic standing.

Llandovery never liked likely to lose Saturday’s game despite the many missed chances of a first half in which lock Joe Powell and hooker Dafydd Hughes were in rampaging form in the loose.

A try, conversion and two penalties from Maynard against one penalty from opposite number Ceri Sweeney established a 13-3 interval lead.

Wing Aaron Warren and then centre Rhodri Jones went close to scoring but out of the blue Rees raced away, chipped over the defence and did well to control a rolling ball for a great solo try.

Pontypridd started to put more phases together and eventually got a try through their best player, flanker Jordan Sienawski, converted by former Welsh international Sweeney.

Ponty piled on the pressure in their best patch of the night but Llandovery tackling was of the highest order to the satisfaction of defence coach Gareth Potter.

With Pony having overlaps, Lee Williams made some crucial interventions in coming off his wing to take out the ball carrier and the back row of Lewis Ellis Jones, Richard Brooks and Worrall along with prop Scott Jenkins cut down attackers at will.

And it was Narberth product Worrall – one of any half a dozen fine back rowers at Church Bank - who then struck the killer blow taking a short pass from Man of the Match Rees for a converted try.

Ponty were done for but not before the bonus point was clinched when replacement centre Rhodri Wall made a 40 metre break which led to a rare try for replacement hooker Ricky Guest.

Official : Wayne Davies (Wales)

Team Sheets


Pontypridd Llandovery