Llandovery’s bright start to the Premiership campaign continued apace when they ran in seven converted tries against Bedwas writes Tom Hughes.
The Drovers have rarely found it easy to win at the Bridge Field but this time they decisively settled the issue half way through the second half with a spurt of four tries in 11 minutes.
With the final try coming from replacement scrum half and teenage debutant Dafydd Land, the Drovers have now racked up 18 tries in just three games and go to the top of the Premiership table with 14 points out of a possible maximum 15 points.
Bedwas were a side desperate to record their first points of the season but had to be content with a bonus point for scoring four tries, three of them coming very late on after 14 man Llandovery had emptied their bench.
There was another tip-top performance from fly half Jack Maynard who had a short spell with Bedwas a few years ago.
Maynard dictated play with his usual sharp eye, scored a brace of tries and kicked all seven conversions and a penalty for a personal tally of 27 points.
With just three games played he has scored 50 points in the Premiership and on the way to breaking all kinds of records at this rate.
Team Manager Andrew Jones who played no fewer than 577 games for the Drovers 1993-2015 was one to relish the win.
“I played many a game at Bedwas and always found it tough going” said the former Barbarians prop.
“ They have had the better of us at Bridge Field most of the time so to come away with a bonus point victory was a major feat for us.”
“Both sides were committed to play open rugby but we always seemed to have a bit more control in the crucial areas.”
“The set piece was strong once again and the likes of lock Jack Jones, flankers Shaun Miles and Stuart Worrall got through a real mountain of work in the loose, providing quick ball for our in-form half backs Lee Rees and Jack Maynard to pose big threats.”
“We got a nice mixture of tries, with forwards crossing through driving mauls, good team efforts after patient build ups and Jack (Maynard) also had a long distance interception try.”
“My favourite involved two former Junior Drovers and Llandovery Youth players when wing Harri Doel showed good speed out wide before passing inside to replacement scrum half Dafydd Land who was on his shoulder in support to run in from 25 metres.”
“They have both just left school and have a bright future ahead of them.”
“To get 50 points in a place where we've struggled in the past was great but we were disappointed to concede three tries in the last few minutes,”
Defence coach Gareth Potter who has made Llandovery's try line so hard to breach since moving to Church Bank from Ammanford echoed Jones' words
"They caught us on the hop and scored from the kick off but after that we gradually improved and were excellent in defending our own line in a crucial spell at he start of second half " said Potter.
The downside was conceding three tries in the final eight minutes.”
"52-13 would have been a truer reflection of play but having said that we lost our discipline, shape and intensity to allow them a bonus point – a disappointing end to an outstanding team performance.”
An early try by hooker Alun Rees shook the Drovers into an immediate response from his opposite number Matthew Moore before the sin binning of lock James Richards was punished by Miles and Maynard to take Llandovery into a 21-7 lead.
Fly half Joe Scrivens kicked two penalties for Bedwas to reduce the leeway to 21-13 at the break.
A Maynard penalty was then followed by a purple patch of attacking rugby from the Drovers which brought four tries in just over ten minutes, replacement hooker Ricky Guest and Maynard both scoring a brace of tries to make it 52-13.
With replacement lock Jordan Evans in the sin bin and all the replacements on Llandovery faltered enough to let wing George Gasson, replacement hooker Mike Dacey and replacement scrum half Luke Crane claim a consolation bonus point for the home side.
***There is a keenly expected local derby at Church Bank this Saturday when Llanelli are the visitors (K O 2 30pm)