Bridgend 13 – 31 Llandovery
By Bryan Weaver | 06/09/2017
Tom Hughes reports:
Bridgend had not beaten the Drovers since September 2008 but pushed them all the way until two late tries settled the issue at the Brewery Field.
The Drovers won by five tries to one to move into second place in the West Conference, behind Aberavon who lead through a better try count 12-9. They repeated the 31 points they scored in beating RGC, this time scoring five tries - two in the first half and three in the second.
The same side that had performed so well against the North Walians under skipper and No 8 Richard Brooks had a solid rather than outstanding game against a competitive Bridgend.
Llandovery Team Manager Andrew Jones was honest enough to admit the side did not fire on all cylinders. “Praise must go to Bridgend who are a very much improved team who made us work hard for the win. When we got two converted tries to go 14-3 up it was a great start but they came right back to us and to within one point just after half time.”
“But we have plenty of class and experience up front and some very quick runners behind and this - allied to a very sound defence - saw us finishing the stronger. The set piece was again encouragingly very sound and continues to improve whilst the speed of the loose trio and lock Joe Powell around the field is a big ace in the pack.”
Wing Aaron Warren got the opening try from a set piece move but the best of the day came when multiple phases of play ended with Powell going over. Fly half Jack Maynard converted both before the Ravens had a good patch of play, fly half Ryan Evans kicking two penalties to make it 14-6 at the break
A yellow card for Llandovery hooker Ricky Guest proved costly, wing Aaron Grabham getting a home try, converted by Evans.
Although under presure, the Drovers never lost their composure and exciting replacement Tomi Lewis raced away on a counter attack for a converted try.
Coach Euros Evans was never afraid to throw on all his remaining replacements with 15 minutes to go and one of them – three-quarter Rhodri Wall - made it 26-13 before ever excellent scrum half Lee Rees sped in for the last Llandovery score of the day.
Outstanding for Llandovery on the day were Richard Brooks and locks Powell and Jack Jones up front and the burgeoning centre partnership of Rhodri Jones and Ryan Evans.