What the Papers Say - Huw S Thomas reports
Copyright Huw S Thomas, and used by kind permission of Huw S Thomas
Principality Premiership side Llandovery and their National One East opponents Brecon both used this friendly to try out new players and new combinations for the coming season writes Huw S Thomas
Both coaches – Euros Evans and Andy Powell - saw plenty to be optimistic about at the end of play.
Despite the eight tries to nil defeat, former British Lion Powell - who turned out 21 times for Llandovery early in his career - was very happy with the commitment and resolve of the Brecon boys.
“We came here on a hiding to nothing with many people saying that it was a waste of time to play a Premiership side.”
“But if we were outclassed we were never in awe of the Drovers and my players showed enough against quality opposition to give me great hope that we will challenge for honours this year.”
“Everyone gave their all to confirm the good team spirit we are building and the Drovers had to work hard for all their tries.”
Outstanding for the Powys side up front were lock Darren Witcombe, ex-Llandovery hooker Ryan Williams, prop Kev Jones and flanker Ioan Edwards, whilst full back Dafydd Edwards and centre Eifion Jones caused problems behind the scrum as well as defending resolutely.
Llandovery coach Euros Evans agreed that his side had been well tested both in attack and defence.
“OK we missed a few clear chances but fair play to Brecon, they were competitive, well organised and had good levels of fitness.”
“They should be a strong force in National One East this year if this game was anything to go by.”
“The bonus for us is that a number of players showed enough to hope they will strengthen the depth of the squad for the Premiership season.”
“It is going to be a very hard and tough season of 30 matches in an effort to finish in the top 11 and injuries will disrupt every club so it is vital we have good back-ups in all areas.”
“A number of young players put their hands up for us – George David was excellent at No 8, Brandon Wood, Tom Dew, Gavin Thomas, Carwyn Evans and Matthew Hughes looked threatening with ball in hand whilst Llyr Green is getting a better prop all the time.”
“They will challenge for first team places, I am sure.”
Llandovery fielded a strong XV in the first half including captain Lee Rees and were 26-0 up at the break.
With the lion’s share of possession from tight and loose, they scored tries through Dew, Wood (2) and hooker Ricky Guest with fly half Kristian Jones missing just the one conversion.
Wholesale changes at half time did not prevent the Drovers getting a penalty try from a driving scrum and another three converted tries by locks Jordan Evans and Matthew Donohoe plus centre Carwyn Evans.
Tries: B Wood (2), T Dew, R Guest, pen try, J Evans, M Donohoe, C Evans
Cons: K Jones (7)
Llandovery: G Thomas (M Hughes)); R Williams (C Evans), T Dew, R Jones (L Phillips), B Wood (L Jones); K Jones, L Rees (S Maynard); D Howells (D Dallavalle), R Guest (G Williams), L Green (D Thomas), J Baker, J Jones (M Donohoe), S Worrall (J Evans), G David, S Miles (I Lewis)