WARREN STAR OF THE SHOW AS DROVERS WIN LOCAL DERBY
CARMARTHEN QUINS 12 LLANDOVERY 38
By Huw S Thomas
The Drovers scored six tries – three by flying wing Aaron Warren – as they ran the Quins off the park in the Tywi Valley Good Friday derby
Warren – watched by elder brother and former Drover and Welsh international centre Adam – wrote himself into the Premiership history books by adding a well taken hat trick of tries to the one he had scored six days earlier at Aberavon.
Six tries in six days brought his Cup and league total to 15 in 19 appearances to make him the man of the moment in Welsh rugby.
His long loping stride , clever change of direction and strong lower limbs have made him the Welsh Premiership’s most consistent wing over the years.
Out of his tally of 15 tries this season so far, nine came in the Premiership Cup – including a four try haul against Llanelli- and six in the league
He looks set to again become the league’s top try scorer to add to his impressive record as a Llandovery player.
The former Coleg Sir Gar student made his debut for the Drovers against Newport in November 2011 as an 18 year old and has gone on to make 197 appearances, scoring 92 tries and 474 points in the process.
“He has been a credit to the club and himself” said Euros Evans, now Director of Rugby at Coleg Sir Gar as well as Llandovery’s successful coach.
The Burry Port product has been consistently impressive in his 11 years at the club and a vital part of the seven a side team that won so many Welsh Premiership 7s titles in the 2010’s.
It is no exaggeration to say that he, scrum half Lee Rees (290 appearances) and centre Rhodri Jones (209 appearances) have been quite the most wonderful servants of the club over the last decade and continue to put in one classy performance after another.
A feature of the early play at Carmarthen Park was the solid tackling of both sides before some brilliant combined approach work by Llandovery backs and forwards gave Warren the chance to stretch his legs and evade the cover for a fine corner try.
At this stage, the Quins enjoyed the lion’s share of possession with a clear edge at the line out and ex-Dragons flanker Nic Cudd was tackled just short of the line.
Home pressure told when a counter attack launched by wing Morgan Griffiths ended with centre Ed James crossing wide out to bring the scores level on the half hour.
The Carmarthen forwards battered away relentlessly but found Jack Jones’s pack the toughest of nuts – flanker Stuart Worrall again to the fore – and just when the Quins looked to have broken through, they conceded a penalty right on the Llandovery line.
Having soaked up the pressure, the confident Drovers went ahead with another very good multi phased effort, created by dummying fly half James Garland and finished by swift supporting scrum half Rees.
Centre Kristian Jones converted from under the posts for a 12-5 interval lead in what was proving a tight local derby game in front of the biggest home crowd of the season
Flanker Ed Siggery reduced the leeway soon into the second half, burrowing over from close range and fly half Steff Marshall levelled the scores with his conversion.
The Llandovery pack were held up on the Quins line but the alert Warren intercepted a wayward home pass to sprint in from 45 metres, Jones converting.
It was a turning point in the game and Warren got his second hat trick in two games – his other coming against Aberavon – when a brilliantly improvised pass from centre Rhodri Jones sent the wing haring away for a try converted by Garland for a 24-12 lead
The handling and passing of both Llandovery backs and forwards were of the highest order and with Rees tantalising the home defence with his quickly taken tap penalties and stabbing side step, the tries came against a now deflated Quins side.
Although the Quins stuck stoically to the task it was the Drovers who finished far the stronger when replacement Craig Woodall got his side’s fifth try.
And to rub salt into home wounds, the classy Rhodri Jones slipped though for Llandovery’s sixth try before nonchalantly converting from the touchline.
*** Llandovery take on Llanelli at Parc Y Scarlets on Thursday night April 21 before finishing their league campaign at home to Bridgend on April 30
Star Choice; Aaron Warren (Llandovery)
Tries: E James, E Siggery
Cons: S Marshall
Tries: A Warren (3), L Rees, C Woodall, R Jones
Cons: K Jones (2), J Garland, R Jones
Carmarthen Quins: D Ford, G Llewellyn, E James, L Randell, M Griffiths; S Marshall, A Hemmings; S Phillips, L Morgan, I James, H Pugh, L Taylor (capt), E Siggery, L Millin, N Cudd
Replacements: J Newnian, O Peddle, R Bean, T Myhill, G Davies, R Bloomfield, R Davies, J Wilson
Llandovery: T Lewis; A Evans, R Jones, K Jones, A Warren; J Garland, L Rees; J Hughes, C Thomas, L Tobias, G Evans, J Jones (capt), L Pike, O Davies, S Worrall,
Replacements: L Green, J Cox, D Dallavalle, M Dallavalle, J Evans, E Sheldon, C Woodall, D Land
— Huw S Thomas Rugby World Schools Editor 4 Maes y Coleg Llandovery Carms SA20 0HS 01550 720028 07866 553920