DROVERS BACK IN ACTION
The Drovers are back in Indigo Premiership league action this Saturday after a hiatus of three weeks when they travel to take on Merthyr writes Huw S Thomas
They last played on September 3 when they opened the 2022-2023 campaign with a 19-3 win at Carmarthen Quins.
The home league game against Pontypridd on September 10 was postponed on the death of Her Majesty Elizabeth II and there was no action either last week end when the Premiership Cup took precedence.
Cardiff walloped Merthyr 50-15 to confirm their status as Wales’s top semi-professional team and favourites to win this year’s Welsh Premiership Cup and league
Llandovery are in the same Cup group as Cardiff and Merthyr and are scheduled to play their Cup games against Merthyr on October 22 and then Cardiff on December 3.
This Saturday’s visit to Merthyr is a league game and if past battles games are anything to go by, then a high scoring affair is on the cards.
The last three games between the two clubs at The Wern have seen the Drovers win 43-36 and the Ironmen triumph 33-31 and 34-24.
Merthyr will have the advantage of a recent game under their belts, counterbalanced by the fact that the Drovers players who had niggling injuries against Carmarthen will have had plenty of time to regain full health.
Merthyr have a new coach in the vastly experienced Rowland Phillips who has taken over from Dale McIntosh.
The ten times capped Phillips lead Neath to four Premiership titles in successive years and three cup final wins, had stints in Italy and London Welsh and was latterly Wales women’s coach.
Phillips saw his charges win their opening league game 22-15 against RGC on September 3 and he will have the side well prepared to face the Drovers.
Llandovery coach Euros Evans was well satisfied with the opening win at Carmarthen where new signings full back Jack Maynard, centre Adam Warren, fly half Ioan Hughes and prop Llyr Green played leading roles in the local derby victory.
He is likely to field the same team against Merthyr and a close free flowing game is once again likely at The Wern.