DROVERS IN CONTOL AT THE WERN
Photo By Derek Jones
Merthyr 12 Llandovery 36
The Drovers notched up their second consecutive away win in the Indigo Premiership with a supremely competent and confident bonus point performance at The Wern writes Huw S Thomas
Coach Euros Evans was well pleased with this second win on the road after first beating Carmarthen Quins 19-3.
“To be on nine points after two games and yet to play at home is as good a start as we could have wished “
“But we have a very tough home game against Newport next week and that will be quite a challenge for us against the current Welsh Cup holders.”
The last three games between Llandovery and Merthyr at The Wern had seen the Drovers win 43-36 and the Ironmen triumph 33-31 and 34-24 so it was quite a surprise to witness so one sided an affair between the two clubs.
Llandovery played with a pace and cohesion that the Ironmen could not match and it would be fair to say that the home side could not have complained if the margin of defeat had been considerably greater.
Llandovery Gareth Potter summed it up.
“The only slight criticism we have – and it is very slight after such a good performance – is the precision in finishing off line breaking moves.”
“We feel that there is huge potential in this squad to play a fluent, quick and explosive game.”
Praise too, must go to the new influence of contact area coach Nic Cudd whose work at the breakdown has added an extra string to the Llandovery bow.
Merthyr just could not get their hands on the ball to effect any turn over nor were they able to match the speed of Llandovery re-cycling and Cudd’s impact on proceedings was there for all to see.
Scrum and line out were stable, too, whilst all the forwards used – some 13 in total – looked fit and comfortable with ball in hand.
Man for man, unit for unit, the Drovers were superior with bobby dazzling scrum half Lee Rees outshining his vastly experienced opposite number, the 11 times capped Tavis Knoyle, one of only four players ever to turn out for all four Welsh regions.
Rees and centre Adam Warren oozed class whenever in possession and the centre not only made space for all around him but grabbed two tries of his own through clever positioning and deadly execution.
Another to score a brace of tries was prop Jamie Hughes who is fast becoming one of the Premiership’s leading front row forwards.
The last of the Drovers tries came from ever resourceful wing Aaron Warren who weaved through tired defenders near the end of the game.
With full back Jack Maynard adding four conversions and a penalty, there was satisfaction all around at a very good day’s work.
After a brace of tries from Adam Warren the Drovers led 14-5 at the break having conceded a try to wing Dafydd Thomas who finished off a rare moment of Merthyr attacking quality
The Ironmen managed just the one try after the break – a close range effort from Knoyle, converted by fly half Josh Lewis – hardly enough to match the Hughes double and the Aaron Warren slalom.
Tries:D Thomas,T Knoyle
Con: J Lewis
Tries: Adam Warren (2), J Hughes (2), Aaron Warren
Cons: J Maynard (4)
Pen: J Maynard
Merthyr: B Jones; D Thomas, C Davies, T Jevons, S Jones; J Lewis, T Knoyle; C lewis, R Williams, R Lewis, L Ashley (capt), P McBride, J Perkins, T Daley, O Davies
Replacements: D Wall, J Rogers, L Jones, C Bradbury, B Sier, J Soanes, G Thompson, R Davies
Llandovery: J Maynard; K Abraham, Adam Warren, K Jones, Aaron Warren; I Hughes, L Rees; J Hughes, C Thomas, L Green, J Jones (capt), J Powell, O Davies, I Rees, S Worrall
Replacements: B Watkins, R Guest, W Caron-Lewis, L Pike, J Evans, C Woodall, R Wall, B Thomas