LLANDOVERY 58 ABERAVON 3
The quarter-final of the Welsh Cup saw top of the Indigo Premiership side Llandovery have far too many guns, up front and behind for the Wizards of Aberavon writes Huw S Thomas
The Drovers swept into the semi finals with a nine try to nil win over opponents who found the pace of the game unrelenting and unwavering.
Games against Aberavon have always been tight affairs but this was a one sided affair that broke that mould in startling fashion.
The tempo and attacking verve of the Llandovery free flowing game had the surprisingly ponderous Wizards reeling as they conceded try after try.
“We are on the top of our form” said winning coach Euros Evans “but we will take nothing for granted as we have a lot of good sides chasing us in cup and league.”
“That said, we are extremely proud of our best ever win over Aberavon when everything clicked and went our way.”
“We have them at home in the league this coming Saturday and expect a firmer challenge from a proud club who are in the process of rebuilding.”
Man of the Match was Llandovery No 8 Nathan Hart who was ubiquitous throughout and who scored a solo try following a charge down and made another for replacement Dafydd Land with a clever sliding kick.
Many had doubted the close season signing of the 34 year old ex-Llanelli back row but his reading of the game, anticipation and clear thinking shone brightly against Aberavon.
His signing has given the back row a fine strength in depth but he will be the first to acknowledge that his new found verve for the game since leaving Llanelli is due to the adventurous, yet steely, style instilled into the side by Euros Evans, Gareth Potter and Tom Hancock.
Poor Aberavon have not suffered such a heavy defeat for some years but – truth be told – they could have conceded at least a dozen points more in the face of continual attacks masterminded by the best scrum half in the Premiership.
Little Lee Rees was his usual dominant self, passing swiftly running elusively and supporting any forward momentum.
The mystery will always remain why the Scarlets have never used his skill and pace.
Ex-Scarlets fly half Aled Thomas kicked a penalty for Aberavon to take the lead after three minutes but from there on Llandovery dazzled away.
The pack .under the tireless Jack Jones had dominance in tight and loose and with plenty of ball the home backs showed all their class in putting together some dazzling handling and running.
After fly half Ioan Hughes tied the scores 3-3, tries from prop Jamie Hughes. Rees – converted by Ioan Hughes – and elusive full back Harri Doel made it 20-3 at the break.
Llandovery looked a class apart as they attacked from all places and directions.
Jamie Hughes again, Hart – with a smart charge down and pick up – and hooker Taylor Davies after a 40 metre run stuck the knife in..
And when Aberavon full back Scot Delnevo was yellow carded for a dangerous tackle, the visitors conceded three more tries to centre Rhodri Jones, replacement centre Macs Page and replacement scrum half Dafydd Land..
Replacement full back Jack Maynard added four second half conversion and when Aberavon had a short spell of pressure on the home line, they found the Drovers as feisty in defence as they had been inventive in attack.
*** Aberavon return to Church Bank this Saturday for an Indigo Premiership game which brings the season to the half way stage, Llandovery five points clear at the top of the table.
Tries: J Hughes (2), L Rees, H Doel, N Hart, T Davies, R Jones, M Page, D Land
Cons: J Maynard (4), I Hughes
Pen: I Hughes
Pen: A Thomas
Llandovery: H Doel; J Davies, Adam Warren, R Jones, Aaron Warren; I Hughes, L Rees; J Hughes, T Davies, L Green, J Jones (capt), J Powell, O Davies, N Hart, S Worrall
Replacements: D Dallavalle, B Watkins, H Thomas, C Long, J Evans, J Maynard, M Page, D Land
Aberavon: S Delveno; S Andrews (capt), F Jones, B Roderick, C Banfield; A Thomas, A hemming; R Jenkins, C Lewis, G James. S Smallman, R Hughes, R Thomas, A Waite, B Gregory
Replacemnets: S Whitlock, J Gage, C Carson, E Major, C Loveys, T Huntley, J Walters, C Davies