Bridgend 13 Llandovery 36
The Drovers expected a tough battle at Bridgend and this is what they got under the Brewery Field lights on Friday night writes Huw S Thomas.
The score was unfair on the Ravens as they had plenty of possession and territory and scored two well crafted tries but they could not live with the speed and invention of the Llandovery backs under scrum half and skipper Lee Rees.
The five tries to two win puts the Carmarthenshire side back at the head of the Premiership table with a third of the season gone.
Coach Euros Evans was more than happy with the way things went.
“To get a bonus point in the light of having lost a pre-season friendly at Bridgend was as good a result as we could have hoped for.” said Evans.
“We have had plenty off difficult moments at the Brewery Field in the past and the current side has been playing very well, only losing at Ebbw Vale to a very late penalty try.”
“We played some good rugby and scored some great tries with Adam Warren and Harri Doel in outstanding form.”
It was Rees, skipper for the day, who got the opening try in the very first minute of the game when he was up in support of a galloping run from lock Joe Powell to cross under the posts and make the conversion by fly half Ioan Hughes a formality.
Prop Dino Dallavalle and Adam Warren were the key players in the sweeping movement that ended with centre Warren sending wing Harri Doel through for a second converted try.
A collapsed scrum gave Bridgend fly half Luke Price the chance to slot a straight penalty but the Drovers soon went clear 21-3 when flanker Osian Davies took a clever pass from centre Rhodri Jones to cross untouched.
It was a great effort from the flanker from Newcastle Emlyn whose line out take was at the start of a multi-phased attack by the confident Drovers.
A timely interception by Rees of a try scoring pass by Bridgend hooker Evan Yardley opened the second half before Ed Howley finished off the hard work of his pack to narrow the score to 21-8.
Then, a clean break by the ever excellent Warren ended with a Hughes penalty before the Drovers put the game to bed with a fine counter-attacking try.
Hughes launched it from deep, sent Doel haring down the left wing and the ex-Worcester Warrior put Warren racing in for the bonus point with an inside pass.
Replacement Jack Maynard converted only for Bridgend to come bravely back when a close range line out and driving maul worked replacement hooker Gareth Harvey through to the line.
The Drovers responded in kind when a line out take by replacement Jack Jones – on for a concussed Chris Long – and forward surge put young all action hooker Harry Thomas tumbling in out wide to bring the curtain down on another impressive performance.
** Pontypool, who beat Ebbw Vale 25-20, will be the visitors to Church Bank on Saturday (KO 2 30 pm). Like the Drovers, they have won seven of their games and will offer a huge challenge to the league leaders
Tries: E Howley, G Harvey
Pen: L Price
Tries: L Rees, H Doel, O Davies, Adam Warren, H Thomas
Cons: I Hughes (3), J Maynard
Pen: I Hughes
Bridgend: E Howley; C Ellis, S Floyd-Ellis, T Morgan, M Powell; L Price, C Smith; H Olding, E Yardley, L Tobias, D Burrows, J Pope, A Llewellyn, J Collier, Z O’Driscoll (capt)
Replacements: G Harvey. O Jordan, M Iorwerth-Scott, H Barnes, I Merriman, C Williams, P Short, J Gatt
Llandovery: J Davies; H Doel, Adam Warren, R Jones, M Page; I Hughes, L Rees (capt); D Dallavalle, H Thomas, B Watkins, C Long, J Powell, O Davies, J Evans, S Worrall
Replacements: J Hughes, L Phillips-Taylor, L Green, J Jones, N Hart, G McDonald, J Maynard, D Land