Two friendlies on two consecutive days will help Llandovery coach Euros Evans with his selection for the opening game of the Indigo Premiership season writes Huw S Thomas.
The Drovers face Carmarthen Quins on September 2 in the ever-competitive Tywi Valley derby and last week’s games against Llangennech – on Wednesday – and Bridgend Ravens – on Thursday – were an opportunity for Evans to reflect on the composition of the team to play the Quins.
Wednesday brought a 31-22 win at Llangennech and at the Brewery Field, the Drovers let slip a 14-0 interval lead to lose 26-19.
“It was always the plan to give everyone an opportunity in one of the games. With 15 debutants and most of them being under 20 it was pleasing to see these young players having a chance play a game after a tough pre season. A total of 41 players played over the two games.”
“We played well in patches in both games. The first 50 minutes against Bridgend was pleasing but lost our way as we made our changes.
Against Championship West side Llangennech, the Drovers made second half changes to turn a 17-5 deficit into a 31-22 win.
There were tries from lock Aaron Howles, outstanding young wing from Ammanford Elis Lewis, centre Adam Warren, prop Dino Dallavalle and flanker Cai Davies, plus three conversions by fly half Sam Potter, son of Llandovery assistant coach Gareth.
In direct opposition to Sam Potter was Osian Evans, the son of Llandovery head coach Euros who kicked one conversion of the four tries, the best scored by Ellis Dickenson, and hooker Callum Jenkins.
In Bridgend, Llandovery led 14-0 at half time after tries by prop Dino Dallavalle and lock Chris Long, both converted by full back Jack Maynard.
The interval changes made by both sides were more favourable to the Ravens who ran in four tries through ex-Drovers prop Liam Tobias, wing Cameron Ellis and a brace from flanker Aled Evans.
A last minute touchdown by eye-catching replacement wing Elis Lewis brought the Drovers to within seven points but no more
One or two of the Llandovery squad were away on holiday for the games but there was interest in the performances of new signings from Llanelli No 8 Nathan Hart and lock Chris Long.
Both looked ready to compete for a place in the Llandovery starting line on September 2 with Long scoring a try against Bridgend whilst any number of young players such a Scarlets attached centre Macs Page looked the part.
*Scrum-half Dafydd Land will lead a young Llandovery outfit in search of the £1,000 prize money at the Aberaeron 7s this Sunday.