CARMARTHEN QUINS 31 LLANDOVERY 54
With the kind permission of Huw S Thomas and The Brecon and Radnor Express. Pic: Gruff Thomas
Defending Premiership champions Llandovery continued the fine form of last season by running in eight tries against a lack lustre Quins writes Huw S Thomas
In one of the most one sided Tywi Valley derby of recent times, the Drovers built a 54-17 lead before multiple substitutions let the Quins recover to gain a bonus point.
The Drovers have rarely found it easy going at the Park but this was far more comfortable a win than the scoreline suggests, such was their dominance in almost all aspects of the game.
“ It’s rare for us to go and score eight tries away from home” said assistant coach Gareth Potter “but we played some real quality stuff before pulling off some of our leading players in the last quarter.”
“Our new signings fitted in well and we gave valuable experience to some of our promising young players.”
“Perhaps our lack of practice games affected our fitness towards the end but it was a good day all round.”
The first half produced some sparkling rugby with the speed and swiftness of execution in attack stretching the Quins defence to its limits.
The slickness of the Llandovery back, masterminded by centre Adam Warren had Carmarthen defending all over and across the field.
And the marker was laid inside five minutes when patient probing and brilliant support – inside one out – for ball carriers ended with centre Rhodri Jones slicing in under the posts.
Full back Jack Maynard kicked the first of his five conversions before the bobby dazzling Lee Rees scored a solo try from 40 metres to make it 14-0.
The scrum was one area that the Quins looked comfortable and hooker Torin Myhill squeezed in after his forwards had charged for the line.
Full back Jac Wilson kicked the conversion and then added a penalty but once the Quins lost lock Lee Taylor to the sin bin, the Drovers hit them with two quick tries.
Lock Joe Powell and flanker Osian Davies – both in outstanding form – made it 28-10 at the break, the bonus point already safely in the bank.
Replacement prop Guto Jones marked his Premiership debut with a close range effort before right wing Harri Doel showed the class that undoubtedly merits a higher grade of rugby by showing pace and elusiveness to grab a brace of tries to make it 47-10 with ten minutes left
The Quins coaches Marc Jones and Josh Turnbull did at least have the satisfaction of seeing their charges pick their heads up in the face of a real hiding when replacement hooker Sion Jones burrowed over, Wilson converting. .
In injury time Llandovery’s new signing from Llanelli, replacement No 8 Nathan Hart celebrated by crashing his way to the line through tackles but to their credit the Quins showed plenty of character to fashion two injury time converted tries.
Against a tiring side, the Quins backs showed a bit more adventure and wing Corum Nott and replacement scrum half Lucca Setaro brought a surprising respectability to the score.
On the evidence of this game, Llandovery will again be challenging for honours but the Quins could well find it hard to improve on last year’s ninth league position.
Tries:T Myhill, S Jones, C Nott, L Setaro
Cons: J Wilson (4)
Pen: J Wilson
Tries:H Doel (2), R Jones, L Rees, J Powell, O Davies, G Jones, N Hart
Cons: J Maynard (5), I Hughes (2)
Carmarthen Quins: J Wilson; C Nott, I Gwilliam, J Batcup, D Richards; H Williams, R Davies; J Newnian, T Myhill, C Allen, L Taylor, J Helps, T Phillips (capt), L Millin, G Davies
Replacements: S O’Connor, S Jones, B Leung, R Bean, C Salmon, W Icke, L Setaro, J Titcombe
Llandovery: J Maynard; H Doel, Adam Warren, R Jones, Aaron Warren; I Hughes, L Rees (capt); J Hughes, C Thomas, B Watkins, C Long, J Powell, O Davies, J Evans, S Worrall
Replacements: D Dallavalle, H Thomas, G Jones, T Poole, N Hart, M Page, J Davies, D Land