What the Papers Say – Huw S Thomas reports
Copyright Huw S Thomas, and used by kind permission of Huw S Thomas
Even with a weakened side the Drovers were embarrassingly too good for their Championship visitors and sailed effortlessly into the second round of the National Cup writes Huw S Thomas.
Twice winners of the competition in 2007 and 2016, Llandovery posted notice that they will be lively challengers for a third Cup triumph, running in no fewer than 16 tries in a carnival of open rugby.
Their extra pace, great support player and high levels of fitness only went to underline the big gap that seem to be ever growing between Premiership and Champonship sides.
Local rugby historians could not recall Llandovery ever having scored over 100 points in a senior game and ventured that this was the biggest win in the club’s existence.
Four of their 16 tries were scored by former Llandovery College player and Scarlets wing Corey Baldwin whose speedleft Beddau floundering in its wake and it included a second half burst of three tries inside 12 minutes.
Llandovery defence coach Gareth Potter – back on match duty after a nasty illness – praised Beddau for their never say die attitude after playing all but six minutes with 14 men.
“Beddau stuck at it and for us it was good to see players who have featured little in the Premiership campaign put up a marker for attention.”
“The dual registration trio of Carwyn Evans, Brandon Wood and Matthew Hughes showed good pace and vision behind the scrum and fly half Kristian Jones directed operations cleverly as well as scoring 34 points.”
“And it was good to see props Llyr Green and Dino Dallavalle put in a full stint and ex-Wales U18 fly half Llew Smith have good game time.”
“It will put everyone in a good mood before we get back on the Premiership trail against Bedwas next Saturday.”
All hints of a giant killing act from Beddau were immediately dispelled when lock Joe Powell drove over for an early try, converted by fly half Kristian Jones but things got seriously worse for the visitors.
They lost two players to injury – flanker Tom Geere and prop Owen Cotton – which led to uncontested scrums through lack of front row cover and the automatic reduction to 14 men for the rest of the game.
The Drovers needed no second invitation to spin the ball at every opportunity and in short time Powell and centre Rhodri Jones soon got converted tries to make it 21-0 after just 15 minutes.
Centre Carwyn Evans – on dual registration with Aberystwyth – and prop Dino Dallavalle were up in support of slick handling for more converted scores before wing Corey Baldwin scorched away for a sixth try.
Kicker Jones put over the conversion of both his own and scrum half Lee Rees’s chip and chase try to make it 54-0 at the break.
Evans sprinted clear as plucky Beddau collapsed under the Premiership side’s incessant pressure and the pace of Baldwin got him three more quick-fire tries against badly tiring opposition.
Replacement Llew Smith and Kristian Jones finished off sweeping moves, wing Brandon Wood – on dual registration with Llangennech – ran in from 50 metres before flanker Lewis- Ellis Jones outstripped everyone from 55 metres to bring up the century of points.
*** Premiership rugby returns to Church Bank this Saturday with the visit of Bedwas (KO 2 30 pm)
Llandovery: Gavin Thomas; Corey Baldwin, Carwyn Evans, Rhodri Jones, Brandon Wood; Kristian Jones, Lee Rees; Dino Dallavalle, Dafydd Hughes, Llyr Green, Rhys Jones, Joe Powell, Lewis Ellis-Jones, Richard Brooks (capt), Shaun Miles
Replacements used: Matthew Moore, Jordan Evans, Emyr Price Matthew Hughes, Llew Smith
Beddau: C Baker; J Davies, K Gay, L Egal, G Hopkins; A Ashford, J Secher; O Cotton, M Howells, B Jones, B White (capt), R Owens, T Geere, R Wilson, STiley.
Replacements used: E Coombes, R Phillips, L Davies
Tries: C Baldwin (4), J Powell (2), C Evans (2), K Jones (2), Rhodri Jones, D Dallavalle, L Rees, L Smith, B Wood, L Ellis-Jones
Cons: K Jones (12)