Llandovery 39 Llanelli 12
High flying, unbeaten Llandovery recorded their third consecutive win in the West Conference of the Indigo Premiership Cup, outscoring their regional rivals by six tries to two at Church Bank writes Huw S Thomas.
The Drovers were in complete control and won by considerable ease in the all Carmarthenshire battle.
Dominant at the scrum and with runners in scrum half Lee Rees and full back Will Thomas in cutting form behind, the result was never in doubt.
Llandovery stand hot on the heels of Aberavon in the chase for play-off spots and look forward to entertaining Bridgend at home this Saturday.
“Good “ said coach Euros Evans “ but we left a lot of points out there and Llanelli defended with a lot of grit at the end when the game could have run away from them.”
“But five points is all we could get anyway, so we must be satisfied with that.”
“It was also good to see youngsters like Griff Evans – a Llandovery College product – make an impression in the back row in his first full game in the Premiership”
James Garland gave the Drovers an early lead with a simple penalty and a blind side thrust saw the fly half send full back Will Thomas in at the corner.
Garland – back at Church Bank for his second spell after a stint at Aberavon – landed a fine conversion and with tails up, Llandovery were only foiled when wing Aaron Warren was brought down inches from the line.
But referee Simon Rees awarded a penalty try for a high tackle and soon after centre Rhodri Wall’s determined chase of a loose ball brought a third home try in a fast and open game in the surprisingly benign conditions.
Llanelli’s very brief period of pressure brought little success but then a breakout from defence got its reward with full back Eray Wilson finishing off a sweeping move with a try under the posts, converted by skipper and fly half Ioan Hughes.
It was what proved to be the best try of the day but the Llandovery response was immediate, the ever influential Garland squeezing over wide out for a 27-7 interval lead, a fair reflection of the game.
Surprisingly sloppy defence let Wilson in for his second try but consistent and clever retention by the Drovers got the long striding Warren home for the fifth home try in what was becoming a one sided affair.
Lock Osian Davies made it six for a 39-12 lead and with a tad more accuracy the Drovers would have cruised past the half century of points.
Three times they butchered good chances but – to their credit – Llanelli hung on grimly and the valiant back row of Ellis Thomas, Elis Hopkins and Caine Rees-Jones kept competitive to the end in a well beaten side..
Their one consolation was in having scored the best try of the day with a length of the field movement that ended with full back Wilson crossing.
There was little more than that for coach Paul Fisher to savour as he prepares for another away game this week when Llanelli travel to take on the All Whites at St Helen’s.
Tries: W Thomas, pen try, R Wall, J Garland, A Warren, O Davies
Cons: J Garland (2)
Pen: J Garland
Tries: E Wilson (2)
Con: I Hughes
Llandovery: W Thomas; A Evans, R Wall, R Jones, A Warren (C Woodall 55); J Garland, L Rees (D Land 62); J Hughes (D Dallavalle 47), D Hughes (C Thomas 62), L Tobias (B Watkins 65), J Jones (capt), O Davies (M Dallavalle 62), G Evans, L Pike (J Evans 47), S Worrall
Llanelli: E Wilson (J Phillips 56); A Jiwa-Walji (T James 69), J Roberts, R Davies, H Button; I Hughes (capt), I Beynon-Thomas (A Hughes 53); S O’Connor (D Lawley 60), R Cherry (McCrae 46) , A Jeffries (L Davies 62), A Hyndman (S Martin48), E Couzens (J Maleki 69), E Thomas, E Hopkins, C Rees-Jones
Huw S Thomas Rugby World Schools Editor 4 Maes y Coleg Llandovery Carms SA20 0HS 01550 720028 07866 553920