Llandovery will be warm favourites to win the Boxing Day derby against Carmarthen Quins at Church Bank writes Huw S Thomas.
The Quins are still recovering from their heaviest ever Premiership defeat – 82-0 – at the hands of league leaders Cardiff on December 17 when their defence conceded 12 unanswered tries.
As a direct comparison the Drovers beat Cardiff 19-16 in the Welsh Cup and on paper seem to be certain winners.
“Not so” says Llandovery coach Euros Evans, a former Quins hooker who will approach the local derby with caution.
“There is often little to choose between the two sides and a local derby is just the incentive the Quins need to turn around their season.”
“There will be no over confidence from us and we only need to remember that they beat us in a pre-season friendly in 2021” added Evans.
Since that 33-14 setback in August 2021, the Drovers have won a trio of league encounters 21-10, 16-0 and, earlier this season, 19-3.
Alarm bells, however, must be ringing in Carmarthen after the 12 try rout at Cardiff Arms Park, not only in defence but in the inability to score a single point against the free running Blue and Blacks.
Llandovery’s game against Aberavon fell foul of the weather last Thursday when the S4C cameras were due to film the match to decide second or third place.
There is always added spice to recent Llandovery Carmarthen Quins games as the Quins have a heavy load of former Drovers in their current squad.
Jac Wilson, Josh Batcup, Rhodri Davies, Richard Bloomfield, Lawrence Reynolds, Sion Jones, Haydn Pugh , Ed Siggery and Steffan Marshall all had spells – short and long – at Church Bank.
There is also added interest in that the opposing club captains this coming Monday – Llandovery’s Jack Jones and Quins’s Lee Taylor – were fellow pupils at Llandovery College where they both played in the annual Llandovery College – Christ College, Brecon game.
Welsh betting site Dragonbet are sure to set the match handicap in the twenties, even thirties and that will only drive the Quins to cause the upset of the Premiership season so far.
All Carmarthenshire roads will lead to Church Bank on Monday to see the outcome of the Tywi Valley derby but will there be a surprise?
Third placed Llandovery against a side just one off the bottom looks a foregone conclusion but the Quins will be all out to defy the odds and record a famous victory.