LLANDOVERY COLLEGE 5 MILLFIELD SCHOOL 35
Words and pic by Huw S Thomas
Millfield outplayed the College in wet and heavy conditions to rack up one of their best ever wins on Tredegar Close.
The fixture between two of Britain’s top rugby playing schools was initiated by the late, great Carwyn James back in the 1960s when he was in charge of College rugby and many a famous international – English, Welsh, Scottish and Irish- have graced the annual encounter.
Millfield can boast, Chris Robshaw, Adam Hastings, Rhys Ruddock and Henry Thomas as old boys, Llandovery provided Wales with Aled Williams,, George North and Alun-Wyn Jones and England with Tycroes’s own Harry Randall
Both coaches and former Bath forwards – John Mallet (Millfield) and Nathan Thomas (Llandovery) – were pupils at their respective schools before being capped at senior level and their expertise and experience of top class rugby have been instrumental in producing fine sides year after year.
Saturday’s game was a triumph for the Millfield forwards who adapted better to the muddy field, supported each other closely and tackled like demons in the loose to sniff out any Llandovery momentum.
Not that the Lilywhites played badly in the difficult conditions.
They were without fly half Carwyn Leggatt-Jones and lock Will Evans – away training with Wales U18s – but Millfield’s speed off the line from 1 to 15 was crucial in spoiling home possession and they took their chances well in running in five tries to Llandovery’s one.
No 8 Sam Gardener and both centres Gryff Watkin and Owen Francis all had their moments for Llandovery but superior Millfield organisation and execution gave the men from Somerset a decisive edge
First half tries from wing George Bullen, fly half Owen Rasmus and tough as teak hooker Henry Bonetti, all converted by centre Simon Emmanuel gave the visitors a 21-0 half time lead.
No 8 Will Howells added another after a bullocking run from prop Charlie Brock before lock Alex Dearing ended the Millfield scoring with a fifth try.
The Lilywhites showed their best form in the last 10 minutes, with the pack driving hard at ruck and maul and earned consolation in the last movement of the game when replacement hooker Owen Griffith crashed over.
*** The good news from Saturday was that Llandovery College will face old rivals Christ College on Saturday February 3 at Brecon (KO 12 noon) in a fixture that started as far back as 1879
The fixture was discontinued 2014-2021 but was back on the calendar last season with Llandovery sealing a dramatic late 25-19 win