LOCAL DERBY IMPORTANT TO BOTH SIDES
The Llandovery – Quins local derby will have extra importance this Saturday as both sides are fighting it out with Aberavon to get into the Indigo Premiership Cup semi-finals writes Huw S Thomas
As things stand in the table, Aberavon and Llandovery are favourites for that play-off spot but a win for the Quins – who trail by eight and seven points respectively – would put the cat right amongst the pigeons.
A win for Llandovery on the other hand would virtually guarantee a top two spot and a semi-final against one of the top two in the East Conference.
The Drovers stunned the Quins on September 25 by racing to a 21-10 point win and a repeat performance in the return game will all but sink Carmarthen hopes of Cup progress.
Llandovery’s one defeat in six games came at home to Bridgend but that was balanced by an impressive bonus point away win over Aberavon at The Talbot Athletic Ground.
The Quins have lost to Aberavon as well as Llandovery and cannot afford another defeat, so will be desperate to turn things around at Church Bank in front of the expected big crowd.
Both coaches – Llandovery’s Euros Evans and Carmarthen’s Craig Evans – will be sure to field their best side in this crunch encounter.
Llandovery half backs Scott Maynard and Kristian Jones were in top form in the 45-17 win over Swansea but are likely to lose their places to the established combination of Lee Rees and James Garland who have had huge Premiership experience.
Llandovery’s Evans will also have a tough job in picking two out of three excellent wings in Aaron Warren, Ashley Evans and Callum Williams
Evans and young Williams were in terrific form against the All Whites but the lanky, wiry Warren has been Llandovery’s top try scorer in many a campaign over the last ten years and has a great nose for the line.
The Quins will find comfort from the result of the pre-season friendly at Church Bank when the back row – Ed Siggery and Richard Bloomfield to the fore – bossed the contact area on their way to a decisive 35-14.
Quins coaching consultant Josh Turnbull put it succinctly in the post match interview
“Win the contact area and you will win most games.”
And that is precisely what his charges will be trying to do in their attempt to upset the Drovers.
One key factor, of course, is the unpredictable allocation of Scarlets to both clubs, something that could tip the balance either way but all things being equal, the Drovers will be favourites to take the Tywi Valley honours this Saturday.
Current West Conference table