Pontypool 26 Llandovery 48

The Premiership leaders chalked up yet another win – their 19th in 20 outings – to reach a very impressive 90 league points with four games of the regular season remaining writes Huw S Thomas.

The end of season top spot and a home draw in the Premiership play offs now looks quasi assured for the very much in form Drovers.

Their eight tries here brought their try total to 96 Premiership tries, their slick backs showing the way and yet outdone in the seasonal try scoring stakes by hooker Taylor Davies

Davies’s duo of scores against Pooler took him to 15 league tries for the season and 16 in all if adding a try in the Cup game against Aberavon.

He is the Premiership’s leading try scorer, a remarkable feat for ex Scarlets hooker

Fresh from their brilliant 43-7 WRU Cup semi final win against Ebbw Vale, the defending Premiership champions started off in the same vein with a barrage of six first half tries that simply blew Pooler away.

The home side went into this game with aspirations of a top four play-off finish but they knew by half time, they were doomed to defeat.

The Drovers backs just had too much pace and craft for honest Pooler who were made to look pedestrian and helpless against the Llandovery all court game.

There was a hat trick of tries for ex Wales U20 wing Kian Abraham, the first at the end of an exquisite grubber kick from Rhodri Jones and his speed and support awareness brought home two more.

Flanker Osian Davies’s delayed pass and then inter-passing with Abraham made the score of the night for the large band of travelling supporters.

In the middle of some great recycling and swift accurate passing, full back Jac Davies and the brothers Aaron and Adam Warren also crossed in the first half blitz and with fly half Ioan Hughes adding three conversions, it was 36-7 at the break.

Pooler’s only reply was a close range effort from hooker Sam Scarfe – converted by fly half Matthew Jarvis – at the end of a very rare home attack.

Pontypool were staring humiliation in the face but to their great credit, they managed to slow down the Drovers at the breakdown and also find some holes in a perhaps too relaxed defence.

Coach Euros Evans was honest enough in his comments.

“We will have to tighten up our defence as we go into the back end of the season” said Evans.

“Our ball control generally and in the contact area was off the pace after the break and the tackling was not up to our usual standards.”

“Great to win at Pontypool Park to keep the momentum but there’s a long way to go before talking about silverware – starting with Newport next week.”

“There is still a lot we can work on.”

Pooler got to 36-19 after two well taken tries by bundle of energy scrum half Matthew Lloyd and a Jarvis conversion

Then Llandovery showed that as good as their backs were, their pack could also show its prowess in tight and loose.

Replacement hooker Taylor Davies crashed over at the end of another expertly driven maul from a line out, replacement fly half Jack Maynard converting.

The Drovers were soon down to 14 men after a yellow card for replacement prop Berian Watkins and with uncontested scrums called, they had to take of an extra player – Stuart Worrall – to be reduced to 13 men.

They could not stop the threat of the elusive Lloyd who twice darted through for a very well taken hat trick of tries.

Pooler did at least salvage a four try bonus point and got to 43-26 with another Jarvis conversion.

A fine run from deep by No 8 Nathan Hart got good position for the champions and it gave Taylor Davies the chance to go over again from a driven line out and settle the issue.

A late yellow card for home full back Matt Bancroft was to have no import on the comfortable Llandovery win.

*** The Drovers take a rest this week before the visit to Newport on March 28 when they will face one enormous challenge from the second placed Black and Ambers.

Tries: M Lloyd (3), S Scarfe
Cons: M Jarvis (3)
Tries: K Abraham (3), T Davies (2), J Davies, Aaron Warren, Adam Warren
Cons: I Hughes (3), J Maynard

Pontypool: M Bancroft; M Jones, P Lewis, J Mahoney, M Powell; M Jarvis, M Lloyd; D Kelleher-Griffiths, S Scarfe, K Williams, L Johnson, A Sweet, M Herbert, S Matthews (capt), C Davies
Replacemnets: M Thomas, P Lloyd, O Drake, I Kelly, B Moa, O Leonard, T Davies, A Stratton
Llandovery:J Davies; K Abraham, Adam Warren, R Jones, Aaron Warren; I Hughes, L Rees; D Dallavalle, C Thomas, L Green, J Jones (capt), C Long, O Davies, N Hart, S Worrall
Replacements: J Hughes, T Davies, B Watkins, M Dallavalle, J Powell, H Doel, J Maynard, D Land