John Kendrick reports:
The Drovers were a pale shadow of the side that had put up such an excellent performance at Caerphilly the previous week. With Premiership status for next season assured there was an air of lethargy about the home side as they took on high flyers Newport.
The writing was on the wall within five minutes, by which time outside half Daniel Griffiths had chalked up 6 points for the visitors with two penalties.
Newport went on to build up a 30 points to 3 lead by half time with three first half tries. The first went to wing Gareth Chapman, followed by flanker Paul Williams and rounded off as half time approached by centre Richard Payne. Daniel Griffiths converted all three tries and also added a third penalty. For the Drovers outside half Justin Lewis replied with a lone penalty goal.
Immediately following the break there was some stiffened resistance from the home side. Following good approach work by the forwards the ball was recycled and centre Emrys Evans punched deep into the Newport defence. Replacement full back Celfyn Davies was on his shoulder to take the ball at speed and cross for a try wide out. Although the conversion failed Ioan Davies soon added a penalty to the Drovers total as the score took on a more respectable look at 30-11.
After this all too brief interlude the second half became very much a repeat of the first. The positive aspect of the game for the home side’s point was the work of the forwards in the tight scrummage but the usually strong line out failed to function and they lost nearly 50% of their own throws. Unfortunately the ball they did secure was quickly surrendered through handling errors and turnovers and any chance of mounting cohesive attacks was lost.
On the hour Newport went further ahead with a try from Captain and lock Matthew Veater. This was followed by two further tries, the first from replacement prop Grant Hall and finally hooker Andrew Brown touched down for the sixth and final one.
The last try summed up the Drovers' day. A kick ahead was knocked on by a defender who kicked out at the ball in frustration only to see it land in the hands of hooker Brown who was able to run in under the posts from 25 metres. Once again Daniel Griffiths converted all three tries in a personal haul of 21 points to complete a miserable afternoon for Llandovery.
Hopefully the Drovers will regain control and show more appetite for the contest when they take on Carmarthen Quins in their next game – a rearranged fixture at Church Bank on Tuesday 26th April with a 7.15 kick off.