Huw S Thomas reports:
Despite being short of a large number of top players, the Drovers enjoyed a fine win over Pontypridd and gave Aberavon a good test in two Principality Premiership games last week.
They move up to 49 league points for the season with four games to play and bar a huge drop in form now look certain to end up in a top eight play-off position.
On Tuesday evening they put in a storming second-half display at Church Bank to pull right away from Pontypridd, the final score of 33-17 flattering to the stunned visitors.
The demands of playing three very hard games in just six days against quality opposition took its toll on Friday night when the heavy Aberavon pack outmuscled the Llandovery eight in driving wind and rain.
The side had expended a great deal of energy to hold Newport to 37-27 on the Saturday and to beat Pontypridd on Tuesday but Aberavon was a game too far for players with full time jobs and commitments.
Many Drovers fans considered the win over Pontypridd the best display of the season alongside the pre-Christmas wins over Aberavon at home and Pontypool away.
A first-half try from hard-working forward Matthew Harbut and a sizzling second-half effort from wing Matthew Jacobs plus 23 points from the mighty boot of fly-half Cerith Rees clinched the best ever league win over Pontypridd. Rees kicked his way to 221 league points for the season with a conversion and seven penalties and is proving to be one of coach Rob Appleyard’s very best signings. Fans will be delighted to know that he has already re-signed for next season.
On Friday night the Wizards were intent on revenging their 52-34 loss at Church Bank back on October 17 and raced to a 23-0 lead thanks to the dominance of their pack and a better kicking game in the awful conditions. Three first-half tries from flanker Rory Gallagher, prop Neil White and scrum-half David Pritchard and an early second-half effort from wing Richard Thomas put the game beyond Llandovery’s reach.
Only Neath had won at the Talbot Athletic Ground this season and a it was to Llandovery’s credit that they had much the better of the second-half, their one try a poor reward for their commendable insistence on keeping the ball moving in the wet conditions.
On loan emergency players in hooker Kevin Allen, wings Lee Glanville and Johan Taffetsauffer gave it their all as replacements and it was a fine team effort, given more injuries to full-back Howard Thomas and scrum-half Rob Walters which saw the Drovers end the game with just 14 fit men.
Taffetsauffer got a try near the end and the 5-5 second-half scoreline was testimony to the side’s bravery and determination to hang in under pressure.
The squad takes a much needed rest this week before returning to league action on April 3 when Bedwas will be the visitors in the last home game of the season.