Much to the frustration of their large band of travelling supporters, Llandovery are developing a worrying trait of inconsistency in their style of play from week to week which was at its worst in this clash on a cold Sunday in the Cardiff suburbs. Fresh from last week’s demolition of Dunvant the Drovers should have been able to consolidate their position in the top half of the table. Rumney with only three previous victories to their name were equal in the table on nine points with Dunvant, but what a difference a week makes.
This was in many eyes the worst performance of the season and if Rumney had shown any composure in taking the many chances they created the score could well have been over fifty. This would have, in all fairness, reflected the domination of the game shown by the home side as they crushed the Drovers by a try count of 5 to 1.
From the kick off the play went against the visitors. Prop Dorian Williams gathered the ball but support was slow arriving and a turn over resulted. Rumney took play down into the Llandovery territory where they remained for much of the half. A third minute penalty kick established a 3-0 lead and soon after another penalty gave the Cardiff side a line out 5 metres from the goal line, which they won, set up the drive and flanker Gavin Lucas crashed over amidst a pile of forwards to secure the first try. The conversion failed. A Stuart Harries penalty on a rare excursion into the Rumney half gave some hope for a revival.
Continuing to dominate possession the home side kept up the pressure on the Llandovery line and it was only resolute tackling that kept the score down. Starved of any meaningful ball from the loose and with their line out possession wiped out it was to their credit that the Drovers kept the score to 8-3 as half time approached. With the teams playing in injury time the pressure finally told and Rumney centre David Willey was able to cross for their second unconverted try. This brought the half time score to 13-3.
At this stage with the home side having had so much possession and territory but only leading by ten points the Drovers must have felt that they could still turn the game around. Unfortunately this was not to be and the second half was very much a repeat of the first. Llandovery did manage to open their try count and give themselves some hope when outside half Neil Clapham made a superb break through midfield, beat three defenders for pace and scored under the posts. Stuart Harries missed the conversion and also missed a penalty from virtually the same place confirming that this was not to be Llandovery’s day.
With Rumney gradually introducing all seven of their replacements throughout the second half the Drovers were still not able to make any impression. Three more tries followed; the first a penalty try, following a deliberate knock-on, an interception try from wing Ian McIntyre and a fifth and final try from prop Neil Hennessy. Matthew Silva converted two of them. The final score of 32-8 was just reward for the Cardiff side who on the day were much the superior team, their forwards particularly showing great determination and commitment in completely outplaying the Drovers eight.
This poor display left coach Iestyn Thomas and coaching organiser Geraint Williams looking very glum as they contemplated the work they will need to put in this week in preparation for next Saturday’s home fixture with Cross Keys. They will need to win at Church Bank to keep in touch with the top half of the table.