What the Papers Say - Huw S Thomas reports:
The Church Bank crowd expected to see the Drovers sweep to the top of the Premiership but their favourites ended up well beaten by a hugely brave and competitive Pooler.
Whether through over-confidence or strange lethargy, Llandovery never got on top of a Pooler side that produced an outstanding defensive performance in the first half and a lesson in taking chances after the break.
Forwards coach Euros Evans was very disappointed at the Llandovery performance. “We lost the contact area where Pooler had some outstanding individual performers but we were strangely very listless all over the park and will need to get our act together against Carmarthen Quins on Boxing Day. We infringed far too often in the loose and we will need to tighten up on our discipline.”
Despite an early penalty from fly-half Tom Hancock, Pooler were on the back foot for a good 25 minutes but kept Llandovery out with some fine tackling and covering. The Drovers came agonisingly close to a try on three occasions and refused a kick in front of goal in search of five points but when flanker Shaun Miles was yellow carded, they went further behind. A driving scrum earned Pooler a penalty try and conversion and all Llandovery had to show for their lion’s share of possession was a penalty from skipper Cerith Rees which took him over 100 points for the season.
Rees made it 10-6 just after the break as hope swept through the ground that the Drovers had regained the initiative. But Pooler were winning the contact area where lock Luke Dyckhoff plus flankers Geraint Morris and Craig Atwell were consistently outstanding.
Hancock kicked a penalty and then a series of powerful surges from the pack brought another try. It was hard working prop Nicky Blake who crashed over in a pile of bodies near enough to the posts for Hancock to convert and establish a 17-6 lead.
Llandovery rang the changes but could not get a way through the Pooler tackling. No 8 Luke Kendall put in a few runs from the base of the scrum but lacked support and it was no more than the visitors deserved when Hancock put over his third penalty two minutes from normal time.
The Drovers got near to a try but were again knocked back by ferocious Pooler defence to go down to their fifth and most disappointing defeat of the season.
Principality Man of the Match: Craig Atwell (Pontypool)