What the Papers Say - Huw S Thomas reports:
Llandovery stayed top of the Principality Premiership after a win that was in no way flattering over their nearest pursuers Aberavon. After holiday wins over Neath 16-8 and Pontypridd 18-7 the Wizards were clear favourites to continue their good form but they were put to the sword by an ever increasingly confident Drovers outfit.
Scrum, lineout and loose belonged to the Drovers, who to a man were well organised, more dynamic and perceptive in all they did.
They also profited from significant individual performances from players who are playing to the top of their form. Up front hooker Emyr Phillips, lock Shaun Jones and No 8 Luke Kendall shone like beacons in their commitment and poise, half backs Rob Walters and James Garland were impeccable in attack and defence, whilst the all round excellence of full back Lee Rees reminded the Scarlets of his outstanding ability.
“The home win confirms that we are focussed and determined to make a real challenge for honours this year,” said club chairman Handel Davies. “The perception that a small rural community club with the lowest budget in the division could not hold its own against clubs of long standing has been hopefully dispelled by a vibrant display from forwards and backs alike”.
“We know that we cannot compete financially with the big clubs but the coaching team of Lyndon Lewis and Euros Evans are astute rugby men, have brought very promising players into the club and have instilled huge belief into the side. We do not know where we will end the season but everyone is enjoying their rugby and is that not the best of things?” asked Davies.
As well as Llandovery played, poor discipline also let Aberavon down with three yellow cards handed out by referee Leighton Hodges for dangerous tackles. Lock Gavin Ronan in the first half and fly half Jamie Davies and hooker Darryl Harvey after the break all offended in a ragged uncharacteristic Aberavon display. Harvey was particularly lucky not to be red carded after a short arm tackle on wing Andy Fenby which ended with the Scarlets wing stretchered off the field.
The star of the first half was former Aberavon back James Garland who tormented his old teammates with the most precise of tactical kicking and also created a try for centre Matthew Jacobs. His long cut out pass released Paul Davies who made ground before putting his co-centre Matthew Jacobs running in. Garland added the points, kicked two penalties and a snap drop goal to help Llandovery into a 16-0 interval lead.
Aberavon at last got on the scoreboard with a close range try from much travelled flanker Nathan Strong, converted by Davies, but the Drovers soon pulled away with two tries and five points from the boot of Garland. The first was a remarkable solo effort from the 21 year old Kendall who picked up at half way and held off challenge after challenge from the covering Wizard backs to crash over for one of the best tries ever seen at Church Bank. Wing Sam Soul grabbed the other and the only home disappointment was the failure to get a fourth and bonus point try despite 10 minutes of injury time.
Principality Man of the Match: Luke Kendall (Llandovery)