What the Papers Say - Tom Hughes reports:
Llandovery upset all the odds on Saturday when they beat Doncaster in a rousing British and Irish Cup game at Castle Park. Few gave Llandovery a chance of reversing last week’s 16-13 home defeat at the hands of the Knights but they came through with a last minute try from their hard hitting, hard running centre Jack Roberts. The Drovers also gained a valuable bonus point for scoring four tries and they remain at the top of Pool 8 after three wins in four games.
Coach Lyndon Lewis summed up the mood in the Llandovery camp. “We are delighted to keep our British and Irish Cup hopes alive. We knew that we had to win and get a bonus point if possible so Jack’s last gasp effort was hugely important. After last week’s disappointing form, the players knew that this was make or break and they delivered in style against a Doncaster side that was even stronger than the one fielded at Church Bank.”
“We host Melrose and travel to Nottingham in the New Year and remain one of the few Welsh sides with a chance of making the knockout stages. There is everything to play for,” smiled Lewis.
The Drovers had made the long five and a half hour journey to Doncaster on Friday night and that decision paid off as the side looked sharp and focused from the very start.
Despite the big Doncaster pack, the Drovers got more ball than in the game at Church Bank. The scrum, with Dorian Williams a power, was rock solid and the line out functioned well.
Home tries from scrum half Chris Hallam (2) and a penalty try had bettered tries from centre Adam Warren and hooker Luke Lewis to make it 22-18 to the Yorkshiremen at the break.
After home wing Tyson Lewis was yellow carded, the Drovers took quick advantage, with flanker and skipper Lloyd Phillips grabbing a converted try to put his side in the lead 25-22. But when Llandovery prop Peter Edwards was also sin binned in the 66th minute, Doncaster’s Welsh hooker Rhys Buckley crashed over for a converted try and a 29-25 lead.
The Drovers stayed calm and on Edwards’s return pressed hard. With 82 minutes gone on the clock lock Shaun Jones broke away from his own 22 and after ten phases of play, which included a strong carry by prop Wyn Jones, the ball reached Roberts. The former Llandovery College centre slipped his marker and tore through for the crucial bonus point try and with under a minute left there was no way back for Doncaster.