2012/2013 Principality Premiership
Neath 17 v 37 Llandovery
08 September 2012 - The Gnoll, Neath

Match Report

Neath 17 - 37 Llandovery

The Neath RFC website carries a report of the Drovers' victory over Neath on Saturday, here

What the Papers Say - Steffan Hughes reports:

The Drovers had never beaten Neath away from home but claimed an historic first win with a confident display at the Gnoll.

The clear cut four tries to one victory will send a message to other Premiership clubs that the Tywi Valley club will be up there fighting for honours on all fronts this season – in league, Welsh Cup and British and Irish Cup.

The delighted coaches - schoolmasters Lyndon Lewis and Euros Evans - saw tries from prop Owen Evans, centre Jack Roberts, scrum half Rhodri Williams and full back Lee Rees keep Llandovery clear at the top of the Premiership table. They are one point ahead of the defending champions Pontypridd and now have four successive home games to keep at the head of affairs.

“We followed up our promising win against Cardiff by taking a big scalp in Neath,” said Lewis. “We defended with gusto and took our chances clinically. We suspected that this squad of players was capable of breaking the Gnoll hoodoo. They believed in themselves and our performance confirms the strides that the club has made since losing by 80 points at the Gnoll some five years ago.”

“It’s a tough uncompromising league we’re in but we have greater strength in depth than last year and a lot of our younger players have improved by leaps and bounds. Wherever we finish this year, we will be enjoying our rugby.”

Neath took a 6-0 lead through two penalties from fly half Dai Langdon but once they found their rhythm the Drovers looked sharper in establishing a 13-6 interval lead.

The boot of fly half James Garland and the driving bulk of prop Owen Evans had got the Drovers on the road and when centre Jack Roberts booted through for a second Llandovery try after good work from centre Matthew Jacobs, the All Blacks had to dig deep.

They shrugged off the disappointment of losing concussed flanker Emyr Williams by clawing themselves back into contention. Two more Langdon penalties narrowed the gap to 20-12 and the home scrum got momentarily on top to test the Llandovery close-in defence.

The game swung right away from Neath however when outstanding Llandovery scrum half and Man of the Match Rhodri Williams scooped up a stray Neath pass to sprint in from all of 90 metres.

The Drovers finished their scoring with a real flourish with the best try of the day when the excellent Roberts made a slashing break to send effervescent full back Lee Rees scampering into the corner to bury any hopes of a home consolation point.

A try from former Carmarthen Quins wing Jason Howells four minutes from normal time was of no comfort to the shocked Gnoll crowd.

***Bridgend, Swansea, Newport and Llanelli are the visitors to Church Bank on the next four consecutive Saturdays.


Official : James Jones (Wales)

Team Sheets


Neath Llandovery