What the Papers Say - Huw S Thomas reports
Defending champions Pontypridd posted notice that they will be favourites to top the Principality Premiership table for the fourth consecutive time when they beat a good Llandovery side.
Last year Ponty finished 23 points clear of second placed Llandovery before outplaying Llanelli 47-15 in the Premiership play off final and on yesterday’s showing the Rhondda club will again be a power in the land.
The game at Sardis Road was the pick of the dozens of pre-season friendlies involving the 12 Premiership sides and drew a good crowd to see the battle between the first and second in the 2012 -2013 table.
Ponty's strength in depth is such that coach Dale McIntosh can put two sides out of virtually even punch and the players used against Llandovery will all lay claim to a starting place in the Premiership campaign to come.
Llandovery showed, too, that they have the ability to do very well in the season.
They started encouragingly with a penalty from new wing Lee Evans which was trumped by two from fly half Simon Humberstone but they were in no way overawed by the defending champions.
Centre Matthew Jacobs was nearly over wide out before Ponty stepped up a gear, but wing Matthew Nuthall was refused a try after flanker Tom Young had sent him in with a forward pass.
The Drovers defended hard, with new No 8 Richard Bloomfield shining, and were rewarded with a let off when Humberstone hit the post with a 35 metre penalty. Evans brought the scores level with a straight penalty to make it 6-6 at half time.
Ponty did most of the attacking but could not find a way through a tough tackling defence. The Drovers went ahead against the run of play with a third Evans penalty in the 64th minute before Ponty got the opening try of the game when skipper Chris Dicomidis crashed over wide out following a close range line out.
Humberstone added a penalty and in the final play a close range scrum brought a second home try when centre Dafydd Lockyer crossed and fly half Dion McIntosh added the conversion.