What the Papers Say – Tom Hughes reports:
The Drovers warmed up for their rearranged Premiership game with Neath this Saturday (Jan 18) by predictably beating Ammanford with little trouble.
The Division One West side were outscored eight tries to one but played with plenty of gusto against a side that has benefited from the presence of a number of Amman Valley born and Ammanford players in recent years. Mike Evans, Shaun Miles, Jake Randall, Craig Woodall and Bryn Griffiths have made and continue to make significant contributions to the Llandovery cause and, although the first two were absent last Saturday, vastly experienced lock Griffiths led the side against his home town team.
Griffiths has been an outstanding addition to the Drovers pack since joining following a period of time when he played professionally in France. He has added steel and strength and has helped to raise aspirations for the squad as a whole.
In the Ammanford ranks were a number of players who have been training with the Drovers on a weekly basis. Centre Rhodri Jones and scrum half Gareth Rees have played in the Premiership this season whilst props Dexter Thomas and Lewis Jonathan, lock Jake Baker, wing Matthew Davies and Gary Stephens could well appear in a Llandovery shirt in the near future.
First half tries from wing Lee Evans, centres Randall and Woodall plus wing Sam Soul gave the Drovers a 26-7 interval lead, Evans having put over three out of four conversions.
An Ammanford collective try converted by Rhydian Morris got the home side on the scoreboard but it was Llandovery who scored all the second half points. With Brynamman flanker Andrew Green impressing in front of coaches Lyndon Lewis and Euros Evans, the Drovers forwards took control. Randall, Soul, No 8 Richard Brooks and hooker Luke Lewis all crossed, with Evans adding two more conversions for a 15 point haul.
Llandovery will go into second place in the Premiership and leapfrog Carmarthen Quins if they can come away from the Gnoll with a win against 10th placed Neath. The All Blacks are much improved since the return of coach Patrick Horgan and will offer stern resistance in their determination to get away from the relegation zone. They thumped Championship side Blackwood 55-0 in a friendly on Saturday and will test the Drovers to the full.