What the Papers Say - Huw S Thomas reports
Copyright Huw S Thomas, and used by kind permission of Huw S Thomas
In their last friendly before taking on Cross Keys in the Premiership on September 5, Llandovery beat English National One visitors Cinderford in an entertaining encounter on a well manicured Church Bank pitch.
They scored seven tries - three from very deep thanks to some brilliant running and passing – and posted notice that with good ball their backs will be a match for anyone in the Premiership.
The pack, which included Welsh international and former Scarlets skipper Rob McCusker in the back row, produced an encouraging ball-winning display at scrum, loose and lineout, with the only black mark a certain slowness of alignment in defence.
The backs looked quick, sharp and inventive from nine and scrum half Lee Rees right through to 15 and full back Will Thomas. Rees and new signing Thomas looked the class runners they are and the arrival of former Blues professional Thomas will be a huge boost to the attacking ambitions of the side.
Centres Matthew Jacobs and Rhodri Jones made good breaks, Aaron Warren was a constant threat on the wing and fly half Jack Maynard made quite an impression with his slick distribution and accurate goal kicking.
It will be a very busy year for the Drovers with their involvement on three fronts - in the Premiership, Swalec Cup and the new Premier Challenge Cup – but on the evidence of the game with the English side, there will be optimism of making a mark in at least one of the competitions.
The new coaching triumvirate of Euros Evans, Simon Davies and Gareth Potter have targeted discipline as one of their top objectives and will have been encouraged to see all their players stay on the pitch in a very competitive game.
It was 21-0 at the break after approach work from Jacobs and Jones had made converted tries from Thomas (2) and Rees. Further tries from the loping Warren, ever present flanker Shaun Miles and a penalty try put the Drovers 38-7 clear after on loan Bristol centre Lucas Slowik had gone over for Cinderford.
Tries from lock Will Scholes and outstanding flanker George Mills brought some encouragement for the visitors either side of a brilliant counter attack from the Drovers that worked in prop Scott Jenkins.