What the Papers Say - Huw S Thomas reports
Copyright Huw S Thomas, and used by kind permission of Huw S Thomas
Llandovery convincingly won the local derby with Llanelli at Church Bank to continue their fine start in the Premiership. They conceded a second minute try to Scarlets wing Jordan Williams but came through powerfully to register a bonus point win with eventual ease.
The team line ups had a strange almost internecine air about them. Llanelli had four former Drovers - Richard Williams, Paul Davies, Josh Guy and Taylor Davies - and three Llandovery College old boys – Rhys Fawcett, Jack Jones and Matthew Owen - in their ranks, whilst the Drovers had ten former Coleg Sir Gar, Llanelli boys in their squad, including skipper Luke Lewis. To complicate things, Llanelli included nine former Sir Gar pupils, testament to the outstanding coaching of Sir Gar Director of Rugby Euros Evans who also happens to be the Llandovery coach.
The Drovers were caught napping early on when they shipped in a soft try to wing Jordan Williams, converted by fly half Steve Shingler and took some time to regain their composure. When they did – albeit slowly - they had too much pace and cohesion for their local rivals who were heavily penalised at the break down by referee Simon Rees.
The Llandovery backs were again in vibrant form but coach Evans was full of praise for the Llandovery front five and particularly for CSGOB prop Bradley Davies – a ninth minute replacement for injured Jamie Kaijaks. “Bradley was outstanding in the way he came on and made a big impression. We dominated the scrums and he also won turnovers in the loose to underline his considerable potential,” said Evans.
Llanelli’s Dai Flanagan was bitterly disappointed with his side’s ill discipline. “We conceded over twenty penalties and with that much surrender of possession we were always staring defeat in the face. We need to look carefully into what we are doing wrong or we will be under the cosh in more than one game.”
Against a stiff breeze, Llandovery found it difficult early on but eventually got on the scoreboard after 20 minutes with a penalty from fly half Jack Maynard before lanky wing Aaron Warren exploited an unguarded blind side to race over unopposed to make it 8-8 at the break.
Straight from the restart, a sweeping move from the home backs ended with centre Rhodri Jones crossing, Maynard converting. With the wind in their sails, a bubbling Llandovery pressed and full back Will Thomas accelerated away for another converted try.
Llanelli defended stoutly enough and even threatened the home line on occasions but eventually fell to the bonus point try, made by top form scrum half Lee Rees, scored by No 8 Richard Brooks and converted by Maynard.
Man of the Match: Bradley Davies (Llandovery)