What the Papers Say - Tom Hughes reports:
High flying Llandovery suffered their first defeat of the season when they had to give second best to the defending Premiership champions and league leaders Pontypridd. After four successive wins - and three with a winning bonus point - the Drovers were brought down to earth at Sardis Road by a Ponty side, perennially hard and rugged up front, direct and powerful behind.
Llandovery slip down the league table into third place, just behind Aberavon whose 26-24 win over Newport was thanks to a late penalty from ex-Church Bank fly half James Garland.
Despite the boost of skipper Luke Lewis giving them a lead in the first quarter, Llandovery leaked five tries to the champions and only got their second try near the end when No 8 Richard Brooks got the consolation score. In between the Llandovery tries, Ponty scored five of their own – a hat trick for Owen Jenkins, son of former Wales hooker Garin Jenkins, one for lock Dan Godfrey and a penalty try in the face of an irresistible surge by the home pack.
Llandovery Chairman Handel Davies commented: “We were so good and fluent in the 50-0 thumping of Ebbw Vale but could not replicate that marvellous performance against Ponty. They stopped us getting over the gain line and their defensive organisation was top class which meant that our free scoring backs could not carve out their usual openings.”
“Their tackling was far superior to anything we have experienced this season and we could never get behind their defence. It’s extraordinarily difficult to get a result at Sardis Road.”
Nor were the Drovers helped by seeing lock Phil Day get a yellow card at the end of the first half and when the lock was off, Ponty charged in with a couple of tries to pull well clear early in the second half.
To their credit, the Drovers stopped Ponty scoring for all the last 30 minutes of the game and when home flanker Jake Thomas was yellow carded, Brooks grabbed his third try of the season. But the reality was that Ponty rarely looked in danger of losing their long standing unbeaten record and once again confirmed their position as odds on favourites to top the Premiership table at the end of the season.