What the Papers Say - Huw S Thomas reports
Copyright Huw S Thomas, and used by kind permission of Huw S Thomas
Llandovery’s good early season form continued to tail off at Rodney Parade where a more cohesive Newport ran out deserved winners. The outstanding win over Ebbw Vale has been followed by a narrow win over Bedwas and defeats at Aberavon and Newport and it now sees the Drovers slide to fifth in the table.
Llandovery were second best to the much improved Black and Ambers in key set piece areas of lineout and scrum and made far too many unforced errors, and in the end could only muster a losing bonus point through a last gasp penalty from replacement Steffan Marshall.
The line out did not function effectively, with inaccurate 'tapped ball' causing possession to be lost in prime positions, as opposed to a Newport line out that functioned like clockwork.
It was Llandovery’s weakest performance of the season whilst trying different combinations up front and behind. The midfield as a unit failed to impose themselves in attack and defence, although new centre Jacob Cowley on occasions showed touches of class reminiscent of All Black dad Regan King.
The try by scrum half Rhodri Davies was a magnificent effort with the Crymych product slipping six tacklers on his way to the line. But collectively a combination of individual errors in attack and a lack of fluency up front and behind were too much to overcome against a Newport side that did the basics better and played with greater gusto.
Wing Will Thomas got an early try and Davies a solo try for Llandovery to lead 16-14 at the break, Newport scoring tries from No 8 Sam Cross and wing Wes Cunliffe. Accuracy and precision remained elusive and it was no surprise when Newport prop John Lavender powered through some poor tackling.
Maynard dropped a goal but a patient build up ended with replacement prop James Greenfield crashing over for the bonus point home try before Marshall’s consolation strike.