What the Papers Say - Huw S Thomas reports
Copyright Huw S Thomas, and used by kind permission of Huw S Thomas
The Drovers won their sixth league game out of nine when having much the better of exchanges against former champions Neath. The Friday night win took them temporarily up to second place before the various Saturday Premiership results saw them slip back to fourth.
They put their recent disappointing form behind them in running in three tries in the first half and with a bit more steadiness and calmness would have sealed the bonus point win.
Llandovery coach Euros Evans was happy with the result but lamented a disappointing second half when there were chances galore to clinch a fourth try. “A bit more composure and better choices would have got us home but it’s an important win after two recent set backs and we move on to a local derby with Llanelli this Saturday in good spirits.”
It was the All Blacks who had a perfect start when Wales wing Dafydd Howells latched on to an inside pass from fly half Iwan Evans to cross near enough to the posts for Evans to convert. Evans then kicked a penalty before the Drovers finally shook off their sluggish start.
With prop Wyn Jones outstanding in tight and loose and scrum half Lee Rees his usual dodging, darting self, Llandovery closed the gap. No 8 Richard Brooks drove over from a close range line out and fly half Jack Maynard converted from wide out only for Evans to put over a mid range effort.
A run and back of the hand pass from full back Will Thomas and burst from centre Mike Evans led to a spectacular Llandovery try, scored and converted by Maynard. Neath centre Dean Howell was yellow carded for obstruction and it led to a third home try when centre Rhodri Jones took a great long and flat pass from Rees, Maynard converting.
Llandovery survived a yellow card themselves after flanker Shaun Miles had been pinged in the tackle area and went into the break 24-12 up.
The Drovers searched for the fourth try but despite the efforts of flanker Phil Day – playing his last game until February when he returns from world globetrotting - poor decision making and lack of patience checked their momentum. Maynard kicked a penalty but the bonus point just would not come in the face of determined tackling and the All Blacks got a very late losing bonus point with a try from replacement scrum half Reuben Morgan-Williams.