What the Papers Say - Huw S Thomas reports
Copyright Huw S Thomas, and used by kind permission of Huw S Thomas
Llandovery 26 Cardiff 24
The Drovers won their second game of the post Christmas Premiership programme after a thrilling fight back which saw them recover from a 19-9 half time deficit writes Huw S Thomas
Llandovery’s last two scheduled games –home to RGC and away to Bargoed - had been postponed because of waterlogged pitches and this result made it two wins out of two since the victory at Aberavon in December.
The Drovers 35 year old veteran lock Bryn Griffiths celebrated his 150th game for the club by playing a leading role in the 26-24 win
“I arrived at Church Bank some six years ago after playing pro rugby for clubs in Wales, England and France and thought I ‘d have a year or two left of my career.”
“But it has been wonderful to play for such a happy club which rekindled my enthusiasm for the game and I enjoyed today’s tussle against Cardiff as much as any in my career”
“The forwards put in a rousing second half display against a very big Cardiff pack and this sets us up for two difficult away games.”
“We face Cross Keys first in the league and then in the Cup and they will test us to the full”
The Drovers had to play into a strong wind in the first half and conceded three tries – two to good Cardiff attacks and one through trying to play silly clever football deep inside their 22
Cardiff built up a 19-9 half time lead with e tries from bustling centres Will Rees-Hole and Adam Jones plus full back Dan Fish with fly half Gareth Thompson adding two conversions.
All the Drovers had to show for parity of both possession and territory were three penalties from fly half Jack Maynard who also hit the upright with another attempt.
The Blue and Blacks crucially copped two yellow cards in quick succession just before the break - prop Fraser Young and No 8 Rory Pitman the offenders for killing the ball – and the Drovers took swift and decisive advantage.
Intense forward pressure on the Cardiff line ended with effervescent skipper and No 8 Richard Brooks crashing through for a converted try and things got even better for the Drovers when alert wing Lee Williams swept in wide out for another converted try.
When a Maynard penalty made it 26-19 with his side seemingly in control, the Drovers went looking for more tries with Maynard, scrum half Lee Rees and wing Aaron Warren all threatening in turn.
But Cardiff got a second wind as the game drew to its conclusion and their big forwards made space for Rees-Hole got his second try only for Thompson to miscue the conversion attempt.