Fly half Steve Shingler was the star of the show as Llanelli emerged victorious in the West Wales derby at Parc Y Scarlets.
The visitors enjoyed the best possible start when good vision by Rhodri Wells sent number eight Rory Pitman over for a try in the corner. Matthew Morgan’s conversion attempt hit the post. Llanelli were on the scoreboard two minutes later courtesy of a Steve Shingler penalty after Pitman held onto possession in the tackle.
Nick Reynolds came close to a try after picking up a loose ball but Eli Walker tracked back to defend. The home side took the lead with a Steve Shingler penalty goal after Swansea crept offside in midfield.
Duane Eager set up a dangerous Llanelli attack by racing up to the twenty-two. Reynolds was in support but the move broke down. A superb break by Matthew Morgan caused panic in the home defence and the fly half sent a scoring pass out wide to winger Tom Prydie. Morgan converted.
A powerful run by Sam Lewis set up an attack and Wells’s box-kick forced full back Dan Evans to ground the ball behind the home try line. From the resulting scrum five prop Aled Hopkins was shown the yellow card for a persistent infringement.
Matthew Morgan extended the visitors’ lead with a penalty after the home side were penalised for speaking out of turn. A well worked move upfield by the Llanelli pack saw Steve Shingler step inside to score a try under the posts which he also converted.
Failure to retreat 10 metres allowed Steve Shingler to kick his side into a one point lead. Llanelli counter attacked after a Swansea move broke down, and although Walker tracked back to defend, he was penalised for crossing so Shingler kicked another penalty goal.
A promising attack orchestrated by former All White Johnny Lewis forced Tom Morgan to kill the ball, earning him a yellow card. Steve Shingler made the visitors pay with another penalty goal. Two minutes later the home side struck again when Gilbert and Eager linked up on the blind side to create a score for Gilbert. Steve Shingler failed to convert. Buoyed by their second try Llanelli continued to up the pressure on the Whites’ line and it soon told when Aled Hopkins stretched over to score on the stroke of half time. Steve Shingler converted.
Half-time:- Llanelli 34 Swansea 15
The Parc Y Scarlets side continued their dominance of the match after the interval when a powerful scrum forced the Whites’ front row to stand up. Steve Shingler added the three points. A break down the wing by Lewis set up an attack for the visitors but David Watts was unable to control his chip forward and the move broke down.
Scott Williams threatened in the corner but held onto possession in the tackle. Replacement Hanno Dirksen then took a quick tap penalty and raced up to the twenty-two before the supporting Tom Isaacs was tackled and Llanelli were able to secure a turnover. Holding on the floor by Isaacs gifted Shingler another three points, taking his side into a commanding 40-15 lead.
Dirksen began the Swansea fight back by barging his way past three tacklers to score in the corner. However Matthew Morgan’s conversion attempt was charged down. While the Whites never threatened to win the match, replacement Nicky Thomas did grab a late bonus point try. James Dixon converted.
Next up for Llanelli is a trip to Tonmawr while Swansea host lowly Carmarthen.
Full time:- Llanelli 40 Swansea 27
Referee:- Sean Brickell
Tries:- S Shingler (22), Gilbert (36), A Hopkins (40+2)
Cons:- S Shingler (23, 40+3)
Pens:- S Shingler (4, 7, 24, 27, 34, 45, 61)
Tries:- Pitman (2), Prydie (12), Dirksen (63), Thomas (72)
Cons:- M Morgan (13), Dixon (73)
Pens:- M Morgan (20)
Man of the match:- Steve Shingler
Llanelli team:- 15 D Evans 14 J Lewis (rep: J James 80+2) 13 N Reynolds 12 S Williams (rep: A Davies 80+7) 11 C Keenan 10 S Shingler 9 G Davies 1 S Hopkins 2 R Lawrence (rep: C Hawkins 76) 3 A Hopkins (rep: A Beaujean 69) 4 Adam Powell 5 A Shingler 6 D Eager (rep: Allan Powell 76) 7 N Cudd (rep: N White 55) 8 M Gilbert
Swansea team:- 15 J Dixon 14 T Prydie (rep: L Bevan 69) 13 T Isaacs 12 D Watts (rep: H Dirksen 55) 11 E Walker 10 M Morgan (rep: N Thomas 67) 9 R Wells 1 R Jones 2 S Baldwin (rep: P John 55) 3 A Clatworthy (rep: W Taylor 55) 4 S Kiley 5 R Kelly (rep: J Goode 55) 6 T Morgan 7 S Lewis 8 R Pitman (rep: M Allen 67)
By Paul Hopkins