By: Paul Hopkins
The All Whites’ first competitive match in 18 months ended in a 20th successive defeat to Llandovery at Church Bank.
A superb tap back by winger Josh Carrington from the kick off gave the visitors an attacking platform inside the opening minutes, but an excellent tackle by full back Will Thomas prevented winger Harri Houston from scoring in the corner.
The first points came when Thomas burst through the middle, forcing the Swansea defence offside in midfield, with fly half Angus O’Brien kicking his side into the lead.
Prop Tom Sloane and lock Morgan Jones were warned by referee Elgan Williams for an off the ball fight and play restarted with an attacking Whites scrum on the twenty-two. A transgression at the set piece brought an end to the move though.
The home pack drove their counterparts backwards at a scrum and were awarded a penalty, which O’Brien chipped up to the twenty-two. Number eight Osain Davies rose at the back of the lineout, but his three quarters were knocked backwards by a determined Swansea defence.
Centre Kristian Jones took a crash ball from a scrum as the Drovers mounted their first notable attack and a stretched Swansea defence was unable to prevent flanker Stuart Worrall from spotting a gap to crash over for a well worked try. O’Brien missed the conversion.
Number eight Charlie Davies made good yards from the restart, but a long 50-22 kick by O’Brien gave the home side an attacking lineout. With a sudden downpour of rain making conditions difficult, the All Whites gave away a penalty, but a quick crossfield kick by O’Brien evaded the chasing winger Aaron Warren over the dead ball line.
Winger Ashley Evans snatched a high ball out of his opponent’s grasp, with the visitors forced to give away another penalty. This time O’Brien kicked the three pointer.
A darting run by Houston set up a Whites attack, but full back Liam Popham held on after the tackle. O’Brien found touch on the Swansea twenty-two, but lock Matt Dodd stole a loose ball away from Warren.
In the slippery conditions scrum half Liam Seaward spilled a ball near his own line, gifting the Drovers a scrum five. Following a second infringement at the set piece, referee Williams had no option but to award the home side a penalty try.
A good chase by Carrington prevented Ashley Evans from releasing the ball and his forwards were penalised. Popham chipped to the corner and Dodd took the lineout before hooker Owen Thomas crashed over for a try. Popham’s conversion attempt hit the post.
Houston failed to deal with a high ball and from the resulting melee, the All Whites were guilty of accidental offside. O’Brien successfully kicked his side 16 points clear at half time.
Half-time:- Llandovery 21-5 Swansea
Ashley Evans caught his own side’s restart on the twenty-two, but a handling error brought an end to the move and Swansea were able to regather and clear through centre Hanno Dirksen.
A high tackle on Worrall gave the Drovers a penalty, which O’Brien booted up to the twenty-two. The move was short lived though as the home pack spilled possession forward.
Charlie Davies dropped a regulation pass on his own twenty-two, which put his side back under pressure. A chip through by O’Brien was far too long, allowing Seaward to comfortably ground the ball dead.
In a match littered with mistakes it was Thomas’ turn to fumble a routine pass, which gifted the All Whites a scrum on the attacking twenty-two. The Swansea scrum was placed under immense pressure though and they lost the ball forward.
Hooker Owen Thomas took a pass in midfield and he raced through the middle up to halfway. A poor chip through by Popham was easily marked, but play was brought back for a Swansea penalty. The full back kicked to the corner but the visitors spilled possession forward.
The pacey Thomas made a break from his own twenty-two, but Warren overran his pass, although a penalty was awarded to the Drovers with O’Brien finding touch on the Whites’ twenty-two. Nothing came of the attack though as a mistake in midfield allowed Swansea to clear.
Lock Huw Sutton took a lineout on the twenty-two as Swansea looked to mount a comeback, but another handling error brought a premature end to the move.
In the closing moments Davies made a break and was supported by replacement prop Dino Dallavalle, but substitute fly half Curtis Davies dived onto a loose pass to reclaim possession for visitors.
Full-time:- Llandovery 21-5 Swansea
Tries:- Stuart Worrall (15), Penalty Try (34)
Pens:- Angus O’Brien (5, 27, 40)
Tries:- Owen Thomas (37)
Venue:- Church Bank, Llandovery
Referee:- Elgan Williams
Weather:- Rain showers, 18C
Man of the match:- Stuart Worrall
15 Will Thomas
14 Ashley Evans
13 Rhodri Wall (rep: Craig Woodall 57)
12 Kristian Jones
11 Aaron Warren (rep: James Garland 73)
10 Angus O’Brien
9 Lee Rees (rep: Dafydd Land 73)
1 Jamie Hughes (rep: Dino Dallavalle 57)
2 Dafydd Hughes (rep: Garan Willliams 80)
3 Harri O’Connor (rep: Berian Watkins 63)
4 Jack Jones © (rep: Griff Evans 73)
5 Morgan Jones
6 Lloyd Pike (rep: Iwan Evans 60)
7 Stuart Worrall
8 Osain Davies
16 Berian Watkins
17 Dino Dallavalle
18 Griff Evans
19 Iwan Evans
20 Garan Williams
21 Craig Woodall
22 James Garland
23 Dafydd Land
15 Liam Popham
14 Harri Houston
13 Hanno Dirksen
12 Kieran Charles (rep: Kian Abraham 73)
11 Josh Carrington
10 James Davies (rep: Curtis Davies 17)
9 Liam Seaward (rep: Ben Ley 78)
1 Tom Sloane (rep: Cameron Jones 50)
2 Owen Thomas (rep: Aneurin James 62)
3 Jordan Pritchard (rep: Alun Dew 62)
4 Matt Dodd (rep: Owen Morgan 73)
5 Huw Sutton
6 Jay Williams ©
7 Callum Bowden
8 Charlie Davies (rep: Jon Fox 50)
16 Aneurin James
17 Cameron Jones
18 Alun Dew
19 Owen Morgan
20 Jon Fox
21 Ben Ley
22 Curtis Davies
23 Kian Abraham