Image courtesy of Riley Sports Photography
By: Paul Hopkins
A late Matthew Jenkins try rescued a four-try bonus point for the All Whites in an otherwise unforgettable afternoon for Hugh Gustafson’s men at Church Bank.
It was a scrappy start to the match when centre Adam Warren made a meal of a Matthew Aubrey high kick, with the All Whites claiming possession inside the Llandovery half, but flanker Jordan Evans won turnover ball.
Winger Harri Houston made a superb break through the middle and was well supported by Max Nagy, but the full back was tackled into touch. The home side took a quick tap penalty with winger Callum Dodd racing down the wing, but a forward pass brought an end to a couple of minutes of sheer excitement.
Swansea gave away a free kick at their own scrum and further ill-discipline gifted the Drovers an extra ten metres. Winger Callum Dodd took the ball from a scrum and came to within a couple of metres of scoring, before a patient build up by the pack saw the ball recycled out wide for Dodd to score. Full back Jack Maynard converted.
The Drovers looked to counterattack from inside their own 22 but a mistake saw centre James Davies collect possession and race clear to score. Fly half Dan Edwards’ conversion attempt hit the post.
The visitors were penalised for killing the ball and fly half Ioan Hughes found touch on the 22. Prop Llyr Green found himself on the wing, but was well tackled but play was brought back for a penalty. Maynard kicked the three pointer.
A Swansea lineout went awry, allowing the home side to counterattack but James Davies pounced on a mistake and hacked the ball forward. Number eight Osian Davies charged over halfway but lost the ball forward to end another frantic period of play.
James Davies tried a clever kick across the field, but it sailed over the chasing winger Gareth O Rees straight into touch. Scrum half Lee Rees got his side motoring with quick ball from the ruck and Adam Warren popped up in midfield to send fellow centre Rhodri Jones over for a clever try in the corner. Maynard converted.
Swansea tried to hit back when Nagy combined with number eight Morgan Morse to start a Swansea attack, but James Davies dropped the ball in midfield.
The home side looked to attack again inside the Swansea 22 with Rees looking dangerous, but the visitors were given some respite following a Drovers’ transgression.
Rees took a quick tap penalty to get his side back on the attack and a second penalty in succession saw Hughes chip to the corner. From the lineout a powerful rolling maul was illegally stopped by lock Lewis Jones, who was yellow carded with a penalty try also awarded.
A powerful Llandovery scrum drove the Swansea pack off the ball, earning a penalty. A long kick by Maynard found touch 10 metres from the visitors’ line and a well worked lineout almost saw Green sneak around the blindside, but he was tackled into touch.
Swansea were penalised for failing to get back onside from a Ioan Hughes kick and the home side opted for a scrum. A powerful set piece from the Drovers saw Maynard pick up and score under the posts, which he also converted.
The Drovers made a rare mistake from the restart to give Swansea a scrum near the 22 on the stroke of half time but the visitors collapsed the scrum and gave away a penalty.
Half-time:- Llandovery 31-5 Swansea
Swansea came out of the blocks after the interval on fire and Edwards made a superb break through the middle, before throwing a speculating flip pass that was picked up by centre Tom Florence who showed superb strength to score. James Davies converted.
Following a period of kicking ping pong, a stray boot by Nagy sailed into touch out on the full. A well formed rolling maul got the home side on the front foot and the visitors strayed offside to give away a penalty under the posts.
The home side got the ball out of the scrum with Morse yellow carded for stepping offside. The visitors opted for another set piece and further offside by James Davies saw the centre also yellow carded.
Another scrum followed and quick ball out from Rees sent Ioan Hughes over for a try under the posts. Maynard converted.
The Whites pack gave away a penalty at the scrum and Maynard found touch inside the Swansea 22. The Drovers pack stayed patient and a few phases later prop Jamie Hughes popped up to score under the posts.
Llandovery were awarded a penalty inside the Swansea half after the visitors failed to release the ball in the tackle. Replacement fly half Kristian Jones chipped the ball into the corner and from the lineout lock Jack Jones rose high, but the ball became loose and substitute centre Kieran Charles hacked possession clear.
Swansea scored a try of their own with five minutes of regular time on the clock after replacement scrum half Harvey Nash took a superb pass from Houston to race clear and score under the posts. Edwards converted.
Kristian Jones chipped to touch with a penalty and following a number of phases the ball was swept out wide by replacement scrum half Ilan Phillips to Jack Jones, who squeezed over for a try in the corner. Maynard converted.
Swansea refused to give up and managed to secure a bonus point try with the last play of the game when replacement winger Matthew Jenkins weaved through a few Drovers tackles to score in the corner. Edwards missed the conversion.
Full-time:- Llandovery 52-24 Swansea
Tries:- Callum Dodd (8), Rhodri Jones (21), Penalty try (31), Jack Maynard (40+1), Ioan Hughes (55), Jamie Hughes (61), Jack Jones (80+4)
Cons:- Jack Maynard (9, 22, 40+2, 56, 62, 80+5)
Pens:- Jack Maynard (15)
Tries:- James Davies (11), Tom Florence (42), Harvey Nash (75), Matthew Jenkins (80+8)
Cons:- James Davies (43, 76, 80+9)
Yellow cards:- Lewis Jones (31), Morgan Morse (52), James Davies (53)
Venue:- Church Bank, Llandovery
Referee:- Rhys Jones
Man of the match:- Lee Rees
15 Jack Maynard
14 Callum Dodd
13 Adam Warren (rep: Dafydd Land 67)
12 Rhodri Jones
11 Aaron Warren
10 Ioan Hughes (rep: Kristian Jones 67)
9 Lee Rees (rep: Harvey Nash 67)
1 Jamie Hughes (rep: Will Caron-Lewis 67-79)
2 Craig Thomas (rep: Ricky Guest 67)
3 Llyr Green (rep: Berian Watkins 62)
4 Jack Jones ©
5 Joe Powell (rep: Lloyd Pike 62)
6 Griff Evans
7 Jordan Evans (rep: Stuart Worrall 56)
8 Osian Davies
16 Ricky Guest
17 Will Caron-Lewis
18 Berian Watkins
19 Stuart Worrall
20 Lloyd Pike
21 Ilan Phillips
22 Kristian Jones
23 Dafydd Land
15 Max Nagy
14 Gareth O Rees (rep: Matthew Jenkins 70)
13 Tom Florence
12 James Davies (rep: Kieran Charles 64)
11 Harri Houston
10 Dan Edwards
9 Matthew Aubrey (rep: Harvey Nash 67)
1 Garyn Phillips (rep: Cameron Jones 62)
2 Owen Thomas (rep: Lewis Lloyd 56)
3 Ben Warren (rep: Rhys Henry 47)
4 Lewis Jones (rep: Ben Gregory 67)
5 Matt Dodd
6 Sam Moore (rep: Scott Jenkins 62)
7 Callum Bowden ©
8 Morgan Morse
16 Lewis Lloyd
17 Cameron Jones
18 Rhys Henry
19 Ben Gregory
20 Scott Jenkins
21 Harvey Nash
22 Kieran Charles
23 Matthew Jenkins