Llandovery 54-21 Swansea

By: Paul Hopkins

Llandovery made it 26 wins in a row over Swansea to continue one of Welsh rugby’s most astonishing one-sided rivalries.

Things actually looked up for the All Whites in the early stages when full back Brandon Wood took a high ball and fed centre Sam Matthews through the hands of fellow centre Gareth O Rees, but winger Matthew Jenkins was knocked back in the tackle. Swansea recycled possession, but scrum half Aron Hemmings box kicked possession away and hooker Owen Thomas was penalised for offside.

Scrum half Lee Rees took a quick tap penalty and found winger Harri Doel, who burst through the middle, but hooker Harry Thomas wasn’t able to take the pass and knocked on.

Flanker Lloyd Evans slipped a pass out to lock Lewis Marsh, who made superb break through the middle and used his strength to feed winger Gareth J Rees for a well taken try under the posts. Fly half Rhys Jones converted.

The Llandovery backs got the ball out wide to Doel and the visitors were penalised for offside in midfield. Fly half Ioan Hughes chipped to the corner and lock Jack Jones took the lineout, before Rees nipped in to score a try. Full back Jack Maynard converted.

Hughes misjudged his 50/22 attempt by chipping out on the full, to gift Swansea a lineout inside the Drovers’ half. Flanker Joe Powell stole a loose lineout and fed Rees, with the lively scrum half making his way inside the 22, before the Whites were forced to kill the ball.

Hughes chose to kick for the corner, and from the lineout Jack Jones rose high, before a well formed maul saw prop Berian Watkins power over for a try. Maynard converted.

Prop Daf Davies tried to power forward but was turned over by a dogged Llandovery defence, although Jones bravely collected Rees’ high kick. Swansea were penalised for rolling though, and Llandovery took a quick tap penalty, although an accidental knock on by the visitors brought an end to the move.

The visitors brought down the scrum so Hughes chipped his penalty touch finder into the corner. Lock Ed Scragg took the lineout, but superb defence by the All Whites kept them out, with an attacking scrum five awarded by referee Elliot Mayor.

A third score followed for the home side when number eight Nathan Hart peeled off the scrum and drew in a defender to send Rees in for a simple try. Maynard converted.

Doel chipped ahead on the wing, but it was well dealt with by Jenkins, although Llandovery came again through Maynard, only for his grubber kick bounced off a Swansea defender into touch.

The visitors were penalised at the scrum again and it was a familiar tale of Hughes chipping to the corner. This time Jack Jones took the lineout to send Thomas strolling over for a try in the corner. Maynard converted from out wide.

Hooker Owen Thomas stole a lineout to give Swansea a rare attack and the home side were penalised for offside in midfield, which Jones kicked deep into the corner. The visitors threw the kitchen sink at the Llandovery defence, before the ball was swept out wide for Wood to score. Jones converted.

Swansea looked to have grabbed a second try in as many minutes when Gareth J Rees spotted a gap in the defence and sprinted through, but his chip ahead was dealt with by Hughes, with the Swansea man in fact penalised for a high tackle.

Llandovery scored the pick of the first half tries when Rees found Powell, who burst through a gap in the Swansea defence, before throwing a flip pass to Thomas who touched down under the posts. Maynard converted.

The home pack were penalised for illegally wheeling a scrum so Jones found touch just a metre shy of the line, but the Drovers’ defence prevented the ball from leaving the maul, signalling half time.

Half-time:-   Llandovery 35-14 Swansea

Prop Josh Morse drove into the Swansea defence but Jones hacked forward a loose ball into the Llandovery 22, although Hughes managed to win the race and defended well.

The All Whites were awarded a penalty after the Llandovery pack collapsed a scrum, with Jones chipping into the corner. Lock Lloyd Ashley took the lineout and his side mauled up to the line with another penalty awarded.

Jones again chipped into the corner and it was a repeat with Ashley taking the lineout, but this time an outstanding defensive effort by the home pack turned over possession in the maul.

A bizarre decision by Rees to leave the ball in the scrum until the last minute forced him into a mistake, gifting Swansea an attacking set piece just five metres from the line, but the visitors’ pack collapsed the scrum.

A sixth try followed for the home side from a well worked scrum as replacement scrum half Daf Land linked well with Hughes to score in the corner. Maynard converted.

Swansea were awarded a penalty from the restart after the Drovers held on after the tackle. Jones chipped deep into the corner, and first replacement prop Tom Sloane, and then number eight Cai Davies, came close to scoring, before the Drovers turned over possession and cleared long through Doel.

Another stylish Drovers try followed soon after when Doel exploited space out wide and moved the ball through the hands of his backs, before winger Kian Abraham finished off the move. Maynard converted.

Sloane was yellow carded for a professional foul, but Hughes failed to find touch inside the Swansea half. Replacement scrum half Rhodri Lewis weaved his way past three would-be tacklers, but the Drovers regained possession soon after.

Jones found touch a metre short of the try line with a superb touch finder, but the pack was again found wanting at the maul, although the visitors were awarded another penalty soon after.

Flanker Joe Greaves took the lineout this time and yet another penalty was given, with referee Mayor’s patience running out as he yellow carded replacement lock Chris Long. Swansea took the penalty quickly and substitute flanker Jake Baker squeezed over for a try under the posts. Jones converted.

The home side had the final say when Hemmings was yellow carded for preventing the quick take of a penalty. From the lineout, the Drovers’ pack controlled a maul with replacement hooker Taylor Davies scoring a try. Maynard’s conversion attempt hit the post.

Next up for Llandovery is a home match against Bridgend, with a win enough for the Drovers to top the Premiership, while Swansea host Merthyr in a rematch of the cup semi-final.

Full-time:-   Llandovery 54-21 Swansea



Tries:-   Lee Rees (10, 23), Berian Watkins (16), Harry Thomas (30, 40+4), Daf Land (53), Kian Abraham (61), Taylor Davies (79)

Cons:-   Jack Maynard (11, 17, 24, 31, 40+5, 54, 62)

Yellow cards:-   Chris Long (73), Aron Hemmings (78)



Tries:-   Gareth J Rees (6), Brandon Wood (38), Jake Baker (74)

Cons:-   Rhys Jones (7, 39, 75)

Yellow cards:-   Tom Sloane (65)


Match facts:

Venue:-   Church Bank, Llandovery

Weather:-   Light cloud, 13C

Referee:-   Elliot Mayor

Man of the match:-   Lee Rees

Attendance:-   600


Llandovery team:

15 Jack Maynard

14 Kian Abraham

13 Macs Page (rep: Callum Dodd 63)

12 Rhodri Jones (rep: Ilan Phillips 54)

11 Harri Doel

10 Ioan Hughes

9 Lee Rees (rep: Daf Land 52)

1 Josh Morse (rep: Jamie Hughes (58)

2 Harry Thomas (rep: Taylor Davies 58)

3 Berian Watkins (rep: Llyr Green 48)

4 Jack Jones © (rep: Chris Long 63)

5 Ed Scragg

6 Joe Powell

7 Jordan Evans (rep: Stuart Worrall 40+5-41, 63)

8 Nathan Hart


16 Jamie Hughes

17 Taylor Davies

18 Llyr Green

19 Chris Long

20 Stuart Worrall

21 Ilan Phillips

22 Callum Dodd

23 Daf Land


Swansea team:

15 Brandon Wood

14 Matthew Jenkins

13 Gareth O Rees (rep: Jacob Symes 69)

12 Sam Matthews (rep: Marcus Brown 54)

11 Gareth J Rees

10 Rhys Jones (rep: Aron Hemmings 76)

9 Aron Hemmings (rep: Rhodri Lewis 50)

1 Daf Davies (rep: Tom Sloane 41)

2 Owen Thomas (rep: Llew Phillips-Taylor 40+3)

3 Ed Thompson (rep: Tom Mills 58)

4 Lloyd Ashley ©

5 Lewis Marsh (rep: Chris Thompson 75)

6 Joe Greaves

7 Lloyd Evans

8 Cai Davies


16 Llew Phillips-Taylor

17 Tom Sloane

18 Tom Mills

19 Chris Thompson

20 Jake Baker

21 Rhodri Lewis

22 Jacob Symes

23 Marcus Brown