Photo Courtesy of: Riley Sports Photography
By: Paul Hopkins
Llandovery powered to a bonus point victory over Swansea thanks to 21 unopposed second half points.
It was the second match in a row that the All Whites endured a point-less second half, but Hugh Gustafson’s side enjoyed a much of the opening exchanges.
Scrum half Rhodri Lewis caught the Llandovery defence half asleep when he took a quick tap penalty inside his own half, but the move came to nothing as the visitors reclaimed possession and were able to clear.
Then a clever crossfield kick by fly half James Davies found winger Matthew Jenkins, but full back Harri Doel tracked back to cover. Swansea recycled the ball, but Davies kicked possession away.
Lock Matt Dodd took a lineout on half way with winger Gareth J Rees bursting through a tackle on the wing, and the Drovers gave away a penalty for offside at the next phase. James Davies kicked his side into the lead.
Scrum half Lee Rees took a quick tap penalty of his own following a Whites infringement at the lineout, but the visitors tried to force play on the wing and were turned over. Instead, Matthew Jenkins used his pace to begin a counterattack, but good ruck play forced Lewis to kick possession away.
A superb 50/22 kick by James Davies earned the All Whites an attacking lineout and the home pack showed great power to force Llandovery into giving away a penalty on the floor. James Davies doubled his side’s lead with a successful effort at goal.
Number eight Scott Jenkins became isolated on half way and gave away a penalty after he took a quick pass from the lively replacement scrum half Harvey Nash.
Swansea gave away a penalty for offside at the ruck and fly half Ioan Hughes chipped into the 22. Lock Griff Evans took the lineout and the Drovers’ forwards threw the kitchen sink at the Swansea line, before Hughes ghosted over for a try. He also converted.
For a second time in the space of a few minutes, Scott Jenkins was penalised for holding on after the tackle when support was too slow to arrive following his powerful break. Hughes again chipped to the corner and an unstoppable rolling maul saw hooker Craig Thomas crash over for a try. Hughes converted.
Swansea looked to hit back immediately, and the forwards patiently went through the phases, before Llandovery gave away a penalty. James Davies chose to kick at goal and was rewarded with a three pointer.
An infringement at the scrum gave the All Whites a penalty on half way and James Davies kicked up to within five metres of the Llandovery line. After a couple of phases near the line, a superb tackle on Kieran Charles saw the Whites centre lose the ball forward.
Half-time:- Swansea 9-14 Llandovery
Shortly after the restart, Hughes was shown a yellow card for a high tackle. James Davies kicked to touch and from the lineout a long pass out wide was almost taken by Matthew Jenkins on the run, but he spilled the ball forward.
The home pack collapsed a scrum inside their own 22 and replacement fly half Jack Maynard kicked deep into the corner. From the lineout the home side defended the maul well and the All Whites’ defence failed to deal with a Maynard chip, allowing winger Aaron Warren in for a soft try. Maynard converted.
Matthew Jenkins took his eye off a chip ahead and dropped the ball on his own 22. An advancing scrum gave the Llandovery backs a license to thrill and Doel took a superb flip pass to score under the posts. Hughes converted.
A mistake by the visitors from the restart gifted Swansea a rare attack, but a forward pass by James Davies gave the Drovers a scrum, which turned into a penalty due to ill-discipline. Doel chased down a chip ahead but the Whites were able to deal with the danger.
The Drovers began to run riot as the home side fell off tackles and replacement Berian Watkins took advantage to crash over for a try under the posts. Maynard converted.
Replacement prop Tom Crockett was yellow carded for a professional foul to leave Swansea down to 14 men for the remainder of the match.
A scrappy period followed with both teams unable to put much rugby together as the final action of the game saw a Whites pass sail into touch.
Full-time:- Swansea 9-35 Llandovery
Pens:- James Davies (9, 18, 33)
Yellow cards:- Tom Crockett (75)
Tries:- Ioan Hughes (24), Craig Thomas (28), Aaron Warren (53), Harri Doel (59), Berian Watkins (66)
Cons:- Ioan Hughes (25, 29), Jack Maynard (54, 60, 67)
Yellow cards:- Ioan Hughes (44)
Venue:- St Helen’s, Swansea
Weather:- Light rain showers, 10C
Referee:- Simon Rees
Man of the match:- Griff Evans
15 Gareth O Rees
14 Gareth J Rees (rep: Harvey James 13 (rep: Ben Warren 80-80+7))
13 Hanno Dirksen
12 Kieran Charles
11 Matthew Jenkins (rep: Willis Wood 72)
10 James Davies
9 Rhodri Lewis (rep: Harvey Nash 13)
1 Richard Murphy (rep: Tom Crockett 63)
2 Owen Thomas (rep: Garan Williams 55)
3 Ben Warren (rep: Oli Rees 60)
4 Tristan Davies
5 Matt Dodd
6 Lewis Ellis-Jones (rep: Dai Francis 55)
7 Callum Bowden ©
8 Scott Jenkins (rep: Evan Hill 63)
16 Garan Williams
17 Tom Crockett
18 Oli Rees
19 Evan Hill
20 Dai Francis
21 Harvey Nash
22 Harvey James
23 Willis Wood
15 Harri Doel
14 Rhodri Wall (rep: Jack Maynard 47)
13 Adam Warren (rep: Dafydd Land 72)
12 Rhodri Jones
11 Aaron Warren
10 Ioan Hughes
9 Lee Rees
1 Jamie Hughes
2 Craig Thomas (rep: Ricky Guest 54)
3 Llyr Green (rep: Berian Watkins 63)
4 Jack Jones ©
5 Griff Evans
6 Lloyd Pike
7 Jordan Evans (rep: Tom Poole 63)
8 Iestyn Rees
16 Ricky Guest
17 Will Caron-Lewis
18 Berian Watkins
19 Joe Powell
20 Tom Poole
21 Macs Page
22 Jack Maynard
23 Dafydd Land