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By: Paul Hopkins
A spirited first half display by the All Whites was not enough to prevent a bonus point defeat by Llandovery after the home forwards took control after the interval.
Star half back Lee Rees ran the show behind a pack that was often on the front foot, preventing the visitors from mounting many worthwhile attacks.
Swansea scrum half Matthew Aubrey made an early break from a ruck, forcing the Drovers’ defence offside. Full back Phil Jones kicked the penalty goal.
Two minutes later Llandovery were level after centre Rhodri Jones charged through the middle following a lineout. A chip through by fly half Rhys Jones was marked by Whites centre Jedd Evans, but play was brought back for a penalty, which Rhys Jones converted.
The home pack were penalised for failing to bind at a scrum and Jones found touch on the twenty-two. The visitors lost the lineout though and winger Aaron Warren hacked the ball deep inside the Swansea half, but opposite number Tom Williams tracked back to clear.
Huge pressure by Swansea almost resulted in a try when Rees’ clearance kick was charged down on the try line, but the ball went dead.
Rees was soon back to tormenting the visitors when he raced through the middle, finding winger Lee Williams and Rhodri Jones in support. Swansea were penalised for killing the ball and the Drovers turned down a kickable penalty, instead opting for a close-range scrum. Outstanding work by the Whites’ pack won ball against the head, allowing winger Jake Randell to clear long.
Swansea retook the lead with a Jones penalty after the Llanelli defence crept offside in midfield.
It was short-lived though when Rhodri Jones burst through midfield, forcing the Swansea defence to stray offside. Rhys Jones kicked the resulting penalty goal.
The home pack drove forward with a maul and a superb flip pass from Rees to Rhodri Jones gave Randell no option but to kill the ball, which in turn earned him a yellow card.
Rhys Jones kicked to the corner with the penalty, and the visitors transgressed again by entering a maul from the side. It was the same story as Rhys Jones kicked to the corner, but clever play by the opposing forwards prevented the ball from leaving the maul, resulting in a turnover.
The Llandovery backs combined well again with Rees and replacement winger Jack Maynard making yards inside the Swansea half. The Whites were penalised for offside, and the Drovers looked certain to grab the first try, only for a handling error to spoil the move.
The home side continued to camp on the Swansea line and finally got their reward inside first half injury time when lock Joe Powell crashed over for a try from close range. Rhys Jones converted.
Half-time:- Llandovery 13 Swansea 6
It took Llandovery just three minutes in the second half to score try number two. Despite the visitors pushing their counterparts backwards at a scrum, referee Jason Morris awarded a penalty to the home side. Rhys Jones kicked to touch and a powerful maul resulted in a try for replacement lock Bryn Griffiths.
The Whites looked to hit back when flanker Morgan Morris powered forward and Tom Williams was brought down on the twenty-two. Jones took a pass in midfield, but the supporting Evans lost the ball forward.
Second row Adam Thresher then spotted a gap in the defence and raced into the twenty-two. Evans provided support, but the Llandovery backs stepped offside in midfield. Jones kicked to the corner, but hooker Paul John spilled the ball over the line.
The home side were soon back on the attack when Warren raced out of defence, but was penalised for holding on after the tackle. Aubrey found touch and lock Jon Fox took the lineout, but his pack lost the ball forward in the maul.
Jones reduced the deficit to 11 points with a penalty goal when the Drovers’ defence crept offside in midfield.
Number eight Rory Gallagher took a quick penalty and Aubrey chipped deep into Llandovery territory. Jones and Tom Williams then opened up the backline, but replacement number eight Ben Davies lost the ball forward under pressure.
Morris made a barnstorming run from a scrum, charging through a couple of tacklers, but he lost possession inside the Llandovery half.
The home dominance up front continued when Griffiths collected a lineout and the pack again mauled forward. A long pass out wide to replacement winger Owain Davies created space out wide, but the Whites intercepted the ball and cleared.
Rhodri Jones charged forward and the visitors were penalised for killing the ball. Rhys Jones kicked to the corner and from the maul prop Wyn Jones was held up over the line.
Rees sealed victory with a late try when he darted past the Swansea defence from a scrum to score under the posts. Rhys Jones converted.
Full back Tomi Lewis and Davies began a counterattack from deep and the All Whites were penalised for offside. Rhys Jones kicked to touch and from the lineout prop Jamie Hughes crashed over for a bonus point try. Rhys Jones missed the conversion.
Next up for Llandovery is a trip to Carmarthen, while Swansea travel to Llanelli.
Full-time:- Llandovery 32 Swansea 9
Tries:- Joe Powell (40+4), Bryn Griffiths (44), Lee Rees (80+3), Jamie Hughes (80+6)
Cons:- Rhys Jones (40+5, 45, 80+4)
Pens:- Rhys Jones (8, 25)
Pens:- Phil Jones (6, 22, 59)
Yellow cards:- Jake Randell (34)
Venue:- Church Bank, Llandovery
Referee:- Jason Morris
Weather:- Heavy rain, 14C
Man of the match:- Lee Rees
15 Tomi Lewis
14 Lee Williams (rep: Jack Maynard 34)
13 Rhodri Wall
12 Rhodri Jones
11 Adam Warren (rep: Owain Davies 70)
10 Rhys Jones
9 Lee Rees
1 Berian Watkins (rep: Jamie Hughes 53)
2 Ricky Guest (rep: Matthew Moore 70)
3 Greg Cunniffe (rep: Llyr Green 56)
4 Jack Jones
5 Joe Powell (rep: Bryn Griffiths 41)
6 Duane Eager (rep: Lewis Ellis-Jones 67)
7 Stuart Worrall (rep: Shaun Miles 67)
8 Richard Brooks ©
16 Llyr Green
17 Jamie Hughes
18 Bryn Griffiths
19 Lewis Ellis-Jones
20 Matthew Moore
21 Shaun Miles
22 Jack Maynard
23 Owain Davies
15 Phil Jones
14 Tom Williams
13 Jedd Evans
12 Rhys Williams (rep: Callum Carson 8)
11 Jake Randell
10 James Davies (rep: Gareth Walters 70)
9 Matthew Aubrey (rep: Josh Guy 79)
1 Tom Sloane (rep: Lewys Bullock 79)
2 Paul John (rep: Tom Ball 67)
3 Chris Thomas (rep: Jack Powell 79)
4 Jon Fox © (rep: Jay Williams 59)
5 Adam Thresher
6 Jon Vaughan
7 Morgan Morris
8 Rory Gallagher (rep: Ben Davies 59)
16 Tom Ball
17 Lewys Bullock
18 Jack Powell
19 Jay Williams
20 Ben Davies
21 Josh Guy
22 Gareth Walters
23 Callum Carson