Newport 18 Llandovery 18
8:00am Wednesday 9th January 2013 in Sport
THE Drovers got their third Premiership draw of the season when they shared 36 points with the Black and Ambers at Rodney Parade, writes Tom Hughes.
The two points for the draw was poor reward and little consolation for having far the better of possession and play.
The Drovers are still very much in the hunt for a top three play-off spot but have slipped to fourth in the table after some patchy recent form.
Defeats at the hands of Pontypridd and Carmarthen Quins and Saturday’s draw have resulted in a frugal harvest of just three points in the last three games.
And they now face the daunting task of a trip to Sardis Road on February 1, where Pontypridd appear to be all but unbeatable.
After close battles with Aberavon (32-32) and Bedwas (6-6), the Newport game was one that could so easily have been won with a little more composure and there was a keen sense of disappointment in the travelling ranks at the end of the match.
“The game was there for the taking,” said Llandovery secretary Robin Barlow.
“But through a combination of good Newport defence and poor judgement on our part we got two rather than four or even possibly five points.
After creating three good tries in the first half, we spurned some golden chances after the break to leave Newport off the hook.”
Wing Andrew Claypole, centre Jack Roberts and Scarlets flanker Richie Pugh crossed for the Drovers, with centres Dan Robinson and Adam Davies getting the home tries.
Newport fly half Scott Sneddon shaded opposite number Cerith Rees in the kicking stakes, putting over a conversion and two penalties to the one penalty from Rees. Llandovery’s failure to convert any of their first half tries was also to cost them dearly The second half was full of good intent but disappointing execution with neither side able to score a single point despite getting into some prime attacking positions.
Llandovery replacement fly-half James Garland had a difficult late penalty from 40 metres but pushed the ball wide and with that went the final chance of victory.