Drovers thump sad Scarlets
12:49pm Tuesday 3rd December 2013 in Sport
LLANDOVERY Drovers produced one of their very best ever Principality Premiership performances under the Church Bank lights to beat fellow Scarlets feeder club Llanelli at a canter, writes Huw S Thomas.
The result was the Towy Valley side's biggest ever victory over Llanelli, who were made to look a poor side completely devoid of ideas in the face of a mixture of some extremely powerful forward and inventive back play from the hosts.
The Drovers dominated the game from first to last, and outscored the visitors by a comfortable six tries to nil, four of which came in a second half blitz from one man – flying wing Aaron Warren, who tore through the visitors seemingly at will.
The tall and lanky wide-man showed a real killer instinct in capitalising on all the excellent build-up work of his inside backs to race unopposed over the whitewash three times.
He also turned up in the right place at the right time to finish off a sweeping back-line movement for his other score.
Warren was brilliantly served on his inside by centre Matthew Jacobs – ironically a cup winning finalist with Llanelli back in 2009 – who made at least half a dozen scintillating slashing breaks throughout the evening to leave the visiting defence in tatters.
On top of their electric back play, Llandovery were solid, strong and dependable at scrum and lineout and won the contact area hands down.
The very impressive front row of Wyn Jones, Luke Lewis and Andrew Jones proved itself as good as any currently turning out in the Premiership, locks Bryn Griffiths and Phil Day provided the perfect combination of mobility and muscularity in equal measure and there was a fine balance in the back row of Lawrence Reynolds, Richard Brooks and Shaun Miles.
Those unit strengths – combined with the Drovers' general hunger and appetite for the fray – blew a dejected and dispirited Llanelli away.
Rhodri Davies and James Garland were neat, tidy and always efficient at half back, Jacobs scintillated in the centre and Warren proved himself the arch finisher
Coaches Lyndon Lewis and Euros Evans have built an exciting team at Church Bank this year, but the search for perfection continues and the pair were still not entirely satisfied with the performance.
“We felt that at least three or four try chances went begging in the first half and it is a measure of our expectations that we are disappointed not to rack up 50 points,” said Lewis.
“Llanelli caught us on a good night but we know that they will be ready and up for it back at Parc Y Strade in three weeks time.
“It’s going to be more difficult down there for sure.”
The Drovers got first half tries through Griffiths and Wyn Jones to lead 12-3 at the interval, Llanelli’s answer a lone penalty from fly half Nic Damjanovic.
To be fair to the losers, their defence worked very hard to keep the Drovers out in the first 40 minutes, with the back row of Ed and Craig Price plus Daniel Thomas putting in a series of big tackles to stem the tide.
But the visitors lacked any direction in the half back areas and with attackers seemingly preferring to run across rather than straight they posed little threat going forward.
And when full back Dion Jones did break through, a magnificent cover tackle by Davies chopped him down.
A bad injury to replacement Nick Harwood did nothing to restore Llanelli confidence after the break and Wales Under-20 wing Warren showed his nose for the line with four tries – three of which saw him race in from the half way line – to leave the shellshocked Llanelli in disarray.
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