Disappointing Drovers second best as Llanelli taste sweet revenge

South Wales Guardian: DROVERS ON HOLD: Llewelyn Jones is stopped by Llanelli's Duane Eager. Llanelli pulled off a stunning 64-point turnaround from November's mauling to romp home clear winners. Pic: Rileysportsphotography.com DROVERS ON HOLD: Llewelyn Jones is stopped by Llanelli's Duane Eager. Llanelli pulled off a stunning 64-point turnaround from November's mauling to romp home clear winners. Pic: Rileysportsphotography.com

Principality Premiership

Llanelli 36 Llandovery 10

The Drovers were well beaten at Parc y Scarlets on Saturday to go down to only their second defeat of the season, writes Huw S Thomas

Llanelli – outplayed 41-3 at Church Bank back in November - got sweet revenge for that drubbing by handing out one of their own to a Drovers side, second in all departments.

The result represented an amazing 64 point turn around in fortune and was a blow to Llandovery plans and hopes for the Boxing Day clash with Carmarthen Quins.

Whereas Llanelli tackling at Church Bank had been surprisingly feckless, their defence at home was immense with Llandovery ball carriers regularly, swiftly and powerfully driven back towards their own line.

The battle of the gain line won, Llanelli were always on the front foot and the back line was ironically well orchestrated by former Ysgol Pantycelyn, Llandovery, fly-half Gareth Walters.

The son of former wing John Walters who played in the Scarlets side that won the 1974 Welsh Cup final, he showed some lovely distribution skills and made the opening first minute try with a clever weighted pass to send wing Kyle Evans over.

Full back Dion Jones converted and went on to end up with 26 out of his side’s 36 points from a try, three conversions and five penalties.

“With that start and with everyone determined to make up for the defeat at Llandovery, we controlled the game throughout” said winning coach Kevin George.

“Our tackling was unrecognisable from our last meeting with the Drovers and convincingly winning the battle of the contact area guaranteed success.”

The Drovers were unrecognisable, beaten collectively and - in most cases individually - by a hungrier side who did the basics better and were more disciplined.

The one bright light for the losers was the performance of scrum half Rhodri Davies who outshone professional opposite number Aled Davies.

The Crymych product was the only Drover to threaten in attack and also did some great covering in defence.

Llandovery were not helped by the loss of injured skipper Phil Day after just 24 minutes but they also gave away countless penalties, tackled weakly and were lucky to trail just 13-3 at the break, their only points a penalty from fly half James Garland.

They had a good patch half way through the second half when they got a penalty try at a maul but were swept away in the last ten minutes when replacement scrum half Jac Evans and the busy Jones confirmed home dominance.

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