Principality Premiership Llandovery 38 Newport 19
8:00am Friday 5th October 2012 in Sport
Huw S Thomas at Church Bank
LLANDOVERY prepared for the big local derby against Llanelli this Saturday by reeling off their fifth consecutive five-point win of the season.
Yet another big name scalp came Llandovery’s way when they beat the Black and Ambers by six tries to two at a sundrenched Church Bank.
After other wins over Cardiff, Neath, Bridgend and Swansea, it marks the club’s most successful start in the history of the semiprofessional league.
The Drovers sit proudly at the top of the table, two points ahead of defending champions Pontypridd.
Not that this was an easy win as Newport led 19-17 in the 70th minute, only to be eventually outdone by a brilliant burst of late Llandovery scoring.
The Drovers owe a debt to their darting bubble of enthusiasm at scrum half in Rhodri Williams.
The 19-year-old from Ammanford grabbed two tries with a dash and aplomb that marks him out as a special talent and he is the league’s leading scorer with six tries in five games.
He will be an odds-on favourite to win the WRU player of the month award for September.
Winning coach Lyndon Lewis was the first to admit he was concerned when his side trailed but took huge positives from the late burst of scoring to settle the issue in style.
“Newport are a far better side than their league position suggests but our fitness and composure under pressure took us through in the end,” he said.
“Standards in the league keep improving and all twelve clubs are hugely competitive so we are delighted to keep our noses in front.
“It will be no easy task to maintain our current form but it’s an exciting time for club and town.”
A vibrant Llandovery start which brought tries from wing Aaron Warren and the brilliant Williams was spoiled by the sin binning of centre Jack Roberts and Warren in the space of five minutes.
A try from No 8 Hywel Stoddart and a penalty from fly half Scott Sneddon brought the visitors to 12-8 at the break and they had the better of most of the second half.
A try from skipper Craig Attwell and two penalties from Sneddon trumped a try from centre Matthew Jacobs.
The Drovers shook off any lethargy to up the tempo – replacement forwards Bryn Griffiths and Luke Kendall outstanding - and tries from Williams, wing Jake Randall and prop Wyn Jones were a testament to both their confidence and fitness.
Llandovery: L Rees; J Randall, M Jacobs, J Roberts, Aaron Warren (C Knight 60) ; C Rees (J Garland 60), R Williams (R Walters 75); O Evans (W Jones 75) A Yelland (T Ball 75), D Howells (A Jones 44), S Jones, L Jones (B Griffiths 33), P Day, R Brooks, L Phillips, capt (L Kendall 60).
Tries: R Williams (2), A Warren, M Jacobs, W Jones, J Randall; cons: J Garland (3), C Rees.
Newport: A Awcock; E Frewen, G O’Driscoll, I Smerdon, W Hodnett (A Quick 55); S Sneddon, J Leadbeater; D Pattison, R Prosser (A Brown 58), A Jeffries, D Rosser (S Waldron 54), A Frampton, I Jones,HStoddart ( C Everett 63), C Attwell (capt).
Tries: H Stoddart, C Attwell; pens: S Sneddon (3).
Referee: J Bessant (Bridgend).
Principality Premiership man of the match: Rhodri Williams (Llandovery).