Llandovery look to have hit form again just at the right time as they chase glory on two fronts.
The Drovers’ relentless pursuit of back-to-back Indigo Premiership titles continued at the weekend as they ran in seven tries to win 45-19 at Swansea. That made it 13 league wins on the bounce and a 17th from 18 in total in the Premiership this term.
Should the reigning champions take maximum points from their next match away to Neath on Saturday, they will mathematically secure a play-off spot.
After that they head into three tough fixtures against Gwent sides in March, starting with a mouthwatering WRU Premiership Cup semi-final showdown against Ebbw Vale at Aberavon, followed by league trips to Pontypool and Newport.
Llandovery needed to win ugly when not at their best in home games against Pontypridd and Ebbw Vale just after the turn of the year – games they could quite easily have lost.
But they now look to have returned to their free-flowing best with 21 tries scored in their three games since, all on the road at RGC, Cardiff – and now Swansea. And head coach Euros Evans hopes that bodes well for his side.
“We’re getting to the business end of the season where the trophies are handed out so it’s really important that we’re playing well when it counts,” he said.
“To finish top of the league you have to be consistent and sometimes that means winning in difficult conditions – and this squad have shown they are able to do that.
“As the tracks dry it’ll allow us to play our sort of preferred game and hopefully we can play well when it matters.”
Craig Thomas, Chris Long, Llyr Green, Aaron Warren, Harri Doel, Taylor Davies and Tom Poole were all on the scoresheet for the Drovers at St Helen’s as they moved 15 points clear at the top of the table. Jack Maynard kicked five conversions. Cameron Jones scored two tries for Swansea, both converted by Rhys Jones, who also scored a try – but was unable to convert it.
Llandovery know the importance of picking up bonus points with in-form Newport – who still have securing top spot in their own sights – continuing to put pressure on them.
The Black & Ambers have two games in hand on Llandovery with the two sides going head-to-head at Newport Stadium on Thursday, 28 March. Newport moved up into second in the table after they beat RGC 43-17 to make it six consecutive bonus-point victories.
They also did it with seven tries; A first half brace for hooker Henry Palmer and one each for wingers Lloyd Lewis and Elliot Frewen made sure of the bonus point and a 26-10 advantage by the break.
A further three tries followed after the re-start with Lewis grabbing his second while Iestyn Galton and Jonny Morris also scored. The boot of Matt O’Brien improved four of the seven tries.
It’s a win that takes Ty Morris’ side above Gwent rivals Ebbw Vale on points difference while they still have two games in hand on the Steelmen. Dion Jones and Caio Parry scored for RGC, with Sam Earl-Jones converting Jones’ score after kicking an early penalty. Dion Jones improved Parry’s try.
Meanwhile, despite having a decent record at RGC and beating them at Bedwas last season, this was the Black and Ambers’ first win over the Gogs at Newport Stadium. The north Walians had won both of their previous visits there in league and cup respectively two seasons ago.
Newport are back in action on Thursday night as they head to the Wern to tackle Merthyr.