Aberavon RFC 27-16 Llanelli RFC
Second-half tries from flanker Nathan Brown and No.8 Chris Davies followed centre Will Price’s first-half score as the Wizards made it six wins out of six
Dai Flanagan says his Llanelli side must start turning performances into wins after they lost to leaders Aberavon at the death in a scrappy stop-start clash at the Talbot Athletic Ground.
Second-half tries from flanker Nathan Brown and No.8 Chris Davies followed centre Will Price’s first-half score as the Wizards made it six wins out of six and stay on top of the Principality Premiership, with No.10 James Garland booting the rest of their points.
However, it was a game that was nip and tuck right the way through – with only a point in it as the game edged towards the last five minutes.
Centre Ioan Nicholas got the Llanelli try in the second period, as they took advantage after Aberavon’s Matthew Jenkins had been sent to the sin-bin, with the score converted by full-back Dion Jones, who also booted three penalties.
Llanelli head coach Flanagan once again had mixed feelings after his side’s fourth defeat from six games.
It was another game where, on another day, they might well have won, but once again ended up with nothing with the side now 12th in the table.
“We dominated 60 or 70 per cent of the game,” said Flanagan.
“I think we really shocked Aberavon with our intensity and style of play and they’re probably walking away thinking they’re quite lucky to win. But again, we have to be better. Aside from the Carmarthen Quins game, where I’d say we were totally outplayed, we’ve dominated every game.
“That’s the frustrating thing; we’re doing enough good work to beat these sides but we’re not capitalising.
“The target is still to reach the top eight but we’ve got a mountain to climb now.”
Meanwhile, after grinding out the win, Wizards head coach Jason Hyatt was full of praise for his men.
“I thought defensively we were fantastic,” he said.
“Without the ball, we kept our shape inside our 22, particularly in the first half and Llanelli couldn’t break us down which was really pleasing.
“We felt we’d conceded a couple of soft tries in previous matches so on that we really had to knuckle down and get our defence right. And barring one mistake when they were down to a yellow card in the second half, we also looked comfortable in defence for the whole second 40.”
Scorers: Aberavon: Tries: W Price, N Brown, C Davies; Cons: J Garland (3); Pens: J Garland (2).
Llanelli: Tries: I Nicholas; Con: D Jones; Pens: D Jones (3).
Teams: Aberavon: R Carter; M Jacobs (M Jenkins 43), W Price, R James, S Andrews; J Garland, J Flynn (D Pritchard 67); M Burgess (R Forse 61), I Davies, J Thomas (A Jefferies 57), B Jones, S Williams (L Joseph 19), L Purnell, N Brown (J Tomalin Reeves 74), C Davies (capt).
Llanelli: D Jones; A Evans, I Nicholas, G Owen (P Davies 61), R Conbeer (N Edwards 51); I Hughes, R Cole (M Flanagan 79); R Fawcett (D Jacobs 63), T Davies (M Moore 79), S Gardiner (T Kaijaks 41), C Long, B Davies (E Rees 22), T Phillips (capt), J Macleod, J Condy (O Morgan 67).
Referee: Sean Brickell (WRU)
Principality man of the match: Rheon James (Aberavon)
Courtesy of Walesonline