The new Phil Davies era at Llanelli is off to a winning start after they beat regional rivals Carmarthen Quins at Parc y Scarlets on the opening day of the new Principality Premiership season.
Almost 35 years after first pulling on a Llanelli shirt as a player, the ex-Wales international and current Namibia supremo, now back at the club as head coach, was given the perfect homecoming with a bonus point victory inspired by burgeoning Scarlets and Wales U20 wing Ryan Conbeer’s brace.
It took Llanelli just 67 seconds to mark his return with the first try of the season.
Straight on the front foot, an attempted Quins kick was charged down and, after pressure in the opposing 22, Conbeer eventually went over in the left corner, although the conversion was missed by fly-half Ioan Hughes.
Quins’ No.10 Steff Marshall then split the posts with a penalty from the edge of the 22 on seven minutes but, less than a minute later, Llanelli were up the other end again with great work from full-back Kalum Evans and Hughes releasing wing Ashley Evans down the right and he did the rest, darting round to touch down with Hughes taking care of the easy extras in front of the posts.
Llanelli got their third try on 24 minutes and it was scored by Kalum Evans who produced an excellent bit of skill to take the ball out of the air and touch down after Hughes’ clever kick to the right corner.
The conversion was missed by Hughes who was also off target with a penalty attempt on 33 minutes.
Meanwhile a physical first half certainly took its toll on the Quins, who lost Josh Helps, his replacement Lewis Roberts and Aled James to injury before the break.
The Quins, to their credit, tightened up after the re-start and were eventually rewarded with a try for hooker Rhodri Clancy on 62 minutes although the conversion was missed by replacement fly-half Jac Wilson.
But that was unable to spark a comeback while Llanelli did manage to bag themselves a bonus point when Conbeer darted through for try number four in the closing moments, with Hughes converting.
Llanelli 24 Carmarthen Quins 8