Llanelli turned in their best performance of the season so far to earn themselves an impressive bonus-point victory over an out-of-sorts Neath at the Gnoll.
Ioan Nicholas’ brace along with tries from Ioan Hughes, Ryan Conbeer and Oli Reyland secured an emphatic five-star win for the Sospans, their first on the road this season which also ended a run of three straights defeats in the Principality Premiership’s West section.
For depleted Neath, meanwhile, this was a third straight defeat and, for the most part, they looked a shadow of the free-flowing side that have impressed many so far, as injuries begin to bite.
Billy McBryde, operating at inside centre, missed a fourth minute penalty for Llanelli, but he made amends three minutes later with a successful attempt on the edge of the home 22, before Ed Howley then missed an attempt of his own from the tee at the other end moments later.
It was the visitors who took the lead in the 20th minute with fly-half Hughes touching down while McBryde added the extras to put Llanelli 10-0 in front.
McBryde then landed another penalty, this time more of a tricky effort from out wide, after the hosts were pinged again.
Llanelli then went further in front on the half-hour mark and it came from the result of an interception from wing Nicholas who raced home from his own half of the field with McBryde again converting to make it 20-0.
Neath replied on 35 minutes through wing Richard Smith who barged through after a good move team move, however McBryde’s third successful penalty handed the visitors a 23-7 half time lead.
Llanelli went further in front two minutes after the re-start courtesy of left wing Conbeer’s try, which this time went unconverted, before outside centre Reyland secured Llanelli their bonus point six minutes later, with McBryde converting.
In fairness to Neath they kept going and were rewarded with unconverted tries for centre Keiran Williams and replacement Elis Hopkins before Nicholas put the icing on the cake with his second – and Llanelli’s fifth – try in the closing stages.
Neath 17- 40 Llanelli RFC
Coutresy of Carl Field