Merthyr came away from Parc y Scarlets with a bonus point win to continue their impressive start to this seasons Premiership campaign. Yes, four tries to one sounds convincing, but the young Llanelli side had their moments in a really competitive game.
The visitors got their first try on 4 mins, a line out ten metres out saw them secure possession and drive towards the try line, after a couple of phases, the ball was slipped to No8 Hemi Barnes for complete the touchdown. Matthew Jarvis slotted the extras. Their second score came just 5 mins later when the home side were turned over on their own 22 metre line, the ball was fed out wide and supporting full back Matthew Jarvis was on hand to touchdown in the corner, he then added the conversion to put the Champions 14pts up inside 10 minutes. At this time, Llanelli weren’t able to win any ball and were putting in a lot of defensive tackles. The next 20 mins or so belonged to Merthyr who had a number of red zone visits but Llanelli were determined and resolute in defence. On 31 mins, a scrum penalty by the home side, resulted in Merthyr crossing for their third try. A neat chip thro from outside half Richard Powell saw wing Jay Baker win the race for the touchdown, again Jarvis slotted the goal. A few minutes later, Merthyr’s centre Arron Pinches was yellow carded for a high tackle on Llanelli full back Leon Randell. For the remainder of the half Llanelli pressed for their first score. They had good field position on a number of occasions but errors in their game let them down. At the half Llanelli trailed 21pts to Nil.
The second half was an altogether different affair as Llanelli really worked hard to put the visitors under more pressure. They got on the scoreboard on 41 mins when a nice break off lineout ball by scrum half Gareth George saw him slip the pass to supporting Joe Roberts who crossed near the posts. Outside half Ashley Sutton kicked the conversion. For the next twenty or so minutes the game really went end to end. Again, the home side had a couple of opportunities to reduce the arrears but were unable to breach the visitors defence, whilst when asked to defend they were well up to it. On 65 mins, Merthyr got their fourth and bonus point try when from another lineout close out, the ball was given to Jay Baker who finished well for his second score of the game. Try as they might Llanelli gave everything to get back into the game but were thwarted by a combination of mistakes and sound defence by the champions. So, a better performance from the young Llanelli side but they remain at the foot of the Premiership table. A very long way to go yet though !
Final Score Llanelli 7 Merthyr 26