Llanelli RFC v Aberavon RFCv@Stradey Park 20/09/08
Llanelli made five changes from their win at Pontypool as they took on Aberavon at Stradey Park. While Aberavon included Ospreys Andy Lloyd, Lyn Bateman and International hooker Richard Hibbard, along with young Osprey Academy player Ashley Beck in their 22.
Played in perfect weather conditions on the equally perfect Stradey turf., the game lived up to expectations as an early season top of the table clash. Outside half Luke Richards opened proceedings with a beautiful struck penalty from almost halfway, which was immediately cancelled by Jamie Davies who kicked a penalty from an infringement at the restart. Llanelli then took the lead on the half hour as big lock Dominic Day galloped in from 40 metres which Richards converted. Again from the restart Llanelli infringed and Davies took the 3 points on offer and further indiscipline presented the accurate Davies with his third penalty. To rub salt into the wounds a mix up on the the right touchline saw former Llanelli player Richard Thomas kick and win the chase to the try line which Davies also converted to give the Wizards a halftime lead of 16-10.
Llanelli were finding things difficult at the lineout but were making up for the lack of possession in their overall work rate as the whole pack worked tirelessly for the 80 minutes. Llanelli took the lead from a flowing movement instigated again by shining full back Dan Evans with wing Matthew Jacobs touching down in the left hand corner which Richards converted superbly. Then Hendy boy Aaaron Shingler showed what an all round package he is going to be on the rugby field, as he outsprinted the defence for a spectacular 60 metre try under the posts..Shingler who put in a man of the match performance must have some Fijian blood in the family such are the levels of similarity he has in respect to ball handling skills, size and speed. Richards duly kicked the simple conversion to give Llanelli an eight point cushion. The Wizards retaliated, as the lead was cut to a point within four minutes as wing Paul Bamsey scored and Davies converted. Wing Richard Carter then went close for the Wizards but the battling young guns of Llanelli held out as the accurate Richards kept up his 100% kicking by slotting a penalty to end the game.
Match Sponsor Towers Hotel Man of the match was Dan Evans.
Team15.Dan Evans.14.Matthew Jacobs.13.Nick Reynolds.12.Andrew Banfield 11.Matthew Jacobs.10.Luke Richards 9.Gavin Cattle.1.Ian Jones.2.Ricky Guest3.Simon Gardner.4.Aaron Shingler.5.Dominic Day.6.Luke Jones7.James Bater.8.Dan Godfrey 16.Shaun Hopkins(57).17.Peter Edwards(65)).18.Aled Hopkins(23).19.Adam Powell(73).20Dan Newton(63) 21.Nic Cudd (65)22.Justin James
Half Time… Llanelli RFC 10-16 Aberavon RFC
Final………. Llanelli RFC 27-23 Aberavon RFC
Other Principality Premiership results
Cardiff 30-23 Bridgend
Ebbw Vale 13-3 Pontpridd
Wanderers 42-31 Pontypool
Neath 62-20 Cross Keys
Newport 67-5 Llandovery
Swansea 23-15 Bedwas