2015/2016 Principality Premiership
Llanelli 58 v 22 Neath
10 October 2015 - Parc y Scarlets, Llanelli

Match Report

Bonus point home win

 Two of the biggest names in Welsh rugby went into this game at Parc y Scarlets with just one Principality Premiership win between them this season.

After 80 minutes, Llanelli had doubled their total while Neath still await their first victory.

Both sides are in the midst of a rebuilding process and both demonstrated that they contain some exciting young talent.

It was the home side, however, who looked just a little closer to being the finished product.

Forty-six of Llanelli's 58 points came from their half-backs, including a hat-trick by scrum-half Justin James, while his replacement Declan Smith scored with his first touch of the ball. Fly-half Billy McBryde added a try of his own to eight successful kicks out of eight.

Neath showed flashes of inspiration as they produced three tries of their own, but their defensive performance was their poorest of the season to date.

Their indiscipline also cost them dearly, the penalties they conceded generating scoring opportunities for Llanelli as well as denying the visitors opportunities of their own.

Neath team manager Martyn Morris said: "I thought green shoots were starting to appear last Saturday at Bedwas, but we took a step backwards.

"The penalty count hurt us, we were our own worst enemies there. They scored three or four tries from penalties that we gave away and it hurt us very badly."

Meanwhile, Llanelli head of rugby Kevin George suggested that what his equally inexperienced squad needs is a few more successes.

He said: "We need wins, we know that. We don't want to harp on about development but we want the boys to go through the season and experience the highs and the lows. One win is good, two is better, three would be better again."

After Llanelli opened the scoring, it took the visitors just two minutes to strike back with a well-worked team effort culminating in a touchdown for captain Jordan Collier.

Llanelli's second try also involved much of the team, with full-back Jordan Williams claiming the score under the posts.

Try number three for Llanelli exposed the fragility of the Neath defence as scrum-half James touched down virtually unopposed.

Neath narrowed the gap with a successful penalty in the 30th minute. Three minutes later James claimed his second try of the match, securing Llanelli's bonus point.

Despite that, and losing scrum-half Tom James to injury, Neath battled on and shortly before the break it was full-back Ashley Evans's turn to embarrass the opposing defence as he burst through the middle to cross under the posts. The ensuing conversion by Morgans made the half-time score 32-16.

Given the growing penalty count a yellow card for someone began to look inevitable and it was Neath prop Aaron Coundley who finally exhausted referee Robert Price's patience.

As Coundley prepared to return to the pitch his place in the sin-bin was taken by Llanelli second row Christian Long, only foul play by the home side preventing a Neath rolling maul from crossing the line. The visitors repeated the tactic moments later and this time replacement hooker Ieuan Dobbs secured the try.

That good work was soon undone as a Neath handling error allowed James to hack ahead and go on to complete his hat-trick, while his replacement Smith scored with his first touch of the ball, enabling Llanelli to complete their half-century. Replacement wing Matthew Owen rounded things off with a try on the stroke of time.

Llanelli RFC 58 - 22 Neath RFC

Courtesy of SWEP

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Llanelli RFC 58 - 22 Neath RFC

Official : Rob Price (Wales)

Llanelli Neath