Llanelli ultimately showed their class as they ground out a hard-fought Swalec Cup win over a spirited Tata Steel side in torrid conditions at the Tata Sports Ground in Margam.
Centre Nathan Edwards touched down midway through the second-half to add to a penalty try on 20 minutes as the Premiership outfit booked their place in the second round of the competition.
An early try from wing Kristian Jenkins gave the Championship outfit a fine start – but the visitors turned up the heat and eventually fought their way to an impressive victory.
The hosts would have been happy with the way they started in what can only be described as monsoon conditions – with relentless rain making conditions even more difficult with each passing minute.
And they were soon in-front as wing Jenkins burst through the Llanelli defence after a scrum to score the game’s first try on nine minutes – which Steve Lewis duly converted.
The Saints looked very confident early on but Llanelli soon started to show their talent with a wave of attacks deep inside Tata Steel’s 22.
And with the penalty count rising, referee Justin Evans had no option but to award the visitors a penalty try after yet another dominant scrum – with Billy McBryde’s conversion levelling proceedings.
Tata Steel continued to show great spirit in tough conditions as the rain eased towards the end of the half.
They were almost ahead on the half hour mark after a slick interchange between Phillips and full-back Lloyd Rogers – but they fell agonisingly short of the try-line as the score remained level at the break.
Llanelli started the second-half brightly and spent long periods deep in Tata Steel territory – with the hosts throwing their bodies on the line with a brave defensive effort.
But centre Edwards eventually found a gap and darted over on the left wing to put the Premiership side ahead for the first time on 61 minutes.
Tata Steel continued to fight for the ball and kept themselves into contention in the final quarter.
But Llanelli sealed the win as fly-half McBryde splitting the posts on 75 minutes as the Parc y Scarlets outfit progressed into the next round.
Tata 7 - 15 Llanelli RFC
courtesy of walesonline.