Llanelli go down to cup defeat in Newport

Llanelli’s involvement in the Indigo Premiership Cup ended with a 32-15 defeat at Newport.

On their visit first to the Newport Stadium, Llanelli started brightly with scrum-half Harri Williams to the fore.

Wing Liam Hutchings went close, as did hooker Rhys Cherry from a line-out drive, but it was the home side who opened the scoring on 18 minutes with a penalty from the boot of Geraint O’Driscoll before hooker Henry Palmer touched down following a powerful rumble from the home pack.

Scarlets Academy fly-half Josh Phillips reduced the arrears with a penalty, but it was Newport who took a grip on the game with a second try for Palmer, converted by O’Driscoll, for the Black and Ambers to lead 15-3 at the interval.

Needing a positive start to the second period, Llanelli got just that with Hutchings finishing off some smart work from scrum-half Williams a minute after the restart. Phillips added the extras and the visitors were back in the contest.

But back came Newport and that man Palmer, who took advantage of his pack’s ascendancy to cross for his hat-trick before wing Oli Andrew slid in for a fourth.

A clever kick through from full-back Llew Smith sat up in the path of wing Jac Davies for Llanelli’s second try of the afternoon on 64 minutes, making it 25-15, but that was as good as it got for the West Walians.

And it was the hosts who had the final word, securing their progress to the cup semi-finals with a fifth try for replacement Dafydd Buckland, converted by O’Driscoll.