Preview: Aberavon v Llandovery

Aberavon play their last home game of the season this Saturday when they welcome Llandovery to the Talbot Athletic Ground in the Indigo Group Premiership, kick-off at 2:30 pm.

In the Premiership this season, the Drovers have won three from seven games. They have beaten RGC 1404 (bonus point win), Merthyr (bonus point win) and Swansea, but have lost to Newport, Pontypridd, Ebbw Vale and Cardiff.

In the Premiership Cup, the Drovers finished the pool stage of the competition in top spot of the West division after winning nine of their ten games. They then beat Pontypridd at home in the quarter-final stage before narrowly losing to Aberavon in the semi-final held at Merthyr a couple of weeks ago.

Looking at the Premiership, in “attack”, Llandovery have scored 24.4 points on average per game (ranked 7th) and 3.7 tries (ranked 5th). In “defence” they have conceded 26.9 points on average per game (ranked 10th) and 3.6 tries (ranked 9th). Aberavon have scored 29.6 points per game (ranked 4th) and 4.1 tries (ranked 3rd), and conceded 19.0 points (ranked 2nd) and 2.1 tries (ranked 1st).

Head-to-head, Aberavon and Llandovery have met each other 48 times in the Welsh National League (including playoffs), with the Wizards leading the series 30 – 16 with 2 games drawn. At the Talbot Athletic Ground, the Wizards lead 18 – 5 with 1 game drawn with them winning the last time the sides met at the ground (31 – 26 in 2018-19).

Looking back twenty seasons ago the Wizards won the Division One fixture against Llandovery 22 – 13. Wizards outside-half Jamie Davies and Drovers full-back Stuart Harries traded penalties in the first half to make the score 6 – 6 at the interval. Early in the second half centre Tracey Lewis intercepted for the visitors inside their own 22 to set up a try for wing Ioan Davies. Harries added the extras to put Llandovery 13 – 6 up. This seemed to be the impetus that the home side needed as their 15 game unbeaten run in Division One came under threat. Wizards flanker Andrew Thomas set up an unconverted try for Davies in the corner, before Davies kicked his third penalty of the afternoon to help the Wizards into a narrow 14 – 13 lead with half-hour to go. As the match entered the final quarter scrum-half Daniel Hawkins scored from a scrum five while Davies kicked another penalty in the 70th minute as the Wizards consolidated their lead at the top of the table.

The Wizards team that day was: Matthew Back; Sam Greenaway, Barry Maddocks, Scott Leighton, Daran Griffiths; Jamie Davies, Daniel Hawkins; Mike Harris, Jason Hyatt, Greg Dix (rep Andrew Clatworthy), Mervyn Meredith, Steve Rees (rep Chris Gittins), Natano Tiatia (rep Marvin Thomas), Richard Morris, Andrew Thomas.

The referee for Saturday’s game is Gareth Newman, aided by Wayne Davies and Owen Wrangham.