GOOD DERBY WIN KEEPS SUR­VIVAL HOPES ALIVE

Llanelli Star - - PRINCIPALI­TY PREMIERSHI­P -

FIVE wins in a row have cer­tainly given Llanelli a life­line, but their fate re­mains out of their own hands.

The writ­ing looked to be on the wall af­ter de­feat at Bed­was on March 8, but since then the Sospans have beaten Cross Keys, Aber­avon, RGC, Brid­gend and now Swansea as they fight to pre­serve their Prin­ci­pal­ity Premier­ship sta­tus.

All they can do now is win their fi­nal game at home against Neath on May 4 and then wait.

They cur­rently oc­cupy a po­si­tion of safety in 11th with 58 points, but fourth-from-bot­tom Brid­gend, eight points back, have three games in hand. Bed­was, 12th, have 52 points with two to play.

Neath, Cross Keys and Bar­goed have all gone. One more will go with them, with the team fin­ish­ing 12th fac­ing Cham­pi­onship kings Pon­ty­pool in the play-off.

El­liot Rees, twice, Dan Davis, Tay­lor Davies and Tom Pry­die all scored in Satur­day’s win over Swansea, with Pry­die also ad­ding nine points from the tee. Llanelli had led 26-7 at the break.

“I thought we per­formed much bet­ter in the first half and we prob­a­bly left two tries out there as well,” said Llanelli head coach Paul Fisher.

“All credit to Swansea as they fought back really hard in the sec­ond half, as we ex­pected them to do as they are a team that base them­selves on a lot of pride, es­pe­cially with it being a derby match.

“We squan­dered too many op­por­tu­ni­ties in the sec­ond half, but in the end we are just de­lighted to get the bonus-point win.

“We spoke about six cup fi­nals to­wards the end of the sea­son and we’ve won five of those and will now pre­pare for the next match against Neath.”

The home side took an early lead when Kalum Evans sprinted through a gap in the Swansea de­fence and found Paul Asquith in sup­port be­fore Rees ex­ploited an over­lap to charge over for a try in the cor­ner.

And it got even bet­ter for Llanelli when a well-worked move by the home for­wards saw Dan Davis crash over for a try.

Try num­ber three fol­lowed when Tom Price col­lected a line-out and the home pack drove over the line, with Tay­lor Davies claim­ing the touch­down.

Great han­dling by the home backs saw Llanelli eas­ily cut through the Swansea de­fence, with Rees dum­my­ing his way over for his sec­ond try and a bonus point on the half-hour mark.

Rhys Fawcett il­le­gally brought down a maul and he was promptly shown a yel­low card, with the Whites’ first points ar­riv­ing through a penalty try.

The home side were back on the score­sheet when Paul Asquith made a dev­as­tat­ing break and drew in a tack­ler to send Pry­die over for a try in the cor­ner.

Cal­lum Bowden and Sam Kiley replied with a try each for the vis­i­tors but in the dy­ing sec­onds Jon Fox was yel­low-carded for a de­lib­er­ate knockon and Pry­die sealed vic­tory with a penalty goal.

Swansea di­rec­tor of rugby Richard Lan­caster said: “It seems to be like Ground­hog Day for us at Parc y Scar­lets most sea­sons as we seem to let them into a big lead be­fore we start play­ing.

“I’m dis­ap­pointed as even with five min­utes to go I thought we could have come away with some­thing, and if we had been a bit more ac­cu­rate we could have got a win.”

El­liot Rees scored two tries for Llanelli in their im­por­tant win against Swansea on Satur­day.

Tom Pry­die went over for a try for Llanelli as well as kick­ing three con­ver­sions and a penalty.

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