British and Irish Cup: Llanelli 38 - 28 Gala
Gala coach George Graham was left to rue a horrendous start in Llanelli that ultimately led to his side’s first defeat of the British and Irish Cup.
SCORERS: Llanelli: Tries – K Phillips (2), A Davies, N White, O Williams. Cons – O Williams (5). Pen – O Williams. Gala: Tries – G Graham, C Robertson (2), Penalty. Cons – L Millar (4).
Llanelli scored a staggering 24 points, including three tries, inside the opening ten minutes , which left Gala with a mountain to climb at Parc Y Scarlets.
Yet the men from Netherdale somehow managed to recover to trail by just 31-28 early in the second half before running out of steam late on.
Graham said: “We’re actually happy with the performance but it’s tinged with wondering what would have happened if not for that start.
“We were destroyed in the first ten minutes and it was always an uphill battle after that.
“The boys were a bit shell-shocked to play in this sort of stadium and against the power and intensity of Llanelli.
“But we came to terms with that, hung in there by the skin of our teeth and kept believing that we had the game to beat them.
“To score 28 points against Llanelli takes some doing but we were probably fortunate to get that result given our lineout didn’t function and our passing, kicking and decision-making was poor.”
Scrum-half George Graham Jr and Craig Robertson both scored before Gala claimed a penalty try after two Llanelli forwards as well as prop Luke Pettie were sin-binned for fighting.
Robertson then scurried over for his second to claim a bonus point as Gala threatened a stunning fight back before Owen Williams sealed victory for Llanelli.
Llanelli: J Williams (J lewis, 37), K Phillips, N Reynolds, G Owen (C Keenan, 60), B Davies, O Williams, A Davies (J James, 75), R Thomas (S Hopkins, H-T), C Hawkins, J Kaijaks, J Ball (E Price, 66), N White, C Price (N Hart, 79), K Murphy, D Eager.
Gala: A McLean (C Dodds, 66), G Somerville (G Young, H-T), C Auld (J King, 50), B Turner, C Robertson, L Millar, G Graham (D Owenson, 66), L Pettie, R Anderson (C Mackintosh, 45), E McQuillan, C Weir (C Keddie, 62), O Palepoi, G Graham, E Dods, S Cairns (C Mackintosh 40-45, K Mien, 62).
Referee: Nigel Corkell (IRFU).
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