Davies silences his critics

Llanelli 54

Abertillery 13

Rumours that Phil Davies had passed his international sell-by date would appear to be somewhat premature following the big man's committed and athletic display in leading the Scarlets to Saturday's much-needed victory.

A big man for the big occasion, Davies lost his place in the Welsh pack for the Test against the Springboks last month when the selectors finally gave the Cardiff giant, Derwyn Jones, his fling in the second row.

Jones proved an instant hit alongside the new skipper, Gareth Llewellyn, and many people felt the 6ft 10in youngster's exciting debut could prove the death knell for Davies's illustrious international career.

If that was supposed to be the case then someone obviously forgot to tell Davies. In his first league outing since 12 November, and his 296th appearance for Llanelli, he tore around the pitch as if he was playing at Stradey Park for the first time.

The acting captain also got in on the try act, crossing for one of his side's nine scores, and the on-looking selectors will have been much heartened by what they saw. With full fitness restored, Davies remains a certainty for the Welsh World Cup squad.

The other heartening news for the national selectors was the form of the right wing, Wayne Proctor. The rugby headlines in Wales this season have been dominated by the horrific run of injuries suffered by the Welsh back line - Ieuan Evans (broken leg), Mike Rayer (broken leg), Nigel Davies (fractured cheekbone), Nigel Walker (knee operation) and Rupert Moon (broken wrist) - yet few have noted the consistency of Proctor.

He waged a personal war on Abertillery in the second half as he sped away for four tries, three of them in a 12-minute burst, as Llanelli rediscovered some of their best form.

His example was enthusiastically followed by his fellow wing, Garan Evans, who ran in his first league hat-trick, and the brave battlers from Gwent were sunk in a sea of second-half points.

At least they fared better than they did in 1991, when they conceded 13 tries in a 68-9 defeat at Stradey, and they looked like a side well capable of staying in the First Division.

Victory for the Scarlets also went a long way to ensuring they will not lose their top-flight status after a run of three successive defeats and the deduction of two league points. The return of Davies provided much needed ballast and now the Llanelli ship looks set fare once again.

Llanelli: Tries Proctor 4, G Evans 3, R Evans, Davies; Conversions Stephens 2, Strange; Penalty Stephens. Abertillery: Try M Williams; Conversion M Williams; Penalties M Williams 2.

Llanelli: J Strange; W Proctor, N Boobyer, M Wintle, G Evans; C Stephens, H Harries; R Evans, R McBryde (P Young, 74), H Williams-Jones, P Davies (capt), L Williams, C Quinnell, I Hembrow, A McPherson (A Lamerton, 55).

Abertillery: A Price; M Williams, R Richards, S Connors, A Richards; K Price, M Rossitor (capt); J Mainwaring, C Milkins, B Cripps, J Cicero, M Griffiths, G Gladwyn, J Williams, M Picton.

Referee: P Rees (Aberystwyth).

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
The Apprentice candidates Roisin Hogan, Solomon Akhtar, Mark Wright, Bianca Miller, Daniel Lassman
tvReview: But which contestants got the boot?
Arts and Entertainment
Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels ride again in Dumb and Dumber To
filmReview: Dumb And Dumber To was a really stupid idea
News
people

Jo from Northern Ireland was less than impressed by Russell Brand's attempt to stage a publicity stunt

Sport
Scunthorpe goalkeeper Sam Slocombe (left) is congratulated by winning penalty taker Miguel Llera (right)
football
Life and Style
A woman walks by a pandal art installation entitled 'Mars Mission' with the figure of an astronaut during the Durga Puja festival in Calcutta, India
techHow we’ll investigate the existence of, and maybe move in with, our alien neighbours
Arts and Entertainment
Sir Ian McKellen tempts the Cookie Monster
tvSir Ian McKellen joins the Cookie Monster for a lesson on temptation
News
i100
Travel
Tourists bask in the sun beneath the skyscrapers of Dubai
travelBritish embassy uses social media campaign to issue travel advice for festive holiday-makers in UAE
Arts and Entertainment
Jennifer Saunders stars as Miss Windsor, Dennis's hysterical French teacher
filmJennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress
Life and Style
tech
Sport
Nabil Bentaleb (centre) celebrates putting Tottenham ahead
footballTottenham 4 Newcastle 0: Spurs fans dreaming of Wembley final after dominant win
Life and Style
Sebastian Siemiatkowski is the 33-year-old co-founder and CEO of Klarna, which provides a simple way for people to buy things online
tech
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Senior Android App Developer

£30000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company specialises in the...

Ashdown Group: Helpdesk Analyst

£25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: An established media firm based in Surrey is ...

Ashdown Group: Java Developer - Hertfordshire - £47,000 + bonus + benefits

£40000 - £470000 per annum + bonus: Ashdown Group: Java Developer / J2EE Devel...

Ashdown Group: Head of Finance - Financial Director - London - £70,000

£70000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Head of Finance - Financial Controller - Fina...

Day In a Page

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas
La Famille Bélier is being touted as this year's Amelie - so why are many in the deaf community outraged by it?

Deaf community outraged by La Famille Bélier

The new film tells the story of a deaf-mute farming family and is being touted as this year's Amelie
10 best high-end laptops

10 best high-end laptops

From lightweight and zippy devices to gaming beasts, we test the latest in top-spec portable computers
Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

The batsman has grown disillusioned after England’s Ashes debacle and allegations linking him to the Pietersen affair
Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

The Williams driver has had plenty of doubters, but hopes she will be judged by her ability in the cockpit
Adam Gemili interview: 'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

After a year touched by tragedy, Adam Gemili wants to become the sixth Briton to run a sub-10sec 100m
Calls for a military mental health 'quality mark'

Homeless Veterans campaign

Expert calls for military mental health 'quality mark'
Racton Man: Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman

Meet Racton Man

Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman
Garden Bridge: St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters

Garden Bridge

St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters
Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament: An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel

Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament

An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel
Joint Enterprise: The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice

Joint Enterprise

The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice
Freud and Eros: Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum: Objects of Desire

Freud and Eros

Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum