Davies silences his critics
Monday 26 December 1994
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).
Latest in Sport
Police probe Mario Balotelli racist abuse as Kick It Out voice their displeasure
All Blacks Aaron Cruden misses New Zealand flight after drinking session, has brilliant excuse
Frank Lampard equalises for Manchester City against Chelsea: how Twitter reacted
Manchester City vs Chelsea match report: Frank Lampard shows no joy after denying Chelsea victory
Leicester City 5 Manchester United 3 player ratings: Leonard Ulloa? Radamel Falcao? Jamie Vardy? Angel Di Maria? Who was the star man?
- 1 All Blacks Aaron Cruden misses New Zealand flight after drinking session, has brilliant excuse
- 2 Kim Kardashian 'nude photos' leaked on 4chan weeks after Jennifer Lawrence scandal
- 3 'F*ck it, I quit': TV reporter Charlo Greene quits live on air in spectacular fashion
- 4 Clothes store Joy angers mental health campaigners with Twitter exchange on bipolar disorders
- 5 Scotland could still declare independence – even without referendum, says Alex Salmond
Scotland could still declare independence – even without referendum, says Alex Salmond
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
Scottish referendum results: Cross-party consensus collapses amid Tory-Labour spat on the 'English question'
Hilary Mantel 'should be investigated by police' over Margaret Thatcher assassination story, says Lord Bell
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Plebgate MP Andrew Mitchell called officer a 'little s**t', claim court documents 'exposing ex-Chief Whip's 'record of abusing police'
£300 - £350 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Pharmaceutical Computer ...
£70 - £90 per day: Randstad Education Birmingham: Higher Level Teaching Assist...
£50 - £80 per day: Randstad Education Birmingham: Randstad Education is the UK...
£400 - £450 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client is currently ...