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Bridgend 10 v RGC 27 - match report

9 months ago By Gary Williams

RGC came away from the Brewery Field with a hard-fought away win against a determined Ravens side. The Oval Zone reports...

From the off, a fired up home side signalled their intent, hassling the visitors and attempting to force errors in the drizzle. In the second minute a loose ball was kicked forward and, reminiscent of his famous father Ieuan, Cai Evans won the chase to touch down and open the day’s scoring.

Converting his own try, Evans had given the Ravens a dream start while the Gogs appeared to be ‘still on the bus’.

It was a full fifteen minutes before the visitors had their first attack, resulting in a penalty which Jacob Botica would probably have scored with ease. However, RGC opted to kick for touch, only to be thwarted by the Ravens as they stole the ball at the lineout and cleared their lines.

A minute later, another RGC penalty, closer to the posts this time and again turned down for a kick to touch. Frustration for the visiting supporters as, once again, the ball ended up with the home defenders and was hoofed away from danger.

The next twenty minutes was played in the centre of the field with no side able to gain the ascendancy.

You couldn’t blame the backs for wanting to have a run when they did have the ball and after 32 minutes, an attempt by RGC to run the ball from their own line, failed as the runner was tackled, taken to ground and adjudged to have hung on just a little too long, resulting in a penalty for the Ravens. Evans calmly slotted over and increased the home lead to 10-0.

This score spurred RGC in to life as they surged forward with urgency. An infringement just inside the Ravens half allowed Jacob Botica to reduce the arrears to 10-3 with a fine long-range penalty.

Two minutes later, cheered on by the vociferous home crowd, the Ravens forced a penalty of their own. Fortunately for the visitors, Cai Evans’ attempt was just wide.

With half time approaching, a delicious break by flanker Dan Owen, allowed the close supporting full back Dion Jones to gratefully accept the pass and slide over for RGC’s first try of the game, converted by Botica to give a 10-10 interval score.

The second half got underway with RGC having a spring in their step and they exerted immediate pressure on the home side.

Early in the half, RGC hooker, Evan Yardley was given a Christmas card by the referee, thankfully just yellow and a break for ten minutes.

Even when down to 14 men, RGC kept a stranglehold on the game and it came as no surprise when a penalty award after 10 minutes of the half was coolly converted by Jacob Botica and gave the visitors the lead for the first time in the game at 10-13.

Halfway through the half, Dion Jones, ever hungry to get involved, finished off a great handling move to touch down under the posts, converted by Botica and a lead of 10-20.

With both sides sending on the subs, the game entered a period of stop-start, mostly played in the Ravens half as Botica pegged them backed repeatedly with some sublime kicking.

The game was wrapped up with five minutes to go as Tom Hughes used his dancing feet to leave defenders in his wake and score a super try, again converted by Botica and an unassailable lead of 10-27.

The second half performance by RGC was a great improvement on their first half showing and they should be pleased to enter the Christmas period with another fine win on the road under their belts which confirmed them as winners of the WRU Principality Premiership West Division.

Updated 10:04 - 24 Dec 2017 by Gary Williams

Where next?

Talking point by Barry Williams - Regions and the clubs Another great offering by Barry Williams, regular feature writer for The Oval Zone rugby magazine.
Bridgend v RGC - team announcement Following is the RGC team for Saturday's tough away game at Bridgend.

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