RGC Assistant Coach Phil John was frustrated by the sides 2nd half performance in the Bonus Point win against Neath “It was a game of 2 halves in true form, and at halftime the boys came in thinking job done, whereas Neath would have talked about discipline and not giving us field position and it worked for them. We gave away far too many penalties in the second half, and the frustrating thing was many of them happened when we had the ball. We gave away the ball far too much, got turned over when we had possession and our ball carriers were isolated.”
“The positives include we picked up another bonus point win, and I thought Cam Davies had a great 1st half. He controlled the play and that gave us a good platform. This is another learning experience for the team and we move on, and as long as we learn from the 2nd half then we will be in a better position next game”
If RGC deserved credit for some good rugby in the 1st half, then they have a lot to improve on based on the 2nd half performance.
The game was very stop/start for the opening 15 minutes, and the visitors would have been happy in containing the RGC attacking threat.
As soon as the first real RGC break occurred then the home side sparked into life. Aron Evans and Tiaan Loots combined to make some good yards just short of the line.
The trusted boot of Jacob Botica hit the first points with a penalty to get the scoreboard flashing.
Cam Davies was beginning to put his mark down on the play, and it was an impressive run from the scrum half that set Afon Bagshaw on his was for the opening try after 18 minutes with the extra points for Botica.
The All Blacks were reduced to 14 men when prop Ryan Thomas was shown a yellow card and RGC ramped up the pressure on the Neath line. That pressure turned into points when Tiaan Loots smashed his way over the whitewash for the try, with another Botica conversion to extend the lead.
That lead was extended to 24 points on the half hour mark when Aron Evans broke the defence to touchdown. Once again fly-half Botica nudged the kick over.
It was the quick hands and fast feet that of the RGC backline that were causing all the problems with Cam Davies setting much of the tempo, and as the players headed into to the dressing room at the break the crowd were expecting more in the following 40 minutes.
RGC went close to getting the bonus point try early in the 2nd half when Botica had chance, but from that point it all began to fall apart.
The Gogs struggled to keep the ball, and when they did have it the found any way possible to give it away. As temperatures dropped so did RGC’s intensity and game management.
Credit to Neath as they won the battles in the 2nd half and picked up 3 tries in the process, Ed Howley dabbed down twice to close the score.
Jordan Scott was yellow carded for RGC, but surprisingly the home side became more composed with the man less and nerves were calmed when Tom Hughes grabbed the bonus point try, Replacement Dion Jones kicked the conversion.
It was the visitors that claimed the last try of the match when Scott Gibson ran over in the 70th minute but RGC saw the game off in the final 10 minutes to claim the 5 point victory.
Updated 22:30 - 14 Nov 2017 by Gary Williams