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RGC 66 v Neath 3 - match report

11 months ago By Gary Williams

Following report kindly supplied by RGC News and picture by Aled Jones.

RGC produced their biggest win in the Principality Premiership with a blistering last quarter in which they ran in 5 tries with some direct running and quick hands.

That was in stark contrast to the 1st half, which was dominated by the grunt of the forwards, who were looking to dominate from kick off.

Evan Yardley and Maredydd Francis were carrying well, but a combination of good defence and a number of Neath infringements were keeping the RGC attack at bay.

Both sides traded some kicks to test the handling of the backs in wet conditions. Neath were looking to put a marker down, even when they didn’t have the ball.

Danny Cross opened the scoring with a penalty on the 18th minute, and soon after the referee gave Neath a yellow when Jon Barley was sin binned.

Play was pretty broken up, and the scuffles around the breakdown were becoming more regular and the referee was having words with a number of players.

As the half went on the game the penalty count caught up with Neath and Ryan Thomas was given a red card. The All Blacks were down to 13 men, and RGC looked to take full advantage.

The visitors did everything possible to stop the whitewash being crossed, and bodies were being tested to the limit.

RGC managed to open the play up and the ball was moved wide, before Dan Owen went over for the 1st try. Cross hit the conversion.

The homeside began to settle, and Efan Jones was linking up well with Danny Cross to get the ball moving. Tim Grey was next to make a break before Robin Williams collected the pass and stormed through the tackle to score. Cross was again on form with the extras.
Neath were still being physical at the breakdown, and the referee was having his work cut out to control the game. Afon Bagshaw collected a high ball superbly but was taken out with a high tackle in the process.

The 2nd half began with an Ed Howley penalty from Neath, and he went close with a 2nd attempt minutes later.

For the next 20 minutes the game was once again pretty niggly, with not much to shout about from the supporters. Head Coach Mark Jones brought on much of his bench including new prop Charlie Connolly to add some power to the pack.

The biggest cheer came when RGC put in a big shove in the scrum and won the penalty, which also would have got a smile from Phil John in the stands.

With Neath being a man down, and the somewhat overly physical style of rugby led to them tiring as the game went on.

RGC played the game with cool heads and quick hands, making full use of the pitch.
RGC took full advantage of the space and gaps in the defence and ran hard and straight. Andrew Williams crashed over for the score before Dan Owen claimed the bonus point try with some good footwork. Replacement Jacob Botica claimed both conversions.
Tiaan Loots was next to make a 50 yard break before popping the ball to Harri Evans to cross the line. Extras from Botica.

Just as Dion Jones was announced Man of the Match, the fullback used some nifty footwork to control the bouncing ball to cross for the try. Once again Botica was spot on with the kick.

Neath were clearly wishing for the game to end, as the attacks kept on coming and the scoreboard was working overtime. Centre Tom Hughes grabbed a loose ball in his own half and out ran the chasers to run in under the posts making it a simple kick for Botica.
Botica was next to make the break as the holes in the Neath defence were now getting bigger, and Afon Bagshaw did the rest to dive in at the corner. Fly-half Botica hit a superb kick to claim another 2 points.

As the clock ticked towards 80 minutes Dion Jones scored try number 9, and the final kick sailed over the posts to claim an emphatic victory.

Updated 11:00 - 11 Feb 2018 by Gary Williams

Where next?

Merched Lloegr 52 v Merched Cymru 0 Following report kindly supplied by Eifion Harding, Caernarfon RFC.
Llandudno 13 v Nant Conwy 21 - match report Following report kindly supplied by Nant Conwy RFC.

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