Bridgend Ravens 35 RGC 13
Premiership Cup Round 1
Saturday 23rd September 2023
The homeside struck early when fly-half Luke Price skipped a tackle and looped a pass to winger Cam Ellis to run in the at the corner.
It was a sluggish start from RGC, who were missing tackles and giving the Ravens yards with the ball.
Bridgend kicked to the line, and somehow within the ruck managed to claim the 2nd try with Ben Thomas getting it.
Delwyn Jones made a great break and had Ollie Wynn in support, but the pass didn’t find he hands of the RGC scrum-half with a try in sight. It was a great opportunity but frustratingly wasn’t taken.
In attack RGC looked hesitant with ball in hand and the kick chase wasn’t delivering results either.
When the Ravens had the ball they were making simple yards and gaining territory, and with the 10 point cushion were looking for more.
Penalties failing to reach touch were adding to RGCs woes as it invited pressure back in the RGC half.
The Gogs were penalised for backchat to the referee and it was costly. Ravens kicked to touch and from the lineout the pack drove hard, and Connor Vaughan scored.
5 minutes before the break RGC got some points on the board when Harri Hughes sprinted down the wing and was supported by Matt Buchanan who collected the pass and dabbed down for the try.
RGC came out for the 2nd half with some positive intent, Harri Hughes and Sam Stoddard combined to go close.
Harri Ford’s kicking pinned Bridgend back and built some constant pressure and were rewarded with a Sam Earl-Jones penalty to close the gap to 7 points.
The momentum and scoreboard shifted over a couple of minutes with Ravens on the attack.
Cam Ellis went on a solo run, stepped, and stretched to grab his 2nd try for Bridgend and the score would have been more favourable if the homeside had managed to kick any conversions.
Minutes later they crossed the line again with full-back Howley finishing. Conversion was greeted with cheers from the home fans by Rhys Williams.
It was the Gogs turn to get the pack moving and it rumbled on until Rhodri King came up with the ball and the try. Earl-Jones was unable to hit the extras.
Matt Buchanan went close but was stopped on the line with some solid defence.
RGC were looking to find that hole on the Ravens line but couldn’t find that opening, and the homeside were keeping them out.
As the clock ran down, RGC’s lineout failed to fire Bridgend went from defending their own line to grabbing a penalty in minute to make it 30-13.
Howley claimed a brace of tries for the Ravens when the ball moved wide and he went over to end the game.
Head Coach Ceri Jones “At halftime I was positive in what we did and fought our way back into the game. After 60 minutes we controlled the game, but we then didn’t deal with the momentum.
In all games teams will get the ball and the momentum but it's managing that. They got a couple of tries and it took the game away from us.
You look today and it’s an average age of 21, and 2 more debuts today so they are learning and gaining that experience which in the longer run will benefit us.
The next step is to learn how to win, and learn how to deal with the momentum ebbing and flowing and making sure we deal with what is thrown at as under pressure. We need to learn quickly and the games keep on coming and Ebbw Vale is on the horizon.”