Ebbw Vale 21 RGC 22
Friday 19th November 2021
Composure would be the word to describe the RGC performance, after they clinched the win at Ebbw Vale with the final play. When you add in they had to play the game with 14 men for 65 minutes, and they had never won at Eugene Park, then this victory is one to be proud of.
Both sides opened the game looking to attack, with Ebbw Vale moving the ball wide on occasions trying to use the pace of winger Euan Rosser.
RGC were more direct with good running through the middle with Rhys Williams and Brodie Coghlan making some string carries and yards.
The game turned to a kicking battle as the ball spent some time being booted high into the Friday night sky. Afon Bagshaw was secure under the Friday night lights, and collected every kick with calm hands.
RGC found themselves down to 14 men after 15 minutes when captain Tom Hughes was red-carded after the linesman and referee called a dangerous tackle.
That spurned RGC into some positive rugby as they reacted well to the decision. Ethan Fackrell and Andrew Williams made some good runs to take the Gogs into the Ebbw half. Billy McQueeney was adding some grit to the Gogs pack again making an impact.
Sam Rogers opened the scoring, after the RGC worked hard to earn a penalty.
The homeside took the lead after Joe Beard got the turnover ball and ran under the posts to give Evan Lloyd a simple conversion.
Coghlan again was making some strong breaks, as he bounced out the tackles to get RGC back into attacking positions.
Credit to the RGC pack who were piling the pressure on the Steelmen, and after a couple of driving mauls, before Dan Hill was yellow carded for Ebbw Vale. The Gogs were finally rewarded when the pack crossed the line with Coghlan getting the score. Rogers converted to give RGC a 14-10 lead at the break.
As expected the homeside looked to find the space with the man advantage and they took the lead when Alex Gray touchdown before Lloyd converted.
RGC’s 7-man pack continued to cause Ebbw Vale problems and they put pressure on the Steelmen.
Rhys Tudor and Efan Jones combined for a break, but Jones was unlucky to knock on in the tackle.
The Steelmen extended the lead when Lewis Young collected a kick to score and again Lloyd hit the extras.
Ebbw Vale tried to attack with pace, and move the ball wide but you wouldn’t have known they had an extra man on the field, as the RGC defence chased and hustled in all areas of the field.
The RGC defence remained dogged, and they didn’t drop the intensity in the tackle, and this would prove crucial as the Steelmen were unable to get over the line.
RGC remained in the contest after Efan Jones sniped from the maul and then the pack did the rest, with Sam Williams grabbing the try before Rogers kicked the conversion.
The clock ticked down, the nerves increased from the stands but the RGC players remained calm.
Phases were built and they kept on nudging forward and recycling the ball before they seized the opportunity to shift it wide and winger Zac Clow delivered with strong hand-off to score in the corner to clinch a superb win.