Ebbw Vale 27 RGC 26
Friday 11th January 2018
One point separated both sides, and it was the Steelmen who claimed the win to make it 7 games unbeaten.
The Gogs had the best of the opening and were rewarded when Danny Cross rode the tackle to get over the line for the first try. McBryde edged the conversion wide.
The homeside were as expected physical around the breakdown, and were winning the penalties and as a result pressure was building.
Don Haymond brought his side level, when the Steelmen got into the 22m line and opened up the defence to score the try. The superb conversion from Rhys Jones gave them the lead.
Both sides were forcing the play looking for the attacking edge, but on more than one occasion it ended with a turnover
The momentum was with the homeside, and RGC weren’t matching the physicality around the field.
Toby Fricker was getting his hands on the ball, and Iolo Evans was working hard to shut him down on the wing.
Bryn Jones was also working hard and picked up a few turnovers in key areas to break up Ebbw Vales attacking danger.
Much of the game was being played around the halflway line, with the scrum resets slowing the speed of the game. It was from a scrum that resulted in an Ebbw Vale penalty and Jones hit it over from distance to increase the lead for the home side.
RGC came back on the attack with Tim Grey and Evan Yardley making some carries around the Ebbw Vale 22 meter line but the homeside soaked up the play and broke away after a turnover.
Fricker hit the gap in the 36th minute to run to the line, before he popped the ball to Lloyd Evans in support to score. Jones again was on point with the extras.
It was a positive start to the 2nd half, as straight from the break McBryde used his feet well to skip around the tacklers to touchdown, and he hit the conversion.
The danger for the visitors was the fact Ebbw Vale were attacking with speed from own half, and they were getting numbers wide to run at RGC.
Ebbw Vale extended the lead on the 50th minute with another successful penalty from Jones.
The tempo increased from RGC, and they found some rhythm with Tom Hughes conducting much of the positive play.
The field opened up in the 2nd half, with both sides looking at some mutli-phases and tiring the defences. RGC did that in textbook style, and it resulted with a Harri Evans try, and McBryde hit the conversion.
RGC took the lead with a bonus point try minutes later, after the backline opened the field up Tom Hughes hacked the ball and Dion Jones controlled it with the boot to dab down. McBryde again hit the extras.
It was a big swing in the scoreboard, but from the restart Ebbw Vale ramped up the pressure on the RGC line.
A huge Ebbw Vale scrum on RGC put in drove them to the line, and Cam Regan scored. Jones made it a one point lead with the conversion.
The homeside grew in confidence knowing the damage the pack could cause, and looked to exploit that advantage on a number of occasions.
Fricker again was busy with ball in hand, going near the whitewhash. Credit to RGC who kept him out, and won a key penalty from the scrum to relieve some pressure.
RGC again opened up the filed with an impressive run from Efan Jones and Harri Evans before the scrumhalf was scrambled into touch.
Ilan Rowlands was next to break the gainline, and made some good yards but the defensive work of Ebbw Vale nullified the danger.
Fricker claimed the turnover to end the attack and claim the game for Ebbw Vale.