Merthyr 28 RGC 24
Friday 10th May 2019
Merthyr claimed the win and the title with an 84 minute try in an epic game at the Wern. The 80 minutes of rugby probably showcased RGC’s season with some great attacking play, big effort in defence but errors letting them down at crucial moments.
RGC raced ahead with 2 tries in the opening 6 minutes with a barnstorming start to the game. Mark Jones clearly wanted his side to play with pace and intensity and they did so in numbers. Rhys Williams was first to cross the whitewash after 2 minutes and captain Evan Yardley doubled the tally in the 6th minute after he spotted a gap and ran through. Billy McBryde added the extras.
Merthyr regained their composure and started to get the big runners on the ball, as Craig Locke and Paddy McBride both made some yards through the middle of the field.
They got the try after a maul drove over and Louis Jones came up with the ball. Jarvis hit the conversion.
RGC were working hard around the breakdown , and Harri Evans picked up a couple of important turnovers.
Attacking wise they had a few chances to move the ball wide, but passes failed to go to hands.
Much of the opening half involved RGC stepping up in defence and pushing the Merthyr carriers back.
Try number 3 came in the 36th minute, after some patient phase play, making the gainline before McBryde fired a superb pass to winger Sam Jones and the speedster went in for his 18th try of the season. McBryde again added the kick.
The homeside regained the momentum after the break and scored 2 unanswered tries as they levelled the score.
Centre Pinches and Louis Jones with his second, with the Jarvis conversions, made it all square after 60 mins.
It was a breathtaking game, and both sides were not giving an inch. Paddy McBride went over but the TMO ruled the try out.
Pinches was hitting good running lines and making big yards, and took the game to RGC.
The RGC discipline was poor at times in the 2nd half, which was letting Merthyr regain the ball and keep that momentum, which they didn’t have in the opening 40 minutes
Jay Baker made a break and perhaps should have passed for the score, and then Sam Jones made a run himself testing the Merthyr’s backline.
Man of the Match McBryde gave his side the lead again on the 69th minute, as the nerves began to show on the field.
Merthyr pushed towards the line, and RGC put everything behind that line to try and keep them out.
Jordan Scott was yellow carded and the game became a battle around the scrum. The pendulum swung in all directions in the closing minutes and when it reached 80 minutes RGC got the penalty and hit it to touch. From the lineout Merthyr won the ball and grabbed one last chance and one last push…..and 4 minutes later they took advantage with the try from Dwyer and a Jarvis conversion.
RGC gave everything in the game, and left nothing out on the field but like many games this season those small errors have disappointingly made a big difference in the end result.