RGC 25 Pontypridd 30
Indigo Group Premiership Cup
Eirias, January 22nd 2022
RGC were left frustrated and disappointed after giving themselves too much to do after a 1st half performance which gave the visitors a 17 point lead.
With a Cup Quarter final place at stake, the game opened with both sides swapping kicks.
Danny Cross opened the scoring with a penalty before Jacob Lloyd levelled with a penalty of his own minutes later.
The Gog’s then had to make an early change after Sam Rogers came of injured and Matt Buchanan came on to play centre.
Afon Bagshaw made the first break of the game, but the pass couldn’t find the hands of Zach Clow after the field opened in front of him
Full-back Bagshaw was then called into defensive duty when he grabbed Dale Stuckey after he collected a loose ball and looked to break.
The visitor then looked to shift the ball wide, but they were knocked into touch with the touchline in sight.
In what was to become a familiar strand, RGC then worked the ball into the Pontypridd 22 but the visitors ended up with the penalty and the chance to clear.
To make matters worse Ponty were gifted a simple try when an Efan Jones pass was intercepted, and Cai James ran in from halfway. Lloyd hit the extras.
RGC again got into a good attacking position driving to the line, but they were pulled back for holding on.
The game became harder for RGC when Bradley Roderick collected a kick through behind the RGC defence to touch down, and Lloyd’s kick make it a 17-point lead at half time. Score wise the visitors didn’t have to work to hard for the points, and RGC spurned opportunities when they got into attacking positions.
RGC needed to come out and get some points on early after the restart and achieved that when Dan Owen crossed the whitewash. Danny Cross converted.
The Eirias support started to get behind the players, and after Zach Clow made a good break down the wing Afon Bagshaw stepped inside to score. After Danny Cross kicked the extras, it was a 3-point gap.
It felt that when the had to chase the game they played some controlled rugby, but when the game was close the players forced a pass or played the ball too early in looking for that score to take the lead.
That Pontypridd lead was soon to be extended when Pontypridd’s prop got a try to knock the wind out of RGC’s momentum. Again, Lloyd was on point with the boot.
It was becoming Groundhog Day when RGC got into the Pontypridd 22, as time and time again they failed to convert the opportunities which resulted in Ponty easing the pressure.
The third try did come for the Gogs, after Buchanan collected a high ball, before scrumhalf Efan Jones set up Dan Owen to cross in the corner and give themselves some hope of getting back into the match.
Rhodri King then went close, but he couldn’t collect the pass as he was on the line. Efan Jones was next have a go but was pulled back as he knocked on at the line.
As the clock hit 80 minutes Danny Cross hit the penalty, which then made it a 5-point gap with the restart to come.
In the end after multiple phases, RGC worked towards halfway, but it wasn’t enough. Typically, of the game Pontypridd ended with the turnover and the Quarter final place.
Post Match Thoughts
Head Coach Ceri Jones felt his side gave themselves too much to do after conceding 20 points in the first half against Pontypridd
“We left far too many points on the field in that opening 40 minutes and similar to last week gave them some tries that were down to our control. If you give the opposition 20 points then the pressure is on in the 2nd half, and that was the case. We showed good endeavour in the 2nd half and points wise it was 22-10 but it was an uphill task based on what we did in the 1st half.”
“Having Sam Rogers come off after 2 minutes meant we had to adapt, but I was pleased with how Matt Buchanan performed coming on. We had some good individual performances – when you look at how far Pedr has come from the last Pontypridd game til now, and Dan Owen put in a good game as well.”
“It’s my first season, and the group of players are learning on how to win games. We can create chances but we need to be clinical and show composure. Defensively we are conceding some strange tries, which are in our control such as today with the interception and the slap ball from the lineout. We need to mature quickly and make sure we learn from this.”