Pontypridd 27 RGC 12
Saturday 11th January 2020
RGC came away from Sardis Road with no points, and plenty of questions to be asked in a hugely disappointing performance against Pontypridd.
Striving for a top 6 position in the league, it is now 3 defeats in a row and the Gogs will need to turn the corner results wise very quickly otherwise they will face a difficult end to the season.
Most of the opening 40 minutes was played in the RGC half, with Pontypridd having all the possession.
Defensively RGC kept the homeside at bay for 30 minutes before Corey Sheppard went over for the try, with Diggy Bird converting.
If the visiting fans thought that would spark RGC into some action, then they were left disappointed as Pontypridd increased the lead when Mason Grady ran through some weak tackles to put down under the posts. Bird couldn’t miss with the extras.
RGC were not helping the situation with poor handling and simple errors. The lineout misfired which gave the ball back to Ponty at key times. The homeside didn’t really have to work hard around the breakdown, as RGC were giving them possession again and again.
As halftime approached Tom Hughes cut an arcing run to open up the Pontypridd backline to run in at the corner with Billy McBryde converting.
On the halftime whistle the boot of Bird extended his sides lead to 10 points with a penalty.
The second half was not much better from RGC, as they continued to make errors and failed to show composure when they did have possession.
Alex Webber tore down the pitch on a couple of occasions, making RGC work hard in scrambled defence.
Billy McBryde had a chance to kick to touch with a penalty but he overcooked his kick, minutes later RGC built some phases in the Pontypridd half before they knocked on.
Surprisingly RGC were still in the game score wise, and were helped due to a Pontypridd lineout failing at times.
The opportunity to get back into the match was not taken, and for whatever reason RGC couldn’t gain an inroad, which will make a difficult watch for players and coaches during the reviews this week.
If RGC were working through the gears, they really didn’t get out of 2nd until the last 15 minutes but really it was lacklustre, with players failing to deliver anything like they are capable of.
Tom Hughes tried to lead by example with his work rate, but it wasn’t matched by all players today. When the errors crept up, some calm heads and strong words were needed on the field but the story remained the same, and mistakes continued.
The lack of discipline was another huge factor in giving Pontypridd the ascendency in the game, and something that will need to be addressed quickly for the next game.
Pontypridd were able to play the game in the RGC half, and Diggy Bird got the 1st points of the 2nd half with a penalty.
Harri Evans and Tim Grey made a couple of line breaks to try and spark a comeback, and Afon Bagshaw grabbed a try in the 74th minute, which gave the supporters something to cheer about.
Pontypridd ramped up the pressure on the RGC pack at the restart, and they grabbed an advantage when Tim Grey was given a yellow card. With the extra man the were able to grab late try from captain Darren Lockyer and Wilkens added the conversion to end an afternoon to forget for RGC.
Coach Saul Nelson “It will be a frustrating few hours watching that game back. We didn't help ourselves by not building on more than 2 phases. When you come here you need to starve Pontypridd of possession and we ended up give them far too much ball.
We need to look at ourselves before we look at anything else.
Rugby is about building positive action on positive action and we didn't achieve anything like that today. I thought the scrum went well, and we defended that driving maul, but they were the only real glimpse of positive work.
I have told the boys they need to take the emotion of this result into training next week, and work to deliver a performance against Llanelli."