Newport 28 RGC 34
Saturday 13th November 2021
RGC ended Newport’s 6 game winning streak, with an impressive second-half defensive performance under the Saturday night floodlights. at the home of the Indigo Group Cup East leaders.
The opening 20 minutes was a fast open pace as both sides looked to spread the ball wide. With only 3 minutes on the clock, Pedr Jones powered over the line with Dion Jones adding the extras.
RGC then extended the lead with a Dion Jones penalty a minute later.
Newport began to get a foothold in the game and Fly-Half Matt O’Brien made a break before being tackled.
RGC went close again when Zac Clow chased a kick ahead but he failed to get his hands on the bounce of the ball.
The homeside shifted the ball wide and Matthew Powell went in for the score. O’Brien converted to close the gap to 3 points.
Dan Owen and Andrew Williams were working hard at the breakdown winning some important ball at key times.
Newport had a chance to level but the boot of O’Brien couldn’t strike the ball over with the penalty.
Fullback Dai Richards would impress with ball in hand during the game, and he opened the pitch with a run before being tackled by a number of RGC bodies.
The home side took the lead on the half-hour when O’Brien scored and converted his own try.
Afon Bagshaw was having a solid game at fullback, and he gathered a number of high balls with great confidence from deep.
RGC’s Dion Jones was next to go close after he collected the ball from a long throw at the lineout but his kick and chase bounced over the dead-ball line.
It was RGC’s turn to use the width of the field to score, after the pack went through 5 phases before shifting the ball wide and Afon Bagshaw set up winger Zac Clow for the try. Dion Jones hit the extras to give his side a 17-14 lead.
As the clock ticked down to halftime, it was Newport that claimed the lead again after Rhodri Jones scored and O’Brien struck a successful conversion.
It was backs to the wall defending at the start of the second half, as Newport chucked everything at them but couldn’t break the RGC defense. The effort and work rate to stop RGC was impressive, and when RGC finally cleared the ball you could sense the frustration from the homeside.
The RGC scrum was holding strong as well, with Billy McQueeny adding some power to the pack.
Newport did score after number 8 Ben Roach found himself on the wing and he crossed over. Again O’Brien hit the conversion.
The Gogs didn’t have much ball or a platform to build but they were digging in to keep it an 11 point game.
As the clock hit 70 minutes the game turned. Replacement centre Rhys Williams charged a kick down and skilfully collected it on the bounce. He then ran towards the line before offloading to Tom Hughes who touchdown under the posts. Sam Rogers converted.
Josh Reid was then yellow carded for Newport which lifted RGC into another gear change. They started to hit good running lines and went close on a couple of occasions. The try came minutes later when the pack powered over and Joe Simpson claimed the score. Sam Rogers nudged the conversion over and it was a 31-28 lead.
Under pressure and when it mattered RGC hit a couple of solid lineouts to make sure they kept possession.
Sam Rogers extended his sides lead to 6 points with a couple of minutes remaining and they saw the game out in Newport’s half.