RGC 23 - Merthyr 17
6th November 2021
Head Coach Ceri Jones saw his side stand up to a strong Merthyr pack and pick up the win "It was a scrappy game in difficult conditions, and I think we showed maturity as a group. We have brought new systems in and it's good to see them creating opportunities today. Perhaps it shows how far we have come as I feel we could have played better even with the win. We left a few tries on the field with Tommy Hughes and the driving maul, so the scoreboard could have looked better. Composure wise we held the scrum, as they have a big pack which was pleasing but the lineout was testing with both the wind and they of course the pack. We can take this result and move onto the leaders away at Newport next week. The exciting thing is we know we can improve on the performance and take confidence from this win"
The game struggled to fire in the opening 10 minutes with a few breaks in play. The first score came from the visitors when the Merthyr pack put a drive-in and got the reward of the try. Thompson hit the extras.
Both sides looked to get a foothold with the territory and looked to kick at times.
The home side started to make some inroads and get some ball in hand and opted to kick to touch with a couple of penalties as they looked to power over.
Rhys Williams opened up the field with a great line after Dion Jones and Danny Cross combined to set the centre up but
The Gogs were rewarded with some points on the board after Dion Jones hit the penalty between the posts.
Tempo-wise RGC were beginning to control, and fly-half Dion Jones got Eirias on their feet when he ran the length of the field breaking tackles before he was stopped. The penalty was awarded and RGC again looked for that driving maul attack.
The coaching staff will be delighted they did, and Rhodri King and his forwards drove over in the corner and took an 8-7 lead.
The game had swung, and RGC were discovering space in the Merthyr defence line, and Rhys Tudor took advantage after a side step got him under the posts for the second try of the game. Dion Jones extended the lead with the conversion.
Momentum wise the game continued to go with RGC after the break, and when Ethan Fackrell ran down the line to offload to Harri Evans, the winger put on the burners and accelerated to the line for the try.
Merthyr answered back minutes later, with the pack again doing the damage and Kelvin Williams going over for the score to make it 20-12
RGC looked quicker around the breakdowns, with replacement scrum-half Efan Jones keen to keep the speed up for his backline.
It wasn’t just with ball in hand that RGC were showing speed, the kick chase has some good intent as well.
Merthyr pinned RGC back into the corner and they driving lineout again proved dangerous when then crossed the whitewash for the 3rd try of the game. Thompson again couldn’t convert so the score was 20-17.
Sam Williams was carrying well, and after a good break, Tom Hughes took the ball and went to the line but was held up after some good Merthyr defence.
With the game in the balance, the tempo dropped as both sides knew an error could be costly. RGC kept testing Merthyr down the left-wing.
The gap was extended to 6 points after Dion Jones hit another penalty.
RGC were stifling the visitor's attacks, and the game management was on point making sure the discipline was good around the tackle area. When Merthyr did have the ball, it was in their own 22 and they were pushed back as the clock ticked down.
Dion Jones was shown a yellow card for a deliberate knock-on, and that was the final play.
The coaching staff talked about the challenge of winning as many points as possible, and the players answered it today.