RGC 17 Swansea 31
Saturday 22nd December 2018
The opener came after the pack did the hard graft and drove over the line, before a great solo break from winger Ben Cambriani silenced the home crowd with a 2nd try. Rhys Williams hit both conversions. It seemed all too easy for the visitors, and they were not challenged when they had the ball.
Efan Jones made a break into the All Whites 22 meter line, but had no support runners so the chance was gone.
There was an expectation from the crowd that RGC would hit the reset button, and for them to come at Swansea but really it didn’t happen and matters got worse rather than better.
The visitors continued to cause RGC problems, and after a number of phases they went over for try number 3, with hooker Evans getting the score. Williams made it 21 - nil with the conversion.
The Gogs were giving the ball away far too easily which meant Swansea were back on the attack, full of confidence. When RGC did have possession it was in their own 22m line, so the visitors were happy to contain them.
It wasn’t much better around the contact area, with Swansea not being challenged physically and tackles were being missed around the pitch.
Swansea again were asking questions of the RGC defence, and after the forwards inched to the line, the ball was moved wide for Cambriani to dab down for his 2nd and the visitors bonus point try. It was difficult to find many pluses in that 35 minute period, and it showed in the scoreboard.
As the half drew to a close RGC finally sparked into attack, with a driving maul they rumbled towards the line but it was held up. They went again, but frustratingly they were turned over and Swansea cleared the ball.
Iolo Evans was next to create an opportunity but spilt the ball in contact with the line in sight. He did manage to go over minutes later to grab his sides 1st points before McBryde added the extras.
The crowd had something to cheer about, and RGC looked for another attacking play. That urgency perhaps forced a pass from Danny Cross in his own 22 meter line that was gifted to Swansea centre Tom Williams who took full advantage to score. It was a sucker punch the end a somewhat disappointing half for RGC in so many areas.
RGC as you would expect started the 2nd half with some intent, but again some handling errors hampered the attacking play and enabled Swansea to slow the game down.
Swansea had that buffer in the score to take some chances with their passing, and to be fair it was working as they broke the gainline causing more problems to RGC.
Hopes were raised when Tom Hughes ran a good line to take the ball and run through the defence to score for RGC.
Swansea continued to make sure the play was forming in the RGC half, using the kicking game to turn the RGC defence around and even if they didn’t have the ball, the threat from RGC was limited in their own 22 meter line.
Cam Davies did cause some damage with a break, but once again an opportunity was spurned when his pass wasn’t collected with the line in sight.
The game was being summed up with more errors with ball in hand, RGC created some breaks but the ball was knocked on far too often. RGC were of course chasing the game, so the mindset of forcing the ball and needing to do something quickly with ball in hand was clear to be seen.
Swansea were happy to slow the game, and break any flow as the clock reached 70 minutes with the game littered with injury stoppages.
Billy McBryde had other ideas, and after Tom Hughes broke some tackles the fly-half took the ball on halfway and arced a run past a number of defenders to score a superb try.
RGC did end the game on the Swansea line, but it was too little too late with all the damage done in the 1st half.