Aberavon 15 RGC 7
Saturday 1st December 2018
RGC will rue a lack of edge and some poor options with ball in hand after the defeat at Aberavon. The Wizards went 15 –nil up early in the 2nd half, and that was enough for them to clinch the game even with a late flurry from the visitors.
Both sided traded kicks in the opening minutes, as the wet conditions added some extra pressure. RGC had some good phases with some attacking options, but a knock on ended any chance to break the line.
The one battle Aberavon were winning was the scrum, with RGC under the cosh from the Wizards pack. Credit to RGC as they did dig in, and when the home side got the drive on RGC put bodies in the way and came away with the penalty,
There wasn’t too much between both sides, but the turning point in the half was down to RGCs error. They had a line-out in their own 10 metre line, went for the long throw and it was collected by Joe Tomalin Reeves who scored an opportunist try. Chris Banfield added the extras.
It was a disappointing score to give away, and the home side cranked up the pressure around the scrum area
RGC did re-group and ended the half on top with possession and territory, but were unable to make inroads through the Wizards defence. That lack of penetration to get over the whitewash would prove costly going in 7-nil down at halftime.
The homsides 2nd try came in the opening minutes after the break, they had shown some attacking intent pinning RGC back before prop Jenkins crashed over. Banfield failed with the conversion.
Aberavon were hunting for try number 3 and RGC once again were being tested in defence and manged to hold the attacks. The Wizards scrum-half Jacob Flynn was having a good game, with fly-half Popham also winning the kicking battle.
RGC lost a couple more line-outs, which meant they didn’t have anything to build from with ball in hand. It also didn’t help in that the kicking game wasn’t on point either in the 2nd half, which took the sting out of any RGC attacks and actually brought pressure back on quickly.
You sensed the next score was to be an important one for both sides in terms of the outcome of the 80 minutes, and when I arrived it was for Aberavon with a penalty from Barnfield. Matters were made worse when Bryn Jones was yellow carded.
Replacement Karl Martin added some energy when he came on, and impressed taking a catch from a high ball in the corner, when the try was on for Aberavon. His running was also good, crashing through some tackles with ball in hand.
RGC managed to get a foothold in the game as the game reached the 65 minute mark, with some good carrying taking the ball past the gainline. Centre Tom Hughes was a big part of that, with scrum-half Butterworth also finding some space and opening the space up.
Like much of this season, RGC were let down with some handling errors at key moments and when the ball was moved down the line it ended with some knock ons.
The Gogs fianlly managed to cross the line, after some good work from Karl Martin. It was his first try for RGC, and he showed some good footwork to come in from the line to run in under the posts. McBryde hit the conversion which made it more of a game in the closing minutes but it was too little too late as the Wizards as the damage was done in that opening spell of the 2nd half