RGC 42 Merthyr 19
Saturday 5th February 2022
As much as Merthyr had the early possession and the game was played out in the RGC half, the visitors were 12-Nil down after 15 minutes before the visitors worked themselves back in the match.
RGC attacked with speed and direct running when they had the chance, and took the lead with a well-worked score. The ball went wide and Zac Clow showed good feet to skip past the tackle and score in the corner.
The next score came after Bagshaw went for a run, and that began a phase that ended with winger Clow again going in for his second score. Jones hit the extras.
Merthyr showed their power when centre Rhys Davies got his sides first try and Ben Jones nudged the kick between the posts.
A minute later the Gogs extended the lead when Matt Buchanan got on the end of a charge down kick to cross the tryline, leaving Dion Jones with a simple conversion.
RGC’s line speed was good, and at times the visitors struggled to get time with the ball.
The Ironmen began to utilise the pack, setting up some good attacks and captain Craig Locke took advantage to touchdown for a try. Jones again added the conversion.
Both sides managed to spot some gaps in each other’s defence, but the final pass wasn’t accurate at times much to the frustration of the coaches.
Paddy McBryde brought the scores level just before halftime when again the visitors managed to evade a couple of tackles.
The second half was all about RGC – they scored 23 points and stopped Merthyr from putting any more points on the board.
Dion Jones kept the score going upwards when he hit a drop goal and then a penalty, as RGC made sure they took the points when they were available.
RGC were testing the visitors defence and they continued on the front foot.
The crucial phase of the game occurred when the Ironmen had a couple of penalties and opted for the lineouts and the attacking maul. RGC stood strong and showed great discipline under the posts to come away with the ball.
From that defensive set RGC went up field to score the bonus point try. Dan Owen found a gap before Matt Buchanan ran on his shoulder to take the pass at pace to finish with 20 minutes left to play.
Merthyr’s attacking intent fizzled out from that point, as RGC smothered the visitors when they had the ball,
The game was being played in the middle of the field, which benefited the homeside with the 11-point lead.
Game wise nerves were eased when Man of the Match Zach Clow grabbed his hattrick try in the corner with 65 minutes on the clock
In the second half RGC were fast around the transition which caused Merthyr issues and they were rewarded with try number six when Sam Earl-Jones touched down before replacement Morgan Bagshaw hit the conversion on his debut.
Head Coach Ceri Jones “We knew what to expect from Merthyr, offering that size and physicality so playing into the wind 1st half was a massive challenge. We came in even at halftime and that was huge for us. Perhaps we should have had the lead, as we let them back in at times.
2nd half we played the conditions really well with Afon, Efan and Dion managing the game well. The big turning point came with a good defensive set. They had that scrum 5m out and we repelled them before getting the turnover and I think that knocked their momentum, as we went down the pitch and scored.
We put in a good performance at Quins last week but didn't get the result so today we have gone that one better and matched the performance with the points, and we can look to build on this.
It was also great to get the win with Andrew Williams reaching that 200 appearances milestone, it is a huge achievement to be the first player to get to the 200 so delighted to get the win at home.”