RGC 50 Swansea 21
24th Feb 2018
It was RGC who started the game at a high tempo, when Tiaan Loots smashed his way over the line for the opening try on 3 minutes. Jacob Botica added the conversion. Dion Jones was next to score minutes later, as it looked as though RGC would race away with the game.
Credit to Swansea who took control of the game and began to play some good heads-up rugby. Adam Claypole grabbed their first try with a superb breakaway run with the conversion.
The game began to turn, and Swansea were the team asking the questions before they took the lead, with Jay Williams’ try and Owen Howe’s conversion.
It got worse for RGC when they collected try number 3, when the power of Mitch Walsh got over the line. Howe added the extra-points.
Swansea have always been a test for RGC over the years, and it was looking like another of those games with the Gogs letting Swansea back into the game. Credit to the All Whites as they took full advantage of RGC mistakes in a 15 minute period.
RGC needed to get back in the game and claim some ball, and they controlled the last 5 minutes of the half with some good multi-phase play. Tiaan Loots was makings some good inroads with trademark ball-carrying. He was making hard yards and taking tacklers with him, which was setting up the play for more attacks.
Dion Jones sparked an attack with a great break, but was tackled when the overlap to Iolo Evans looked on.
Just before the break RGC picked up a try when Andrew Williams ran over the whitewash and the Botica conversion closed the gap to 2 points.
RGC were more positive at the start of the 2nd half, with some good carries from Curtis Reynolds and Robin Williams getting some gainline yards. Ianto Parri was also claiming the high balls with ease, and the winger was able to run the ball back with pace on a few occasions.
They were working the ball well and, on the 50th minute, the ball was spun to Iolo Evans for the winger to get the try. The boot of Botica hit the conversion.
That try seemed to settle both players and supporters, and the Gogs began to play some good attacking rugby which was epitomised by a fine Tom Hughes try. Conversion from Botica.
Howe had a penalty chance, but it went wide from the halfway line.
Swansea managed an attack when Rhys Williams took his chance with an interception and ran the length of the field, before Tom Hughes made a recovery tackle.
Efan Jones was making himself known to the Swansea players when he came on with a couple of big tackles. As much as RGC will be credited for the try-scoring performance, the fact that they nilled Swansea in the 2nd half should also be noted. RGC were able to play most of the rugby in the Swansea half and were not really tested in defence, due to clever game management.
Hughes again proved a good attacking outlet, when he collected a kick and then put his boot through the ball for a good kick and chase, turning the Swansea attack onto the backfoot.
Botica edged the scoreboard on with a penalty, before Andrew Williams showed great fitness to race over for his 2nd try. Extras from Botica.
On the 79th minute, RGC reached the 50 point mark when winger Rhys Williams sprinted down the line to score, and the in-form boot of Botica hit the conversion.
RGC 47 Bridgend 14
30th December 2017
Three tries in the last quarter gave RGC a comfortable score-line against a Ravens outfit which had run them close in two previous meetings this season and perhaps Saturday’s game should have been sealed far earlier.
Both sides started in a fairly error-strewn fashion, but RGC took the lead with a penalty from Jacob Botica.
The visitors had a spell in the RGC half, and were camped near the whitewash for a long period. The home defence was working hard to keep them out and put tackles in at every opportunity to force the turnovers. Dion Jones put in a good 60-yard kick and chase to relive some pressure and take the wind out of the Bridgend attacks.
Tiaan Loots was first to cross the line, but the referee pulled play back for a knock-on.
As the half went on, RGC started to build some good phases and control the ball better, with Tom Hughes and Robin Williams both making inroads through the Ravens’ defence.
That pressure resulted in the opening try after Botica fed a ball to Loots, and the centre ran a superb line to race over for the score. Botica added the extras.
The home side continued to play the game in the Bridgend half, Botica landing another penalty.
On a number of occasions when Bridgend were given penalties they opted to kick to touch and try their luck with a lineout and driving maul.
On the third time of asking, they put pressure on the RGC line and got the try from Gareth Harvey, Ryan Evans converting.
The visitors’ tails were up, and they looked for another score before the break, but RGC dug deep, especially when Afon Bagshaw tackled winger Mike Powell into touch when the break was on.
A crucial score did arrive on the half-time whistle, to the delight of the home crowd. After the pack rumbled over, Henri Williams popped up with the ball and the try. Botica hit the conversion to make it 20-7.
After the break, the game went through a dour stage, the only real highlight a drive from RGC that was held up on the line.
Dion Jones was again working hard at the breakdown, and another turnover eased the pressure on the RGC line.
Botica smashed over another penalty to keep the scoreboard ticking, before the visitors picked up a second try, this time from Joseph Gatt, with Evans hitting the conversion.
RGC then sprung to life and immediately kept hold of the ball and worked it through the hands. Loots was tackled close to the line, before replacement scrum-half Evan Jones dived over for his first try of the season. Botica had a simple conversion for 30-14.
As the clock ticked over the 60-minute mark, the game opened up, and RGC took full advantage of the space.
Robin Williams sprinted over from the halfway line to clinch the bonus point, before Dion Jones grabbed a brace of tries to end the game in style