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Steelmen Get the win

Steelmen Get the win 13 Jan 2024


RGC 14  Ebbw Vale 35

Saturday 13th January 2024


The Steelmen came away from North Wales in an ill-tempered 80 minutes with plenty of off-the-ball action, and not much rugby to be remembered.

In the opening minutes, RGC got on the board with a Sam Earl-Jones penalty as the Gogs showed some good intent.

The boot of Evan Lloyd was on point with a couple of good kicks to get his side into the RGC half, but the Gogs fly-half Arthur Lennon was firing the kicks back in equal measure/

It was a pacey opening, as both sides looked for ruck speed which was causing errors on both teams.

Ebbw Vale were having some good territory and possession but RGC were looking most dangerous in the counter attack when the visitors were loose with the ball.

The score were level on the 20-minute mark when Evan Lloyd hit the penalty between the sticks and it was 6-3 soon after when he was on target with another penalty.

Pressure was building on the Gogs line, as they struggled to gain a foothold on the game and defending in numbers.

The try did arrive from the visitors when the ball came to, and he had the gap in the defence to run in with Lloyd converting.

Physically Ebbw Vale were turning the screw, and RGC will look back and feel they should have stepped up a bit more around the tackle area when it was needed.

RGC finally got into gear and attacked with speed down the wing with Sam Earl-Jones, and sparked the crowd into voice as well.

Earl-Jones pushed a penalty chance wide on 35 minutes.

The Gog’s again were a knock-on away from a try chance, and a few errors cost them in the opening 40 minutes.

The half was ending with RGC on the attack and having some good phases with the ball, and the Ebbw Vale penalty count was cranking up,  Earl-Jones was on target with the next penalty to make it 6-13 to the visitors.

RGC were breaking the line and making some good yards with ball in hand, Sam Williams and Tom Ellis combined to get the Gogs moving forward.

The Gogs closed the gap to 4 points when Arthur Lennon struck a drop-goal that hit both posts and went over much to the delight of the home crowd. Those were flickering moments of RGC attacks, and they didn’t build on it, and that would prove costly for the rest of the game.

As the half-time break grew close, RGC would have settled for a 4-point deficit, but the visitors piled on the pressure in the final minutes.  The Gogs worked hard to keep the out with Delwyn Jones making some important tackles but the Steelman crossed the whitewash and with Lloyd converting it was a 9-20 lead at the break

The 2nd half began with another Lloyd penalty as they extended the lead.

Matters were made worse when Delwyn Jones was yellow carded a minute later.  Dom Franchi scored his side's 3rd try and Lloyd converted.

The game was heated and more yellows were dished out when Patrick Nelson and Morgan Davies were sin-binned.

It wasn’t much of a spectacle 2nd half, with the tension often ebbing over as the referee’s whistle was being used more often.

The Gogs got the try when Chirstian Hone touched down from the driving maul but Earl-Jones couldn’t add the extras

Ebbw Vale were given another yellow after a dangerous tackle on Sam Earl-Jones after he had played the ball, and another scuffle broke out which was sadly much the story of the half.

The Steelman grabbed the bonus point try when the maul drove on and over to get the score.


Head Coach Ceri Jones felt his side didn’t reach the levels physically and that cost them in the game “It’s a frustrating one, as Ebbw Vale did exactly what we had prepared for.  They have that set piece and pick and go when they are in the opposition half and are clinical with it.”

“We dealt with the pressure at times but in the end that pressure told and they got over the line.  They got under our skins and were abrasive around the breakdown.”

“For us we had a few experienced players out, but I have said all season that we are stretching the players with the level we are playing at, and long term we will benefit.”

“The learning for this group is knowing the levels needed to compete, and that level was seen last time when we played Cardiff.  We didn’t get that today, and if we want to beat teams consistently then physically, we need to be better.”

“Tom Ellis and Arthur Lennon did well coming in and we had young players like Louis Williams coming off the bench, Ellis Evans came back from Cardiff University and got some valuable Premiership experience – but we need to learn from today.”