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Win at the Gnoll

20 Apr 2024

Neath 14 RGC 35
Saturday 20th April 2024

Theun was out as RGC looked to play with pace, and offloaded well to test the Neath defence.
They got some points early doors with a Sam Earl-Jones penalty.
Neath were shut down with some good RGC line speed and when a Dion Jones chip kick wasn’t dealt with by the homeside, Tom Ellis calmly collected and dabbed down for the try.  Earl-Jones hit the extras.
RGC were controlling the game and working some good phases, as they looked to open up the Neath defence.
Try number 2 arrived when Sam Stoddard showed some good pace to run from halfway to collect a kick, which bounced the correct side of the touchline, and grab the score.
The homeside were being pressured into playing the ball in attack from a quick RGC defence, forcing some handling errors.
Neath had a couple of attacking mauls, but couldn’t get through a resolute Gogs defence, and when they finally moved the ball wide it was dealt with from the visitors.
The pace of the game dropped as the clock hit 30 minutes, with RGC’s tackle count racking up.
Winger James Roberts opened up the pitch from halfway but the pass to Neath’s scrum-half Gruff Williams was just behind him.
Minutes later RGC got back into the Neath half and were clinical coming away with a try.   Some good hands shifted the ball and Sam Williams was able to run in for the try. Sam Earl-Jones again on target with the conversion.
The homeside needed to get some points before halftime and were rewarded after Ben Williams ran a good line to power over for the try. Steff Williams kicked the conversion.

RGC grabbed the opening points of the 2nd half when Sam Earl-Jones fired over a penalty from distance to keep the scoreboard moving upwards.
Afon Bagshaw, making the record 206 appearances for RGC punched some holes through the homesides defence.
RGC were down to 14 men when Pedr Jones was carded, after the referee’s whistle went against the Gogs numerous times.
Tudur Jones came on for Tom Ellis, with the Wales U18s scrum-half making his senior debut for RGC.
Again RGC picked up points when they ventured into Neath’s half when Dion Jones hit a neat drop goal.
Neath again camped themselves in the RGC half, having plenty of ball and finally, they got over when scrum-half Gruff Williams darted in from close range.  Steff Willams converted.
Neath found themselves down to 14 men when Matthew Davies was carded for a late tackle on Dion Jones.
RGC will rue a couple of opportunities, with passes not going to hand when the break was on.
As the clock ticked down they did grab the Bonus Point when Jordon Liney peeled away from the maul to race in for the try.  
It ended with a conversion, and 2 points from Afon Bagshaw in the game he created RGC history with the record appearance.

Head Coach Ceri Jones “First off I am pleased for the players, as the past few weeks we haven’t got the wins in close games.  Today we have that sense of relief to get the monkey off our backs.
It was a special day with Afon breaking the record, and then you have Tudur Jones and Carwyn Jones making debuts.
We are a young team, but this season we have seen players who will become real RGC stalwarts.  Tal Taylor has become a regular., Ilan has grown in experience and Sam Willams is now a veteran in experience if not in age.
I have said to the boys we need to enjoy the remaining games, and we can have a good week in training, and build on this for the next 2 games.”