RGC Forwards Coach Jason Robert watched his pack work hard in the 28-25 win against Llandovery “I am delighted with the result and we also have a lot to work on as well. We are a team that scores points and we have that attacking mentality, that said we have to minimise the opposition’s chances in attack and make sure we are staying in the game especially in the first half.”
“It was an evenly matched up front and credit to our pack again, it was pleasing to finish the game with two 18 year old props, we were under pressure in that last scrum but we won the ball and the game.”
RGC continued their unbeaten start to the season, as a crowd of 1,432 watched an exhilarating game of Principality Premiership rugby for the first time at Eirias.
The homeside took the lead after 2 minutes when Jacob Botica hit a penalty, but before the supporters had settled back down on their seats Llandovery had touched down for a try from the re-start. Centre Craig Woodall found the space to go in at the corner.
Botica put RGC back in the lead with another penalty, and both sides defences were missing a few tackles leading to some attacking rugby.
Llandovery were looking dangerous and on numerous occasions the broke the gainline, with RGC being tested in the tackle.
Last year’s top point scorer Jack Maynard knocked over a penalty as the lead changed hands again, and the visitors increased the pressure with some quick running rugby.
The homeside were also bringing some problems onto themselves, when they chose to kick the ball ahead when a pass or going through some phases looked a better option.
Winger Rhys Williams was getting a lot of ball and made some good yards down the line, but RGC were struggling to build on anything. When they did have the ball around the breakdown they were slow at getting the ball moving.
RGC had a couple of penalty chances and opted for the line out and rolling maul, but Llandovery came away with the turnover ball.
The coaching staff were getting frustrated as the clock reached the 30 minute mark with what was happening in front of them, and that turned to exasperation when Maynard and Evans ran through some loose tackles before Mike Evans received the ball in space to sprint over the whitewash.
Llandovery’s tails were up, and the Eirias crowd sensed that the visitors were getting hold of the game as half-time approached.
The Gogs have been superb at making the most of turnover ball this season, and on the 35th minutes they Tom Hughes got a boot to a stray ball and chased t down before out running the chasing defence. Botica added the conversion.
The RGC fly-half then smashed over a huge penalty from the half-way line and suddenly RGC were in the lead. The score was levelled by a Maynard penalty just before halftime.
As the game reached 40 minutes RGC won a penalty from a huge RGC scrum, and it clearly was a huge statement by the RGC forwards who were growing in confidence.
Botica had the chance for another penalty from the same position as his last mammoth kick, but the ball rattled the post.
The second half opened with less intensity and it was a cagier 20 minutes from both sides. Botica pushed a penalty wide of the posts, with a lot of the play was in the middle of the field.
RGC’s best move of the game nearly resulted in a try, when the back line shifted the ball quickly wide. Players and fans were about to celebrate a Carwyn Ap Myrddin score but the winger was tackled into touch.
The try did come, it wasn’t a classic but it was crucial. From a line-out the ball found itself to Ross Davies and the big prop scored. RGC were back in the lead and Eirias was bouncing.
The noise quickly reduced when Maynard kicked two penalties and Llandovery went one point ahead.
The game once again was in Llandovery’s favour and RGC needed to regain the focus in the game.
Jack Maynard scored his 5th penalty to make it 25 -21 and it was beginning to look like the visitors were heading home with the win.
As we entered the last 5 minutes RGC worked a couple of phases and it was Afon Bagshaw who delivered another moment to remember when he darted down the line to score his 3rd try of the season. Botica extended the lead with the conversion.
The Gogs might have been in the lead, but the game wasn’t won and they were tested for the last couple of minutes. Much like the end of the 1st half the scrum stood strong before Tiaan Loots kicked the ball into an ecstatic Eirias crowd for the win.
It was fitting that RGC won their first ever home Principality Premiership game on the day that Bryn Williams hung up his boots. The lock has played a huge part in RGC and players, staff and supporters gave him the send off the RGC legend truly deserved.
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