RGC’s unbeaten start to the Principality Premiership continued with a huge defensive performance at Carmarthen Quins.
Head Coach Mark Jones knew his side were given a test “In the 3 games previous we probably had equal share of possession and territory, but that wasn’t the case today, especially in the opening 15 minutes and the parts of the 2nd half. We stayed in the arm wrestle and overall our discipline was good. On a couple of occasions we did have poor discipline and that let Quins back into the game”
“As we know we are all learning at the moment, coaches and players and today was no different. I was disappointed we didn’t run the ball more, and we a couple of chances to do more when we won turnover ball. The 1st try was straight of the training ground, so it was good to see it pay off in a game. Tiaan is a strong runner, and he did well to set up Tom Hughes. “
“We have the chance to come back to Eirias and play Aberavon who are sitting top of the table, so we have plenty of work ahead this week in training”
RGC got off to a perfect start when they opened the score after 5 minutes. Tiaan Loots created the opportunity with some direct running all the way through the Quins defence, before passing to fellow centre Tom Hughes to cross the line. Botica hit the extras.
What followed was 10 minutes of extreme pressure from Carmarthen Quins as the pushed towards the RGC line. Will Bryan made a huge try saving tackle when it looked like the try was on. The homeside clearly felt their forwards could get them over, as the attacked with the rolling maul at every possible occasion.
The try did come when the pack went over and Javan Sebastian getting the score. Daniel Lloyd converted.
After the try RGC were able to gain some possession with Afon Bagshaw and Alex Schwarz attempting to spark the Gogs into action again. The centre combination of Loots and Hughes were also combining with some good phases play.
Jacob Botica was next to have go, and he spotted a gap in the defence and ran through to score and convert his own try.
It was similar to the first try, in that Quins pilled the pressure from the restart and RGC were once again camped in their own half. Tim Grey was putting in some good work, and big tackles.
When RGC did get a chance to clear the ball and ease the pressure their Line-out misfired and the Quins were able to run the ball back to them.
It was no surprise that the homeside got the try, and it was from the Line-out, rolling maul, big push with Tory Myhill finishing it. Owen couldn’t hit the conversion.
The game began to open up and Mei Parry won the ball and kicked ahead, with Tom Hughes being a bounce of a ball away from collecting it and getting the try.
Centre Hughes turned on the burners again minutes later but once again was unlucky in the chase.
The halftime whistle came after a breath-taking play when Tim Grey spilt the ball near the try-line and Carmarthen Quins broke away with Carwyn Ap Myrddin running the length of the pitch to collect the ball and protect the 14-12 scoreline.
The 2nd half opened with a huge Afon Bagshaw break, and he smashed through the tackles.
RGC were able to extend their lead with a Botica penalty to the cheers of the travelling support.
The Quins then throw everything at RGC, as they kept shifting the ball wide looking for winger John Rhys Williams and Gavin Thomas to do some damage.
To a man RGC stood tall in defence and also held their discipline at the breakdown. As the tackled came in RGC looked to their bench for some fresh legs with Sam Wainwright and Dan Owen both coming on.
RGC winger Rhys Williams was next to make a huge tackle, as the homeside continued to look for any gap in defence.
Just past the 70th minute it looked like RGC had the try but substitute Josh Leach was called back for a knock on. Minutes later the frustration continued when Bagshaw was penalised for crossing after he broke clean through.
The final 5 minutes felt like an eternity and Carmarthen Quins inched closer and closer to the line, as RGC made tackle after tackle to prevent them. Quins did get the ball over the line but Rhys Williams managed to touch down before a Carmarthen hand on the ball.
The homeside had one final scrum, but like the whole of the game the RGC forwards dug deep and stopped any last chance.
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