Mark Jones’s side didn’t reach the performance levels of past games and it showed in the defeat at Cross Keys on Friday night – “I have no qualms in the result to be honest, we spurned a number of 3 on 2 overlaps and we were poor in our execution”
The RGC Head Coach knew the home side would offer plenty up front but his side got caught up in a forwards arm wrestle “Cross Keys have a big pack and they dominated they 1st half as they have done to many sides. Once we moved away from that in the 2nd half we did make some chances but we chose the wrong options in the line breaks”
RGC started the game brightly and settled into a good rhythm with the backs getting plenty of ball. They were building some good phases and looking to work the gaps in the Keys defence. That gap arrived when Jacob Botica raced through to score the opening try and also convert.
If the opening 10 minutes had all been RGC on attack the next 20 minutes were dominated by the Cross Keys pack. They drove forward, worked the breakdown and continued to test at the scrum. The home side got some points on the board from a Josh Prosser penalty.
Cross Keys were winning the battle at the scrum and after a number of resets the finally drove over for the try. Prosser hit the conversion to extend the lead.
Pressure continued and the Gogs were looking slow around the breakdown, and they couldn’t build any platform to get a foothold in the game.
The next try can was a dissapointing one from an RGC perspective when Aaron Evans failed to collect a high ball and it was easily collected by Tom Lampard who ran in unchallenged under the posts. Simple conversion by Prosser gave the home side a 10 point lead going into half time.
RGC came out in the 2nd half far brighter and looked to move the ball quicker, and Andrew Williams made a decent line break to give the travelling supporters something to cheer for. The difficulty for the Gogs was that they were having to make the breaks from their own half and couldn’t get territory in the Cross Keys half.
Fly-half Prosser had an opportunity to extend the lead but his penalty went wide.
Botica hit a penalty to nudge RGC closer to Cross Keys after they home side were given a yellow an infringement at the breakdown.
Much to the visitors frustration they struggled to make the man advantage count because Cross Keys kept the ball well. Some pretty loose tackles were also punishing RGC, as Cross Keys were making some big line breaks pushing RGC back into their own half.
The Gogs were finding more success with ball in hand, and Tiaan Loots made some breaks to test the visitors defence. At one point RGC broke towards the line before being turned over and Cross Keys cleared to chase the ball back to the RGC line.
The breakdown was continuing to be frustrating with RGC losing the ball or being penalised too often.
With 75 minutes on the clock RGC levelled to scores when pacey winger Aaron Evans darted through before Botica converted.
If RGC’s tails were up after that try, then it didn’t last too long. RGC looked to keep the ball moving and look for another score but knocked on in their own 22 meter line.
This enable Cross Keys to work an opportunity from the scrum and after the ball was spun wide before Barney Nightingale touched down. Prosser added the extras.
RGC still had time for one more attack, and it was probably there best of the game after Alex Schwarz made a great break but Rhys Williams was tackled into touch and the whistle went.
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