Fixture

Neath RFC | 1st Team 18 - 31 RGC1404 | 1st Team
Matthew Davies
Try 1
Keiran Williams
Try 1
James Roberts
Try 1
Edward Howley
Penalty 1
Tiaan Loots
1 Try
George Roberts
1 Try
Henri O Williams
1 Try
Tim Grey
1 Try
Jacob Nikkola Kenny Botica
4 Conversion
1 Penalty

Match Report
09 September 2017 / Team News

Win at the Gnoll

RGC claimed a hard fought Bonus Point win on the road against Neath. The homeside were unbeaten going into the game and performed like a form side in the 1st half.

Apart from the RGC try, from a great Cam Davies run and Tiaan Loots touchdown the visitors didn’t have much to shout about.

Howley had given Neath the lead with a penalty before RGC got the try but the All Blacks had the better territory and possession and used the ball well.  It was no surprise when Neath scored from a Phillips try.

RGC could not get into the game and the set piece was not firing at all.

Neath were moving the ball well and when it went wide  Kieran Williams ran through the gap to claim the try.

Howley missed his 2nd conversion attempt,  and  as well as a long range penalty attempt that went short, those points would prove costly as the half went on.

Richard Williams was next to cause some problems after RGC lost the ball and the winger raced down the field on the break, before RGC scrambled a defence to clear the danger.

It was a frustrating watch from the touchline and as halftime approached RGC worked up the field for really only the 2nd time in the game. The line-out worked, the maul was formed and the pack did the rest with Hooker George Roberts getting the try in his first start.

Botica nailed the conversion and RGC went into the dressing room 14-13 up, and would have felt like they had got off the hook.

If the 1st half was about RGC’s poor set piece, lack of possession and not enough territory then 2nd half was the complete reverse. The game restarted as the heavens opened and RGC kicked from hand a lot more to test Neath in the wet conditions.

A few niggles broke out between both sets of players as the game heated up.  It was a testing time around the breakdown and the physicality of the game was telling.  Neath had to make a number of changes due to injuries earlier than they would have wanted, so when RGC emptied the bench the pack began to win the arm wrestle.

Loots and Hughes were making some good yards with ball in hand and both never stopped running for the whole game, especially as much of the play was through the middle of the field.

The visitors were controlling the game and pushing forward for the score. It was the pack that was responsible for both tries with Tim Grey and Henri Williams coming up with the ball and the pats on the back.

The boot of Botica was in range again hitting 2 conversions and a penalty to edge RGC to 31 points

With the game being stretched a bit more, Dion Jones and Harri Evans showed some great attacking pace with a 40 yard break before the ball ended up in touch. Credit to Neath as they continued to run the ball when they had the chance and that endeavour got them a try near the end with James Roberts scoring but it was no more than consolation for the All Blacks.

 

Captain Maredydd Francis feels his side is gaining momentum after the win “At half-time we talked about the set piece and how we needed to improve, and to be fair we stamped our authority in the pack after the break.”

The skipper was making his 1st start of the season “We have done a lot of work with Gaz Whittaker (strength and conditioner) and we can see the results in the latter stages of the game. We have another challenge next week against Aberavon, but we have some momentum with 2 wins now”

 

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