Gogs put un­beaten run to test against Neath

Bangor Mail - - SPORT -

RGC aim to ex­tend their un­beaten run in Prin­ci­pal­ity Premier­ship West to nine matches when they host Neath at Stadiwm Zip World, Col­wyn Bay, this Satur­day (2pm).

The ta­ble-top­ping Gogs will wel­come the bot­tom side to Parc Eirias, hav­ing al­ready de­feated the Welsh All-Blacks 31-18 at The Gnoll back in Septem­ber.

Last week­end saw Mark Jones’ side in stun­ning form as they over­came the chal­lenge of Llanelli 48-31 at Parc-yS­car­lets.

The hosts missed a penalty in the open­ing min­utes, but opened the scor­ing when winger Ryan Con­beer went over for the try and Lewis Wil­liams con­verted.

That sparked RGC into life and scrumhalf Alex Sch­warz was re­warded with a try af­ter some good work from a line-out, dot­ting down un­der the posts. Ja­cob Bot­ica added the sim­ple con­ver­sion.

Llanelli suf­fered a cou­ple of in­juries, in­clud­ing Wales U20s winger Con­beer, who was their dan­ger man.

Afon Bagshaw and Tom Hughes made some good in­roads to the Scar­lets half, light­ing the blue touch paper with some im­pres­sive runs be­fore RGC took the lead with a Bot­ica penalty.

RGC were look­ing to at­tack at ev­ery op­por­tu­nity and Tom Hughes made another run be­fore knock­ing on. They were at­tack­ing from deep in their own half and broke tack­les with ease on nu­mer­ous oc­ca­sions.

Bagshaw ex­tended the Gogs lead with a try in the cor­ner af­ter rock­et­ing down the line. Bot­ica fizzed the ball over for the ex­tras.

The RGC fly-half was suc­cess­ful with another penalty in the 27th minute.

Three min­utes later it was try num­ber three for RGC – and it was an op­por­tunist score. Bagshaw kicked ahead from his own half and as the Llanelli full-back looked to shep­herd the ball out, Dion Jones caught him un­awares to pounce for a try, Bot­ica boost­ing with the boot.

The quick hands and clever of­fload­ing from Bagshaw, Hughes, Sch­warz and Jones nearly re­sulted in one of the most breath-tak­ing tries, but the full-back’s pass could not find winger Harri Evans.

If much of the play was about gain­line breaks and im­pres­sive back­line at­tacks, the bonus point try came from some pa­tient build up. Af­ter some pres­sure on the Llanelli line. RGC kept the ball be­fore Tim Grey crashed over. The boot of Bot­ica was on form with the con­ver­sion.

Just be­fore half time the home side kept the game alive when Ol­lie Ry­land scored and Wil­liams con­verted.

The Gogs made a bright start to the sec­ond half when Harri Evans ran in try num­ber five and again Bot­ica was suc­cess­ful with the kick.

That was as good as it got for much of the sec­ond half for the trav­ellers, with the in­ten­sity and at­tack­ing ebbing away as the tem­per­a­ture dropped.

Head coach Jones rang the changes and brought on the re­place­ments which seemed to take the edge from the RGC game. Llanelli took full ad­van­tage and Craig Thomas touched down with Wil­liams con­vert­ing. The home side sensed a bonus point and were go­ing for the fourth try.

Sub­sti­tute Jor­dan Scott was shown a yel­low card, and the ex­tra man sparked Llanelli into another gear. They piled the pres­sure on the Gogs line and as much as RGC held them back, the try came when Ioan Ni­cholas broke the de­fence. With the score at 26-41 kicker Wil­liams missed the con­ver­sion. RGC were not con­trol­ling the ball and it was giv­ing Llanelli the op­por­tu­nity to build some at­tacks. The tackle count for the vis­i­tors was rack­ing up with Dion Jones mak­ing some im­por­tant blocks as the last line of de­fence.

Llanelli had to take some risks to move the ball and in the 74th minute Bagshaw cap­i­talised and broke from the half­way line be­fore pass­ing to Hughes who ran in for the sixth try. Bagshaw hit the con­ver­sion. The try-fest was not over yet, as the fi­nal score went to Llanelli’s Nathan Hart to end a hugely en­ter­tain­ing 80 min­utes of rugby.

Picture: LIZ BRYAN

Ac­tion from the RGC vic­tory over Llanelli

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