Gogs put unbeaten run to test against Neath
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.
Action from the RGC victory over Llanelli