Big boost for RGC in time for Pooler test
RGC travel to Pontypool this Saturday on the back of a superb 25-18 home victory over Championship high-fliers Merthyr last weekend.
Although still eighth in the table, the Gogs are just four points off a top four spot.
Last Saturday’s showdown at Parc Eirias saw the hosts start brightly with Tian Loots and Andy Baston both making some good breaks to the delight of the home crowd.
The first score went on the board after 18 minutes when Rhodri Carlton-Jones kicked a penalty.
The visitors went down to 14 men when Matthew Rhys was yellowcarded, but they managed to open their account with a penalty from Steve Lang.
RGC then capitalised on a mistake on the Merthyr lineout when Mei Parry picked up the ball and charged from the half-way line breaking through the tackles before offloading to Andy Baston for the try.
The boot of Lang got Merthyr back in the game with a big penalty from distance, but they were not offering anything attack-wise in the first half.
RGC were the team looking to run the ball and after another break from Cameron Davies they went close with Maredydd Francis being held up on the line. It was not long before the line was broken when Harri Evans ran in for the score just before half time, making it 13-6.
The second half started with an impressive barnstorming run from Shaun O’Rourke, who could not be stopped as he went over the line.
It looked like RGC had scored the best try of the game when Loots and Huw Grundy combined to blast through, but to the surprise of the crowd the referee hauled them back for a penalty.
It was another try made out of nothing that gave the Gogs the bonus point when Afon Bagshaw kicked on a loose ball and chased it down to go over to the delight of the Eirias crowd. Carlton-Jones added the extras for 25-6.
The referee’s whistle was playing a major part for the last 20 minutes as the penalty count racked up. The home side were being penalised at the breakdown on a number of occasions which hampered their flow.
Andrew Williams was given a yellow and the visitors picked up some momentum with two tries in the last 10 minutes , but RGC had done more than enough for the win over the 80.
RGC assistant-coach Josh Leach said: “We were solid in defence for 60 minutes but after being 25-6 up it was disappointing not to close out the game.
“We have to build on this win and tidy up a few more things for the Pontypool game including what we do with the ball in attack.
“That said it was a big win for us today and even more pleasing to pick up five points.”
RGC (all black) in intense action against Merthyr at Parc Eirias last Saturday. Picture: STEVE LEWIS