- 50 up for RGC as they comfortably see off Whites challenge
- Jay Williams stars for Swansea despite heavy defeat
- 31 unanswered points in second half key to RGC victory
By: Paul Hopkins
Swansea left North Wales empty handed following a heavy defeat against high flyers RGC 1404, who ran riot in the second half with 31 unanswered points.
Things looked bleak for the visitors inside the opening minutes when RGC looked to play expansion rugby straight from the kick off.
Centre Tiaan Loots almost broke through the defence and the supporting winger Ianto Pari showed great strength to power up to five metres from the line. Loots took an inside pass and strode home to score within the first three minutes. Fly half Jacob Botica converted.
Things got even worse for the visitors when a well weighted chip into the twenty-two by Botica forced full back Owen Howe to take the ball into touch, giving RGC an attacking lineout. From the set piece, the home side got the ball out quickly along the backline to send full back Dion Jones over for a try. Botica missed the conversion.
When the home pack were penalised for diving over the top of a ruck, fly half Gareth Walters chose to kick for to the corner, although he failed to find touch, allowing Dion Jones to clear.
The home side went in search of a third try and lock Maredydd Francis collected lineout ball to send Loots powering into the twenty-two. Francis and hooker Evan Yardley charged towards the line, but a potentially try scoring pass was intercepted by pacey winger Andrew Claypole, who sprinted the length of the field to touch down under the posts. Howe converted.
The score gave Swansea renewed impetus and they struck again when the forwards battered the RGC line, with lock Jay Williams finally breaching the defence by stretching over for a try. Howe converted.
The dream reversal of fortunes continued when Jay Williams took lineout ball and was driven forward inside the twenty-two. Claypole juggled a pass out wide and sent lock Tudor Hughes powering through the middle. Back row men Jon Vaughan and Jon Fox were both held up just short of the line, but the Whites stayed patient to send prop Mitchell Walsh over for a try. Howe converted.
The North Walian side looked shell shocked and were determined to hit back immediately. Francis charged forward, and Loots made a mini break, but a superb break by Dion Jones came to nothing as he was bundled into touch.
Centre Tom Hughes was brought down by J Rhys Williams as he looked set to exploit a gap in the Swansea defence. Botica then showed his strength to race into the twenty-two, but the supporting Francis spilled the ball forward under pressure.
RGC continued to attack and used the width of the pitch, but Dion Jones chose not to throw a possible scoring pass to Evans, instead opting to go alone. The Whites’ defence was penalised for killing the ball and Botica kicked to touch, but from the lineout lock Robin Williams made a mess of the pass, gifting possession back to Swansea.
The home side injected pace into their attack with Botica firing a pass out wide to Pari. The power and pace was too much for the visitors’ defence as flanker Andrew Williams dived over to score. Botica converted.
Botica dummied his way past the Swansea defence, making vital yards upfield and Andrew Williams powered forward. However, scrum half Alex Schwarz dropped the ball a few metres short of the try line as referee Elfyn Morris Roberts blew to end a pulsating half of rugby.
Half-time:- RGC 1404 19 Swansea 21
The home side looked to continue where they left off in the first period as Botica found touch deep inside the Swansea twenty-two with a penalty. However, hooker Paul John secured an important turnover, allowing his side to clear.
Swansea weren’t finished and a superb break from the maul by Jay Williams set up an attack, but the pack were driven off the ball after a few phases. Robin Williams spotted a gap in the defence and got quick ball out wide to flanker Mei Parry, who was stopped a few metres short of the line. Despite a good defensive effort, Evans raced clear to score in the corner to take his side back into the lead. Botica converted.
J Rhys Williams almost scored for the visitors when he intercepted a pass, but he ran out of steam and the RGC defence got back to make a crucial tackle. The Swansea pack continued to drive forward, but gave away a penalty, providing welcome relief for the home side.
A superb move in midfield saw Schwarz get the ball out to Hughes, who put his foot down to race clear to score. Botica converted.
Pari picked up a loose ball from the restart and raced up to the twenty-two, with Loots in support. Swansea were penalised for entering the ruck offside and Botica kicked to the corner, but RGC made a mess of the maul.
Howe was handed an opportunity to cut the deficit after RGC gave away a kickable penalty, but he missed his effort at goal.
The full back failed to deal with a Botica high kick as the home side mounted another attack, but an indecisive Rhys Williams held onto possession after the tackle.
A mini fight between Francis and flanker Ben Davies saw the RGC captain yellow carded for speaking out of turn after the incident had initially been dealt with. Howe kicked to the corner, but Swansea were unable to punish the home side after John threw a crooked lineout.
From the scrum, Hughes caught a high kick and chipped deep inside the visitors’ twenty-two, although Howe dealt with the danger by regathering possession.
Offside in midfield by the Whites gave RGC a penalty and Botica effectively sealed victory with a successful kick at goal.
There was still time for RGC to rub salt into the visitors’ wounds and they did so with two late tries. First replacement centre Danny Cross made a break on the wing and fed Andrew Williams for his second try, which Botica converted.
Then, with the visitors going in search of a four-try bonus point, substitute centre Rhys Williams ripped the ball out of a tackle and raced clear to score. Botica converted.
With both sides knocked out of the Swalec Cup they have a week off and resume league action in two weeks when RGC 1404 travel to Aberavon and Swansea make a trip down the M4 to Cardiff
Full-time:- RGC 1404 50 Swansea 21
RGC 1404 scorers:
Tries:- Tiaan Loots (3), Dion Jones (7), Andrew Williams (40+3, 79), Iolo Evans (49), Tom Hughes (58), Rhys Williams (80+6)
Cons:- Jacob Botica (4, 40+4, 51, 59, 80, 80+7)
Pens:- Jacob Botica (75)
Yellow cards:- Maredydd Francis (71)
Tries:- Andrew Claypole (17), Jay Williams (20), Mitchell Walsh (29)
Cons:- Owen Howe (18, 21, 30)
Venue:- Stadium Zip World, Colwyn Bay
Referee:- Elfyn Morris Roberts
Weather:- Sunny, 5C
Man of the match:- Tom Hughes
RGC 1404 team:
15 Dion Jones
14 Iolo Evans
13 Tom Hughes (rep: Rhys Williams 79)
12 Tiaan Loots (rep: Danny Cross 61)
11 Ianto Pari
10 Jacob Botica
9 Alex Schwarz (rep: Efan Jones 69)
1 Curtis Reynolds (rep: Joe Simpson 66)
2 Evan Yardley (rep: George Roberts 63)
3 Charlie Connolly (rep: Jordan Scott 54)
4 Maredydd Francis ©
5 Robin Williams
6 Andrew Williams
7 Mei Parry (rep: Alex Taylor 54)
8 Tim Grey (rep: Calum Donnolly 80+2)
16 George Roberts
17 Joe Simpson
18 Jordan Scott
19 Alex Taylor
20 Calum Donnolly
21 Efan Jones
22 Danny Cross
23 Rhys Williams
15 Owen Howe
14 Andrew Claypole
13 Gareth Rees (rep: Jake Randall 54)
12 J Rhys Williams
11 Dan Howells
10 Gareth Walters (rep: James Davies 57)
9 Matthew Aubrey (rep: Josh Guy 80+2)
1 Richard Murphy (rep: Jack Powell 76)
2 Paul John
3 Mitchell Walsh
4 Jay Williams
5 Tudor Hughes
6 Jon Vaughan (rep: Jordan Sherman 76)
7 Ben Davies
8 Jon Fox ©
16 Tom Davies
17 Jack Powell
18 Chris Thomas
19 Gethin John
20 Jordan Sherman
21 Josh Guy
22 James Davies
23 Jake Randall