RGC 1404 21-3 SWANSEA
By: Paul Hopkins
The All Whites were outmuscled up front as they fell to a 3-21 defeat at the hands of Rygbi Gogledd Cymru 1404 at Stadiwm Zip World.
It was a frantic start to the match as winger Rhys Tudor plucked the ball out of the arms of opposite number Ryan Griffiths at the kick off, but a turnover saw centre Callum Carson counterattack. But the centre also lost possession allowing RGC to get back on the attack.
Tudor picked up a deft grubber kick by star fly half Billy McBryde, but the visitors were penalised for offside. McBryde turned down the kickable penalty, instead opting to chip to the corner. The lineout was poor though and prop Jordan Scott lost the ball forward.
Another clever kick by McBryde was chased down by Tudor, who forced the defending full back Phil Jones to run into touch a metre short of the line. It was the same story though as a poor lineout gave scrum half Tom Ham an opportunity to clear.
Centre Tom Hughes showed a sharp turn of pace to spark a home attack and lock Bryn Jones drove forward before Tudor was brought down five metres short of the line. The backs tried to switch play to the other wing, but winger Afon Bagshaw was crowded into touch.
Flanker Jay Williams collected a lineout for the All Whites and Griffiths raced over half way, but prop Jordan Pritchard dropped a pass to bring a premature end to the visitors’ first attack.
Lock Robin Williams took a lineout inside his own twenty-two and a high kick by McBryde was dropped under pressure by Jones into the grateful hands of flanker Dan Owen. The visitors were penalised for killing the ball and RGC showed great confidence in their pack by choosing an attacking scrum. An advancing scrum saw Hughes take a crash ball, although he was held up over the line.
Play was brought back for a second penalty and the home pack were given another opportunity at a scrum five. The same pattern followed with a third penalty awarded and this time referee Stephen Allsop had no option but to award a penalty try.
Swansea looked to hit back immediately and were soon inside the RGC twenty-two. The hard work paid off when Robin Williams was penalised for offside at the ruck, gifting fly half Josh Thomas a simple three points.
Griffiths burst through a tackle at the restart as the visitors injected pace into their attack. RGC momentarily regathered possession, but full back Dion Jones held on in the tackle for too long so Josh Thomas kicked deep into the corner. During the next phase a Josh Thomas grubbed kick in the corner didn’t trouble Dion Jones though as he shepherded the ball out of play.
A poor lineout throw by hooker George Roberts gave the All Whites a surprise attacking opportunity and Griffiths sprinted towards the line, but was held up over the whitewash.
A poor kick by Dion Jones sailed out on the full and lock Shaun O’Rourke took the lineout to set up another Whites attack. However, this time it was the turn of Ham to chip out on the full, giving RGC a lineout on half way.
With half time approaching Jay Williams was penalised for entering a ruck from the side but McBryde missed his effort at goal.
There was still time for one last RGC attack though and a quick tap penalty by scrum half Efan Jones sent McBryde crashing over for a try under the posts. He also converted.
Half-time:- RGC 1404 14 Swansea 3
A handling error by centre Keiron Charles gave RGC an early attacking opportunity in the second half, but a much better scrum by the visitors earned them a relieving penalty. The Whites took a quick tap penalty but a forward pass by Carson brought an end to the move.
Ham failed to deal with a superb chip through by Tudor, but the crucial bounce favoured Swansea and Josh Thomas was able to clear.
McBryde found touch on the Swansea twenty-two with a penalty, but Dion Jones took the wrong option in chipping ahead, allowing the visitors to clear.
A superb chip and chase by Dion Jones saw RGC attack again immediately and offside gave McBryde the chance to chip into the corner, but Jay Williams rose high to steal a crucial lineout.
A powerful RGC scrum earned a penalty on half way and McBryde superbly found touch a metre from the try line. The home pack attempted to maul to the line, but play was brought back for accidental offside.
The visitors desperately looked for a way back in to the match Josh Thomas raced upfield, but was tackled high. Replacement full back James Davies found touch inside the twenty-two, but O’Rourke failed to collect the lineout and Dion Jones cleared long. A late tackle on the full back gifted RGC a penalty and McBryde kicked for the corner.
In the dying minutes centre Rhys Williams came within inches of scoring before a long pass out wide was taken by Tudor who crashed over to seal victory. McBryde converted.
Full-time:- RGC 1404 21 Swansea 3
Tries:- Penalty try (21), Billy McBryde (40+7), Rhys Tudor (80)
Cons:- Billy McBryde (40+8, 80+1)
Pens:- Josh Thomas (24)
Venue:- Stadiwm Zip World
Weather:- Cloudy, 8C
Man of the match:- Billy McBryde
RGC 1404 team:
15 Dion Jones
14 Afon Bagshaw
13 Tom Hughes
12 Rhys Williams (rep: Delwyn Jones 80+1)
11 Rhys Tudor
10 Billy McBryde (rep: Sam Rogers 80+1)
9 Efan Jones (rep: Oscar Lennon 80+1)
1 Joe Simpson (rep: Will Sanderson 57)
2 George Roberts (rep: Rhodri King 70)
3 Jordan Scott (rep: Rhys Roberts 57)
4 Robin Williams (rep: Will Bryan 76)
5 Bryn Jones
6 Andrew Williams
7 Dan Owen (rep: Eifion Roberts 80+1)
8 Tim Grey
16 Rhodri King
17 Will Sanderson
18 Rhys Roberts
19 Eifion Roberts
20 Will Bryan
21 Oscar Lennon
22 Sam Rogers
23 Delwyn Jones
15 Phil Jones (rep: James Davies 44)
14 Ryan Griffiths
13 Callum Carson
12 Keiran Charles (rep: Rhys Williams 54)
11 Gareth Rees
10 Josh Thomas
9 Tom Ham (rep: Liam Seward 73)
1 Eddie Drake (rep: Jack Powell 66)
2 Owen Thomas (rep: Matthew Moore 58)
3 Jordan Pritchard (rep: Jordan Pritchard 70)
4 Shaun O’Rourke
5 Owen Morgan (rep: Ben Asprea 50)
6 Jay Williams
7 Callum Bowden (rep: Shawn Howard 70)
8 Jon Fox ©
16 Shawn Howard
17 Jack Powell
18 Dean Howells
19 Ben Asprea
20 Matthew Moore
21 Liam Seaward
22 James Davies
23 Rhys Williams