By: Paul Hopkins
Swansea fell to a bonus point defeat at the hands of Rygbi Gogledd Cymru in their penultimate Indigo Group Premiership match in a hard fought match at Colwyn Bay RFC.
The visitors enjoyed the best of the opening few minutes with impressive number eight Sam Moore powering 20 metres downfield, before recycling possession out to centre Kieran Charles, who was wrapped up inside the 22. Winger Willis Wood was tackled hard, but the home pack entered a ruck from the side, although fly half James Davies missed his effort at goal.
The home side gained some much needed territory when centre Dion Jones found touch inside the Swansea 22 with a penalty. Lock Owain Evans took the lineout and hooker Rhodri King made a break, but an outstanding tackle by prop Cameron Jones secured a turnover.
Centre Osian Knott picked up a loose tap back by the home side, but scrum half Efan Jones got back to defend a chip through. A small melee followed with prop Joe Simpson and lock Matt Dodd both yellow carded.
The RGC pack collapsed a scrum on halfway and James Davies found touch on the 22. The North Walian side were again penalised for driving into a ruck from the side and this time Davies successfully kicked a three pointer.
Centre Dion Jones and full back Afon Bagshaw superbly linked up in midfield in their side’s first dangerous looking attack. Centre Danny Cross spotted a gap in midfield and raced into the 22, but hooker Owen Thomas superbly gained a turnover.
Winger Sam Stoddard spotted the Whites’ backs out of position and chipped into the corner for fellow wing Rhys Tudor to chase, but scrum half Gareth J Rees was able to track back to clear.
Prop Jessie Williams charged through to set up a platform for the RGC backs, but a poor pass by Efan Jones saw flanker Dan Owen spill the ball forward.
James Davies found touch inside the RGC half with a penalty and the Whites tried to mount an attack, only for Knott to lose possession.
Swansea’s outstanding defence finally gave in when flanker Sam Williams picked up a ball from a ruck and raced through the middle, before finding Efan Jones on his shoulder, who raced clear to score. Dion Jones converted.
The visitors almost hit back immediately when Moore made a break, but the supporting full back Gareth O Rees failed to take the pass.
A clever chip ahead by Cross caused panic in the Swansea defence and a poor mistake saw the ball kicked dead, gifting the home side an attacking scrum five om the stroke of half time.
It proved costly as quick ball out of the lineout from Efan Jones saw Cross take a crash ball to score. Dion Jones converted.
Half-time:- RGC 1404 14-3 Swansea
Cameron Jones made a superb break through the middle but James Davies kicked possession away and Tudor was able to clear to touch.
It was a much better start to the half by Swansea and James Davies found touch deep inside RGC territory, though Dodd lost the ball forward at the next phase of play.
Gareth O Rees made a superb break with Knott providing support, but the home side secured a turnover with Bagshaw kicking downfield behind the Swansea defence, although the ball beat him into touch.
Cross made another break down the wing and found Owen in support, but a mistake meant that the move didn’t come to anything. Then patient work by the RGC backs took play into the visitors’ 22, but Sam Williams lost the ball forward.
Wood made a break up to the RGC 22, but support was slow to arrive and the Whites gave away a penalty. Gareth J Rees failed to retreat 10 metres and was promptly issued a yellow card.
The North Walian side got their third try when Dion Jones found touch with a penalty and a powerful maul by the pack created space for Cross to race clear for his second score of the match. Dion Jones failed to convert.
James Davies found touch on the 22 with a penalty after Sam Williams pushed a player off the ball, but although Cameron Jones took a quick penalty, his side lost possession shortly after.
The visitors grabbed a foothold in the match when replacement hooker Garan Williams controlled possession at a maul, before making a mini break and sending a pass out wide for Gareth O Rees to score. James Davies converted.
Dion Jones kicked to the corner with a penalty after the Whites’ defence killed the ball. The visitors stole possession, and following a period of kicking ping pong, Dion Jones mistimed his chip ahead, with the ball bouncing past the dead ball line.
Stoddard fielded a loose chip ahead and found replacement fly half Max Buchanan, who raced down the wing, but the visitors managed to get back to defend.
The home side put the match beyond doubt with a bonus point try when a quick tap penalty saw Dion Jones stroll over for a touch down out wide. He missed the conversion though.
With the All Whites going in search of a losing bonus point, James Davies kicked deep with a penalty touch finder. Dodd took the lineout with Garan Williams peaking off a maul, but the move came to nothing.
In the dying moments James Davies was held up over the line with a huge fight taking place, which saw lock Billy McQueeney shown a red card for a punch, and Cameron Jones sent to the sin-bin for his part in the fracas.
Full-time:- RGC 1404 24-10 Swansea
Tries:- Efan Jones (36), Danny Cross (40+7, 62), Dion Jones (80+6)
Cons:- Dion Jones (37, 40+8)
Yellow cards:- Joe Simpson (12)
Red cards:- Billy McQueeney (80+12)
Tries:- Gareth O Rees (75)
Cons:- James Davies (76)
Pens:- James Davies (17)
Yellow cards:- Matt Dodd (12), Gareth J Rees (59), Cameron Jones (80+12)
Venue:- Colwyn Bay RFC
Weather:- Light rain showers, 14C
Referee:- Dewi Phillips
Man of the match:- Danny Cross
RGC 1404 team:
15 Afon Bagshaw ©
14 Rhys Tudor
13 Dion Jones
12 Danny Cross (rep: Rhys Hamilton 69)
11 Sam Stoddard
10 Sam Rogers (rep: Matt Buchanan 65)
9 Efan Jones (rep: Ollie Wynn 69)
1 Jessie Williams (rep: Christian Hone 41)
2 Rhodri King (rep: Harry Roberts 76)
3 Joe Simpson (rep: Paddy Nelson 17-22, 76)
4 Billy McQueeney
5 Owain Evans (rep: Bryn Jones 69)
6 Sam Williams
7 Dan Owen
8 Jordan Jones (rep: Charlie Probert 4-14, 63)
16 Harry Roberts
17 Christian Hone
18 Paddy Nelson
19 Bryn Jones
20 Charlie Probert
21 Ollie Wynn
22 Rhys Hamilton
23 Matt Buchanan
15 Gareth O Rees (rep: Scott Whitlock (40+3-41)
14 Sam Matthews (rep: Scott Whitlock 80+3)
13 Osian Knott
12 Kieran Charles
11 Willis Wood (rep: Foard Cooksley 59)
10 James Davies
9 Gareth J Rees
1 Cameron Jones
2 Owen Thomas (rep: Garan Williams 63)
3 Richard Murphy
4 Lewis Jones (rep: Sam Martin 63)
5 Matt Dodd
6 Sam Richards (rep: Joe Pearce 40+3)
7 Callum Bowden ©
8 Sam Moore (rep: Jake Baker 69)
16 Garan Williams
17 Tom Crockett
18 Oli Rees
19 Sam Martin
20 Jake Baker
21 Joe Pearce
22 Foard Cooksley
23 Scott Whitlock