By: Paul Hopkins
The All Whites returned home from North Wales empty handed after an impressive second half display by RGC earned Ceri Jones’ side a bonus point win.
Straight from kick off a poor pass by prop Jordan Pritchard gifted RGC an early attacking platform on the Swansea 22, but a well-disciplined visitors defence kept the home side at bay, before they secured a turnover.
The opening minutes were understandably littered with handling errors with Swansea unable to deal with a Dion Jones chip and chase, which ended in winger Zach Clow making a break on the wing, before he sent hooker Rhodri King over for a try in the corner. Dion Jones converted.
A mistake by the home side on their own 22 gave Swansea an immediate chance to hit back, but fly half James Davies kicked possession away following a half break by centre Max Nagy.
Centre Callum Carson dummied a kick after James Davies remained calm under the pressure of a chip ahead, and prop Jordan Scott was penalised for offside at the breakdown.
Lock Matt Dodd rose to take a lineout in the RGC half and the visitors were penalised for offside at the maul. James Davies found touch a metre short of the line and Dodd took the lineout, but the home pack prevented the ball from reaching the ground to gain a defensive scrum.
Scrum half Tom Ellis cleared up to the 22 from his own line, but Swansea’s immense pressure continued. As the Whites looked to use their backs, a poor pass by James Davies out wide was pounced on by centre Harri Evans, who chipped ahead for fellow centre Matt Buchanan to back his pace to score a try against the run of play. Dion Jones missed the conversion.
The RGC pack collapsed a scrum on half way under pressure so James Davies kicked to the corner to regain territorial advantage for his side. Lock James Fender took the lineout and almost created a try out wide, but winger Hanno Dirksen was tackled a metre short. The All Whites’ pack drove forward but were penalised for diving over the top of a ruck.
Winger Iestyn Hopkins was bundled into touch on the 22 and Scott was yellow carded for his part in the melee that followed. Swansea made immediate use of the man advantage with prop Cameron Jones crashing over for a try from a maul. Full back Cai Evans converted.
A superb break by Carson from the restart caught the RGC defence half asleep, but the supporting Evans was well wrapped up in the tackle. The home defence were penalised for offside in midfield and Evans turned down the kickable penalty, instead opting to find touch in the 22.
Dodd took the resulting lineout and scrum half Connor Tantum spotted acres of space on the blindside, which he exploited to score the simplest of tries. Evans converted.
Buchanan thought he had scored a try seconds after the restart after he collected a chip ahead, but play was brought back for offside. Instead, Evans chipped to the corner and from the lineout Hopkins was held up over the line.
Nagy made a mini break into the 22 as flanker Jay Williams weaved towards the line, but the supporting hooker Garan Williams stepped into touch a metre short of the line. A disastrous RGC lineout almost let flanker Callum Bowden sneak in for a try, but he lost the ball forward over the line.
Half-time:- RGC 1404 12-14 Swansea
Immediately after the interval Dion Jones misjudged his 22 line and kicked the ball out on the full, but the home side recovered with a turnover.
Dion Jones found touch on the 22 with a penalty after the Whites were penalised for handling on the ground. Prop Joe Simpson charged forward, but Dion Jones’ chip to the corner evaded the chasing winger Sam Earl-Jones into touch a metre short of the line. Fender juggled with the resulting lineout, but his side were able to clear.
Lock Ilan Evans powered forward, but the Swansea defence was penalised for offside. Dion Jones chose to kick at goal, but he missed from a relatively simple position.
A fantastic 50-22 kick by Dion Jones earned the home side a lineout two metres from the line and a simple lineout saw King power over for his second try from an unstoppable maul. Dion Jones converted.
A superb piece of counter-rucking by Cameron Jones earned the All Whites a penalty on half way and Evans found touch on the 22. Replacement hooker Owen Thomas picked up a loose ball and raced 30 metres towards the line but was tackled into touch a metre short.
The home pack were penalised at a scrum for riving in at the side and Evans found touch inside the 22, but the RGC forwards managed to hold the ball up to regain possession.
Tantum was unceremoniously dragged backwards by the RGC defence and the All Whites gave away a penalty, which Dion Jones kicked to the 22. Replacement winger Danny Cross made a break and the visitors were penalised for tapping the ball down. Dion Jones kicked the three pointer.
In the closing stages the home side looked like adding to their try tally and it took a deliberate knock forward by replacement winger Gareth Rees to prevent a scoring chance. He was promptly yellow carded.
Dion Jones chose to kick into touch with a penalty though and replacement hooker Brodie Coghlan powered over for the bonus point try at the corner. Dion Jones converted.
Full-time:- RGC 1404 29-14 Swansea
Tries:- Rhodri King (5, 52), Matt Buchanan (15), Brodie Coghlan (80+3)
Cons:- Dion Jones (6, 53, 80+4)
Pens:- Dion Jones (70)
Yellow cards:- Jordan Scott (25)
Tries:- Cameron Jones (26), Connor Tantum (30)
Cons:- Cai Evans (27, 31)
Yellow cards:- Gareth Rees (80+1)
Venue:- Stadiwm Zip World, Colwyn Bay
Weather:- Cloudy, 5C
Referee:- Aled Evans
Man of the match:- Dion Jones
RGC 1404 team:
15 Afon Bagshaw ©
14 Sam Earl-Jones (rep: Danny Cross 58)
13 Harri Evans
12 Matt Buchanan (rep: Rhys Tudor 58)
11 Zach Clow
10 Dion Jones
9 Tom Ellis (rep: Efan Jones 41)
1 Joe Simpson (rep: Christian Hone 80+4)
2 Rhodri King (rep: Brodie Coghlan 55)
3 Jordan Scott (rep: Pedr Jones 41)
4 Bryn Jones (rep: Billy McQueeney 66)
5 Ilan Evans
6 Andrew Williams
7 Dan Owen
8 Jordan Jones
16 Brodie Coghlan
17 Christian Hone
18 Pedr Jones
19 Billy McQueeney
20 Sam Williams
21 Efan Jones
22 Danny Cross
23 Rhys Tudor
15 Cai Evans
14 Iestyn Hopkins
13 Max Nagy
12 Callum Carson
11 Hanno Dirksen (rep: Gareth Rees 62)
10 James Davies
9 Connor Tantum (rep: Liam Seaward 70)
1 Cameron Jones (rep: Tom Northy 66)
2 Garan Williams (rep: Owen Thomas 47)
3 Jordan Pritchard
4 Matt Dodd
5 James Fender (rep: Curtis Davies 78)
6 Jay Williams (rep: Charlie Davies 41)
7 Callum Bowden (rep: Lewis Jones 59)
8 Jon Fox ©
16 Owen Thomas
17 Tom Northy
18 James Williams
19 Lewis Jones
20 Charlie Davies
21 Liam Seaward
22 Gareth Rees
23 Curtis Davies