RGC 47 Bridgend Ravens 14

RGC ended the year with a strong final 20 minutes to claim a bonus point win against Bridgend Ravens in front of a bumper 1,962 crowd

Assistant Coach Phil Jones credited the conditioning work of the players after the game “We targeted the win, but to pick up the bonus point is even more pleasing. The players have worked hard on their fitness and credit to them as it made the difference in that last 20 minutes. We are now in the 2nd phase of the season, and the positive is that we have a group of players all competing for places. We have used 36 players so far, including some from the clubs around the region and they all know that they chance to play is there if they perform in training and on matchday. We now move on the next week and the cup game at Ebbw Vale, we are holders to clearly the target is on our back, and the focus for us is hitting another good performance”
3 tries in the last quarter gave RGC a comfortable score-line, though perhaps the game should have been closed our far earlier in the match. Both sides started in a fairly error strewn fashion, but RGC took the lead with a penalty from Jacob Botica.
The visitors had a spell in the RGC half, and were camped near the whitewash for a long period. The RGC defence was working hard to keep them out and put tackles in at every opportunity to force the turnovers. Dion Jones put in a good 60 yard kick and chase to relive some pressure and take the wind out of the Bridgend attacks. Tiaan Loots was first to cross the line but the referee pulled play back for a knock on, with the game still remaining fairly even.
As the half went on RGC started to build some good phases and control the ball better, with Tom Hughes and Robin Williams both making inroads through the Ravens defence.
That pressure resulted in the opening try after Botica fed a ball to Loots, and the centre ran a superb line to race over for the score. Botica added the extras.
The home side continued to play the game in the Bridgend half and you felt the scoring opportunities would follow. Botica did deliver with another penalty.
On a number of occasions when Bridgend were given penalties they opted to kick to touch and try their luck with a lineout and driving maul, on the 3rd time of asking they put pressure on the RGC line and got the try from Gareth Harvey, with Ryan Evans converting.
The visitor’s tails were up and they looked for another score before the break, but RGC dug deep, especially when Afon Bagshaw tackled winger Powell into touch when the break was on.
A crucial score did arrive on the half-time whistle to the delight of the home crows, after the pack rumbled over Henri Williams popped up with the ball and the try. Botica hit the conversion to make it 20-7.
Dion Jones trry
After the break the game didn’t really do much, with the only real highlight a drive from RGC that was held up on the line. Dion Jones was again working hard at the breakdown, and another turnover eased the pressure on the RGC line. Harri Evans produced an explosive run to create some excitement in the crowd. Botica smashed over another penalty to keep the scoreboard ticking before the visitors picked up another try, this time from Joseph Gatt with Evans hitting the conversion.
RGC then sprung to life and the immediately kept hold of the ball and worked it through the hands. Loots was tackled close to the line before replacement scrum-half Evan Jones dived over for his first try of the season. Botica had a simple conversion.
As the clock ticked over the 60 minute mark the game opened up and RGC took full advantage of the space. Robin Williams sprinted over from the halfway line to clinch the bonus point before Dion Jones grabbed a brace of tries to end the game, along with Botica adding 2 conversions.

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