RGC reach play-offs after convincing Pontypridd win

Published date: 08 May 2017 |
Published by: Dean Jones 
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RGC take on Merthyr in the Principality Premiership play-offs this Saturday after an impressive 38-17 success at Pontypridd.
 
The Gogs finished in fourth spot in what has been a memorable debut campaign in the top flight, and the WRU National Cup winners will be looking for further knockout success against rivals Merthyr Tydfil when they travel south again on Saturday.
 
Head coach Mark Jones, said: “I think we added to our own problems at times, and we had the momentum towards the end of the first half, but didn’t push on after half time.
 
“We changed a few things tactically and credit to the players as we took it on board and finished the game strongly.  We have worked on speed, skills and conditioning all season and when we get the chance break we look to take it. 
 
“Since the Ebbw Vale game we have said every match would be a cup final, as if we lost any of the games then our season would be over, so it is the same next week. We have had three intense matches against Merthyr and results could have gone either way, and next week won’t be any different.”
 
The boot of Jacob Botica opened the scoring with a penalty, and he went for another kick from halfway but it dropped short, which led to the hosts levelling through a Callum Hall free-kick.
 
This provoked a strong response from the Gogs, who scored the first try of the contest when Tom Hughes touched down after good work from player-coach Josh Leach and Huw Worthington.
 
New Zealander Botica extended their lead with another penalty on the had hour mark, and they notched their second score soon after when Hughes combined well with Tiaan Loots who crossed the white wash in style.
 
After the break saw Ponty get back into the game when Dale Stuckey went over in the corner, and the away side had to withstand significant pressure in the aftermath of the try, but they managed to repel the constant stream of attacks and from a quick break-away they scored again through the impressive Henri Williams.
 
Stuckey and Loots exchanged tries thereafter in an end-to-end attacking spectacle, and Hughes notched his second of the afternoon to seal the triumph.

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