RGC1404 22


IT was always going to be a tough encounter as RGC welcomed Indigo Group Premiership leaders Cardiff to Stadiwm Zip World.

The side from the capital went into the contest boasting a perfect record of four wins from their four matches, while they had knocked the Gogs out of the WRU Cup earlier in the season.

As expected, Cardiff started the match brightly and they took a 10-point lead thanks to a try from Alex Everett, with Gareth Thompson converting it and also adding a penalty.

RGC made a couple of handling errors at crucial times, which hampered their efforts to attack in the Cardiff half.

Thompson missed a further penalty and the visitors also had a try ruled out by the TMO, before Billy McBryde got some points on the board for RGC.

Meanwhile, scrum-half Efan Jones lit up the pitch with a couple of blistering runs as he looked to fire his side back into the game.

The game suddenly turned on its head when winger Rhys Tudor showed some blistering pace and strong running to claim two tries as the first half ended.

The boot of Billy McBryde's boot added the two conversions and RGC were in the box seat at 17-10 when the half-time whistle was sounded.

Cardiff were down to 14 men at that point, with Alex Llewellyn yellow-carded, but RGC failed to take advantage of this when the came back out for the second half.

The visitors got back into the game straight from the whistle when a driving maul went over the whitewash and Thompson hit over the conversion to level things up.

Momentum was now with the visitors and when RGC got some front foot ball, they gave away a penalty around a breakdown.

As the game went on, the Cardiff pack started to put the squeeze on and they began to play more of the game in the RGC half.

Barney Nightingale gave the visitors the lead once more and when Thompson hit over the conversion, Cardiff had a seven-point lead.

RGC fought back and they started to work some pressure up-front, but they couldn’t find the space to get behind the Cardiff defence.

Beau Williams and Rhys Williams carried to make some gainline yards, before the home scrum started to work as well.

Rhys Tudor claimed his hat-trick try after the ball was worked from the scrum and the winger took his tackler over the line to touch down.

Billy McBryde was unlucky with the conversion as he pulled it wide of the uprights.

Tudor made another good run which opened up the defence after two strong hand-offs, but he was ushered into touch.

The last 15 minutes were played mostly in the RGC half and the home side began to kick from hand, giving the ball straight back to Cardiff.

The hosts were forcing the play and they lacked some composure when they had some time on the ball.

The game pace slowed as the leaders looked to keep the ball and the game ended with the Cardiff pack going over for a bonus point try.