04 October 2015 / Team News

RGC survivie Emlyn fightback


The old sporting adage of a game of two halves was very much the correct description of this Championship match on Saturday. Once again the home side were guilty of giving their visitors far too much respect. Down twenty five points to nine at half time they clawed their way back into the second half and not only won it by six points but dominated it territorially and but for some strange refereeing decisions could well have come away with at least a bonus point.

The opening exchanges saw Emlyn, for once in a very long while, gain a penalty from a scrum after just two minutes which full back Dan Davies converted to open the scoring. Unfortunately from the restart Emlyn’s inability to catch and control the ball led to a turnover for the visitors and after a series of rucks they were penalised for offside and RGC outside half James Lang kicked an easy penalty to tie the scores.

Such is the quality of some of the sides in the Championship that the visitors’ side contained a number of players who have gained Welsh Under 20 caps or are on the books of Regional sides. Their next score came as a result of a build up containing a number of rucks resulting in left winger Carwyn ap Myrddin squeezing over in the corner for the opening, unconverted try of the match.

Basically Emlyn were not at the races during the first half, despite the encouragement of another large crowd at Dol Wiber. RGC’s second try came as a result of a missed tackle by an Emlyn forward, summing up a first half in which the Emlyn pack, with the exception of flanker Joel James did not operate as a unit. Once behind the Emlyn defence a grubber kick ahead wrong footed the Emlyn cover and saw impressive full back Rhun Williams win the race for the touchdown.

Emlyn did manage to put a couple of phases together and eventually Dan Davies kicked a penalty to reduce the deficit. With second row Bryn Williams and number eight Huw Worthington carrying the ball effectively RGC quickly reasserted their ascendancy and played more like the home side with an abundance of confidence and skill.

Emlyn struggled to get into the game despite their ascendancy at the scrum. A series of indiscretions saw them often penalised, sometimes to the bemusement of the players, by referee Peter Evans form Brynamman, which kept the home side pinned in their own half.

When gathering a speculative grubber kick from RGC in his own twenty two Dan Davies found the Emlyn defenders in front of him penalised for obstruction. Totally mystified and awaiting and explanation from the referee, RGC scrum half, Efan Jones, took advantage of their, bemusement and took a quick tap kick to cross for another try.

RGC continued to play an impressive brand of disciplined controlled rugby and their bonus point try came with eight minutes left in the half and was straight from the training ground. Second row and captain, Meredydd Francis once again won some quality line out ball which he delivered from the top of his jump. Swift transference of the ball saw outside centre Tom Hughes run on an outside arc against the Emlyn defence and cross for an excellent try without a finger being laid on him. The try was converted by outside half James Lang.

On the stroke of half time Emlyn outside half Steffan Evans made a half break around the half way line and when the visitors were penalised at the ruck, full back Dan Davies stepped up to kick a Dan Biggar like penalty for the home team.

The start of the second half almost turned into a disaster for the home side. The restart fell just short of the ten metre line, from the resulting scrum full back Rhun Williams, a member of the Cardiff Blues squad, entered the line at pace, and left the first line of the Emlyn defence floundering. Fortunately the covering scrum half was able to drag the full back down just short of the Emlyn line.

The half time talk by coach Lloyd obviously worked for once and after this the home side showed a lot more determination and took the game to the visitors, dominating territory for long periods of the half. Flanker Joel James once again led the way with some impressive carries but the visitors’ defence was well organised and disciplined.

Emlyn’s run of serious injuries continued when veteran second row and player coach Arwel Davies left the field after some ten minutes with a suspected broken arm. Replacement Bleddyn Davies did his utmost to inspire the home pack and they proceeded to set up camp in RGC twenty two metre area. Two unsuccessful lineout drives led to Emlyn being awarded a scrum five metres out and James was brought down just short, from the resultant ruck scrum half Mike Jones darted over for a try converted by Davies.

James Lang increased RGC lead with a long range penalty but the second half belonged to the home side. Time and again they strived for the score which would have given them at least a losing bonus point but RGC defence proved difficult to penetrate. Emlyn’s dominance at the scrum could not be transferred into points though. After being penalising RGC twice at consecutive five metre scrums, referee Evans for some reason thought Emlyn were at fault at the third one and awarded RGC the penalty when they were going backwards !

With time running out captain Alex Williams led another Emlyn attack from inside their own twenty two metre area and the red and whites, despite going some fifty metres, found themselves falling foul of referee Evans once more. RGC were more than happy to kick the ball of the field to end the game.     

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