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RGC 25 vs Pontypridd 30

Sat 22nd January, 14:30, Parc Eirias
Indigo Premiership Cup

On a cold, but near-perfect afternoon for rugby it was Pontypridd’s new signing at outside half Jake Lloyd who kicked the match off. From the very start RGC showed their attacking intent whilst keeping the ball and with barely 5 minutes on the clock they are awarded a penalty at a ruck. Centre Danny Cross slotted it to give the home side an early lead.

Ponty kicked-off and from the restart are able to finally get their hands on the ball and are able to start building some momentum themselves. Ponty go through a few phases working their way up the pitch, an attack is launched after some excellent handling in midfield and Ponty look threatening but the ball is spilled in contact, but referee Mr. Morris-Roberts was playing advantage and brings the play back for a penalty to Pontypridd – Jake Lloyd duly converts to level the score at 3-3.

The next chunky passage of play was largely played in the middle third of the pitch. After quarter of an hour an RGC try went begging when they worked an 2-on-1 opportunity down the blind-side of the pitch only for the usually ever reliable Afon Bagshaw to pass the ball into touch – a narrow escape for Pontypridd. Ponty then had the next good chance, RGC coughed ball up around the halfway line and Dale Stuckey was the first to react, gathered and put his foot down but couldn’t quite break free and was hauled down, from this ruck Lloyd put in an excellent touch-finder deep into the RGC 22. A crooked throw gave Ponty an excellent platform and from the resulting scrum Ponty went wide and Stuckey was bundled into touch with the try line begging. Ponty continued to put lots of pressure on the home side in their 22 but then it’s the visitors penalised for going over the top at a ruck.

With 23 minutes on the clock, some superb work by the Ponty forwards in a ruck results in the award of a penalty, Jake Lloyd slotted superbly from nearly 50 metres with the angle, 3-6 to the visitors.

From the restart RGC win a penalty, kick deep into Ponty territory and this time it’s the visitors turn to defend, which they do admirably again and end up clearing their lines. Nearly half an hour on the clock at this point, RGC have possession of the ball at a ruck on their own 10-metre line, they pass the ball out and quick as a flash Cai James who was stood at the fringes intercepts and shows good pace to finish from 35 metres out, conversion also added from Lloyd.

Five minutes later, Lloyd puts up a high bomb and a superb take from the chasing Stuckey who then feeds captain Dicomidis who fancied a long distance try of his own, gallops towards the RGC line but is pulled down just short, but crucially it’s the home side who put the ball out giving Ponty the throw at the lineout. Lineout ball is secured by Ponty and after a few phases and patient build-up, a superb grubber behind the on-rushing RGC defence from Jake Lloyd and then Brad Roderick, who timed his run to perfection gathers the ball and dots down for the try, conversion added by Lloyd.

20 points to 3 up at this stage, Ponty had to endure another barrage of RGC attacking pressure but again the defence held out and we headed into half-time with the lead.

Half Time RGC 3-20 Pontypridd

RGC kick-off the second half and obviously reeling from some motivational speech in the changing rooms during the break were in ‘all-guns-blazing’ mode – just over a minute into the second half their blindside Dan Owen crashes over for a try, converted by Cross. The men from Colwyn Bay, now with the bit between their teeth proceed to head straight back up the pitch from the restart – strong running, smashing rucks and the pressure tells when home skipper Afon Bagshaw crashes over from close range. Conversion added by Cross and Ponty’s half-time lead has nearly evaporated only 6 minutes into the second half – score now was RGC 17 Ponty 20.

Ponty continued to work their socks off up front, the young pack rebuffing all that RGC are throwing at them at this stage. Stoic defence wins the day and Ponty end up earning a line-out in the RGC 22, the ball is thrown in and is flapped back and Morgan Bosanko is the first player from either team to react, he picks up and dives over from 10 metres out. The extra two points added by Lloyd.

For the next ten minutes or so Ponty had to go back into defensive mode, the home side fighting for their lives in the competition are throwing everything at the Valley Commandos – Ponty force a couple of mistakes with their physicality and we clear our lines with the boot. But the respite is only temporary, 65 minutes on the clock and the dam breaks when Dan Owen crosses the try-line out wide, conversion missed and the score is 22-27.

Fifteen minutes left and the match is balanced on a knife-edge. Ponty show great spirit and grit and are playing the game in the right part of the pitch at this point – deep in RGC territory. 73 minutes gone and Ponty win a penalty which Jake Lloyd kicks to give the away side a crucial two-score buffer.

Straight from the RGC restart, the home side re-gather possession and continue to press, Danny Cross hits a good angle but is superbly tackled by a mix of Ponty centres Morris and Payne with the try-line begging, he offloads and the ball is spilled into the post-protector. Pontypridd’s scrum is solid and we are able to clear our lines.

Time is just about up but RGC are throwing the kitchen sink at Ponty but again, the resolute defence and tackling is still as prominent as ever and RGC cough the ball up in contact. This still wasn’t the end of proceedings, 5 minutes deep into injury time RGC, through Danny Cross kick a penalty to narrow the gap to 5 points and give everyone at Parc Eirias a grandstand finish. But the men from Sardis Road would not be denied their victory and with 89 minutes on the clock are awarded the match’s final penalty after more good work at the breakdown. The ball is tapped, kicked out and Ponty take home the win that ensures progress out of the pool and into the quarter finals at the expense of the hosts.

Full Time RGC 25-30 Pontypridd


15. Llywarch ap Myrddin. 14. Morgan Richards. 13. Bradley Roderick (Garyn Payne). 12. Ceri Morris. 11. Dale Stuckey. 10. Jake Lloyd. 9. Dai Jones (Joel Raikes).

1. Ben Stephens (Tom Devine). 2. Ieuan Morris (Nathan Huish). 3. Morgan Bosanko (Tom Harper). 4. James Little (Jack Pope). 5. Chris Dicomidis ©. 6. Cai James (Kristian Parker). 7. Sion Parry (Cally James). 8. Joe Miles

Subs: 16. Nathan Huish. 17. Tom Devine. 18. Tom Harper. 19. Kristian Parker. 20. Jack Pope. 21. Cally James. 22. Garyn Payne. 23. Joel Raikes.

Tries: Cai James, Roderick, Bosanko

Conversions: Lloyd x 3

Penalties: Lloyd x 3


15. Afon Bagshaw (c). 14. Zach Clow. 13. Rhys Williams. 12. Danny Cross. 11. Rhys Tudor. 10. Sam Rogers. 9. Efan Jones.

1. Jessie Williams. 2. Brodie Coghlan. 3. Pedr Jones. 4.  Bryn Jones. 5. Andrew Williams. 6. Dan Owen 7.  Samuel Hughes. 8. Jordan Jones

Subs 16.  Rhodri King. 17. Will Sanderson. 18. Jordan Scott. 19. Billy McQueenie. 20. Ilan Evans. 21. Sam Williams. 22. Cam Davies. 23. Matt Buchanan.

Tries: Dan Owen x 2, Bagshaw

Conversions: Cross x 2

Penalties: Cross x 2


Referee: Elfyn Morris-Roberts

Touch Judges: Elliot Mayor and Paul Hughes


WRU MOTM – Jake Lloyd