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RGC 41 - 36 Llandovery

08/03/2017

Tom Hughes reports:

In front of a four figure crowd, RGC 1404 knocked Cup holders Llandovery out of this year’s competition in another wonderfully entertaining and tight game between the two clubs.

Each club had won on its own ground in the Premiership and the advantage of playing this Cup quarter final home at Parc Erias, Colwyn Bay gave RGC the edge in an eleven try – six tries to five - thriller.

But it took a last play of the game try by RGC No 8 Huw Worthington to decide the issue in a 77 point spectacular.

If Llandovery lost, then rugby was the winner in a game which swung back and forth and the lead changed hands at bewildering intervals.

“It was anybody’s game and when we took the lead on the 80th minute I thought we were through,” said Llandovery coach Euros Evans, “and it was heartbreaking for the boys to lose out at the death. We were unlucky to lose after fighting back so well from 34-22 to lead 36-34 and some decisions certainly did not go our way but it made for great viewing and huge entertainment for the large crowd.”

International referee Ian Davies commented on Twitter, “What a game of rugby - neither side deserved to lose, end to end stuff from start to finish.”

Another Twitter remark from a Benn Healey drew the comment – “absolutely brilliant game today, great crowd, good times, well worth a 200 mile plus drive.”

Derek Jones on Facebook summed it up with - “two fantastic running sides showed how rugby should be played. Congratulations to both teams.”

RGC coach Mark Jones was as ever magnanimous in victory as in defeat. “A shame that one side had to lose as I am sure that the style of play adopted by both would have made a great Cup final in Cardiff,” said the former Drover. “That said, we are thrilled to keep the North Wales flag flying and will give it our all whoever we play in the semis to get to that final.”

It was 19-17 to the Drovers at the break after tries from full back Mike Evans, Lee Rees – a brilliant solo effort from the scrum half - and outstanding centre Rhodri Jones had trumped home efforts from wing Sam Jones and the skipper, lock Maredydd Francis.

In a purple patch, two tries from full back Afon Bagshaw and one from wing Carwyn ap Myrddin took RGC ahead 34-22 in what looked like a winning position.

But the Drovers proved their fitness by hitting back twice through Mike Evans and then fly half Jack Maynard to lead 36-34 with normal time up.

The sides had shared ten well worked and sometimes spectacular tries but five minutes into injury time it was Worthington who proved the hero of the day for the North Walians when, in the last play of the game, he crashed over for Bagshaw to kick the conversion.

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