RGC1404 24 – 7 Llandovery
What the Papers Say - Tom Hughes reports:
The top of the table clash in the West Conference of the Premiership went the way of the home side who were good value for their win at Colwyn Bay.
Games between the two sides have been well fought ever since RGC came into the Premiership but this latest battle between Llandovery – the 2016 Cup winners - and RGC – the winners in 2017 – was surprisingly different. The North Walians were tactically more astute, more combative and that bit sharper in their reactions and they go top of the table - sweet revenge for their 31-10 defeat at Church Bank in August.
It was an inauspicious 150th game in a Llandovery shirt for flanker Shaun Miles who, like most of his team mates, did not play to his usual form.
The Drovers could only muster the one try from replacement hooker Matthew Moore, converted by replacement Kristian Jones and now slip down into second position.
“Our worst performance of the season, too many errors,” admitted coach Euros Evans. “RGC are a tough team on their own patch but we made it very easy for them today and we are disappointed that our faithful travelling supporters didn’t have much to cheer about.”
Team Manager Andrew Jones was not expecting such a sound defeat. “We prepared well for the game, travelled up the night before but as BBC radio’s Phil Steele commentary said ‘we never got off the bus.’ “
“RGC used the ball better and Botica was a real thorn in our side with both his tactical and place kicking. We will have to pick ourselves up quickly before hosting Bridgend but one crumb of comfort is that we have four home games and only two away before the end of the first part of the season.”
With the wind in the first half RGC took a 16-0 lead through a try from wing Harri Evans and 11 points from the boot of Jacob Botica, son of All Blacks and later Scarlets fly half Frano Botica.
Even with the wind in the second half the Drovers could make little headway against a solid home defence and went further behind to a try from centre Tom Hughes and a fourth Botica penalty.
The late try from Moore who had come on to replace Scarlets hooker Dafydd Hughes was converted by replacement Kristian Jones but it was hardly a crumb of comfort for the well beaten Drovers.