Games between RGC and Llandovery have nearly always been high scoring clashes and this early kick off Saturday game was no different at Colwyn Bay writes Tom Hughes
The North Walians had won 32-24 at Llandovery back in early October becoming the first side to take the spoils at Church Bank since April 2017.
The Drovers squad travelled north determined for revenge and it brought back the bacon in style, recording a bonus point win in a most impressive performance.
They trailed 17-3 early on after a pumped up RGC had caught them napping with some swift attacks but gradually reduced the deficit to go into half time 17-17 before two second half tries got them the full house of points.
Llandovery now move on up to 66 points, level with Ebbw Vale – surprise losers at Swansea – and behind Merthyr, Cardiff and Pontypridd who all won at the weekend
Team Manager Andrew Jones could not hide his delight at the five point haul
“That was the best win of the season for me against a good team that are very difficult to play against on their home ground.”
“We have had some disappointing defeats up there in the past so the players have had a huge focus on this match for some time”
They were hurt when losing our home record earlier in the season so the coaching staff did everything they could to prepare the boys well.”
Importantly we didn’t panic when we went well behind early in the game but showed good composure and patientc by going through phases which led to some really good tries”
“Our leaders in the team stood up for me at important times in the match.”
“In a great team effort hooker which included many a top performance by individuals, hooker Matthew Moore having his first start for a while was quite outstanding in tight and loose .”
A sluggish start and uncharacteristic weak tackling saw Llandovery trail to two tries from centre Dan Cross and full back Dion Jones plus seven points from the boot of fly half Billy McBryde against a penalty by fly half Jack Maynard.
But once the pack got going under the leadership of skipper Richard Brooks, the possession was well used by half backs Lee Rees and Maynard.
Wing Richard Williams cut back inside for the first Llandovery try before flanker Joe Powell drove over under the RGC posts and with Maynard converting both it was all square at the break.
A converted Brooks try put the Drovers ahead for the first time and although prop Jordan Scott got an equalising try there was plenty of action left.
A sweeping attack which saw the ball switched left and right created an overlap for replacement Kristian Jones to secure the bonus point, Maynard converting.
Wing Aaron Warren all but extended the lead to take the Drovers clear but there was to be drama at the end of the game.
With the referee signalling time up Maynard went for the penalty to take away the home losing bonus point but struck the post and from the rebound RGC went all the length of the pitch only to see the final pass spilt near the try line.
Tries: D Cross, D Jones, J Scott
Cons: B McBryde (2), D Jones
Pen: B McBryde
Tries: R Williams, J Powell, R Brooks, K Jones
Cons: J Maynard (4)
Pen: J Maynard
RGC: D Jones; H Evans, T Hughes (capt), D Cross, S Jones; B McBryde, E Jones; C Reynolds, E Yardley, J Scott, B Jones, R Williams, B Williams, J Jones, W Bryan
Replacements: G Roberts, W Sanderson, S Wainwright, I Rowlands, M Parry, C Davies, K Martin, I Evans
Llandovery: G Thomas; R Williams, R Evans, R Jones, A Warren; J Maynard, L Rees; J Hughes, M Moore, B Watkins, R Jones, J Jones, J Powell, R Brooks (capt), L Ellis-Jones
Replacements: L Green, G Williams, D Dallavalle, E Price, J Evans, D Land, C Evans, K Jones