First half display guides RGC to Neath victory

Reporter:

Dean Jones

RGC extended their impressive run of recent results with a convincing 31-19 bonus-point triumph over Principality Premiership rivals Neath.

A ruthless first half display from the Gogs proved to be too much for the visitors to handle, and Mark Jones’ men remain strong contenders for the West crown and remain unbeaten following their opening day defeat at Llandovery.

A cagey start to proceedings brought little in the way of opportunities for either side, but New Zealand fly-half Jacob Botica put the home side in-front on 14 minutes through a penalty.

This was swiftly followed by the first try of the contest and it arrived for the hosts when Afon Bagshaw crossed the white wash after a blistering break from Cameron Davies on 18 minutes. Botica added the extras.

Things got even better soon after for the rampant Gogs, who pulled further clear on 20 minutes when in-form back Tiaan Loots rounded off a fine team move to touch down following an intense period of pressure, with Botica firing over the conversion.

The visitors were finding it difficult to deal with the constant stream of attacks and they fell further behind on the half hour mark when Harri Evans broke clear to notch another try and carry on his superb scoring form, and Botica blazed over the extras to give them a 24-point cushion at the interval.

After the break saw Botica come within inches of helping himself to a score of his own but failed to collect a try-scoring pass, and they were made to pay for their inability to convert chances when the away side reduced the arrears thanks to an unconverted score from Ed Howley on 41 minutes.

An injury to home skipper Maredydd Francis was another blow for the title chasers, and Neath helped themselves to another touch-down when Howley went over under the posts on 58 minutes, with the same player despatching the conversion.

Things looked bleak for the hosts when Jordan Scott received a yellow card to put them under even more pressure, but they responded significantly well and sealed their triumph when Tom Hughes went over on 69 minutes. Dion Jones converting.

Scott Gibson provided the visitors with a brief glimmer of hope on 71 minutes, but Jones’ side held on comfortably for another fine victory.

Email:

coastalsport@nwn.co.uk

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