Full Time – Llanelli 34-43 RGC.
It was an open first quarter with the home side taking the lead with a driving maul before Elis Hopkins touched down. Llanelli were asking plenty of questions with Aaron Grabbam and Kalum Evans both testing the visitors defence. But the game changed dramatically as
Llanelli allowed RGC to take a firm grip on the game allowing them to grab 3 tries in a 10 minutes.
A loose ball was kicked ahead by Tom Hughes and his chase and another kick got it into the path of Afon Bagshaw to collect and touchdown. McBryde added the conversion 5-7
The second score was the result of some swift passing before Harri Evans skipped inside the tackles to combine with Rhys Williams who’s pass to Rhodri King gave the hooker the try. McBryde hit the extras.
An Ioan Hughes penalty reduced the arrears after 13 mins.
Scrum half Efan Jones extended the lead minutes later, with the boot of Billy McBryde on point with all 3 conversions.
Winger Aaron Grabham was proving a good attacking outlet, and he again found some space but slipped as he tried to avoid the tacklers.
Llanelli were held up on the line, when it looked like they were over, but they didn’t have much time to wait before the grabbed there second try. After a scrum, the referee awarded a penalty try to close the lead to 6 points.
The visitors were looking for some quick ball, but were being hampered by some handling errors, and they increased as the half went on.
Will Bryan went close to the whitewash after he charged down a kick, before McBryde again was on form with a penalty before the break. At the half Llanelli 15-24 RGC
Much like the opening of the 1st half the home side were looking bright with ball in hand. Pressure was building and it was no surprise when Nathan Hart scored. A Hughes conversion made it 22-24. Game on!
The RGC forwards got a foothold and some good position and worked towards the line, and the bonus point try was claimed by prop Will Sanderson. Extras from McBryde.
RGC again were unable to build on that score, and after a couple of loose kicks the RGC defence opened up and Grabham took full advantage to break, before Ryan Davies finished with a bonus point try. Going into the final quarter Llanelli 27-31 RGC
The scoreboard was being made to work, and again RGC extended their lead with a try from Rhys Williams. McBryde slotted the conversion from the touchline
Try number 6 arrived when RGC had numbers wide and an Oscar Lennon pass found Bagshaw who crossed for his 2nd try of the game.
RGC weren’t making life easy for themselves and they had a nervous 5-10minutes, as errors gave the home side good field position to attack the visitors try line. A somewhat confusing call by the referee allowed the visitors to break clear from their own line. It appeared as though the referee awarded the home side a penalty when just metres away from the try line. But, thinking they had the advantage, a cross kick was lost with the visitors going almost the entire length of the field. The referee allowed the play to go on and the attacking position was lost. Most in the crowd and I’m sure on the field were left scratching their heads! The opportunity to really get back into the game was more or less lost, although,
On 74 mins, a McBryde clearance kick was charged down and it ended with Jacob Lewis scoring. Hughes conversion made it 34-43.
The home side then pressed for another losing bonus point as Eray Wilson sprinted down the wing as the try line awaited but was tackled just short of the line and the chance had gone.
So a try fest of a game but another loss for the town side. Ebbw Vale await next in what I’m sure will be another stern test for the boys – they’ll be up for though!