RGC 1404 registered their first victory of the campaign with a promising showing deep in rugby league country.
It was the hosts who had the best of the opening encounters. A combination of physical running and poor RGC discipline offered them early territory advantage. The ability of LSH to produce quick ruck ball was rewarded when they went in for the first try down the right hand side; converted.
Just as they did against Tonmawr, RGC responded positively to the early setback. A Kriss Wilkes try opened the RGC account. A fine pass from 10 Gareth Holgate put Wilkes into the space and he was too strong for the covering defence. Rhodri Carlton-Jones failed to tie things up with the conversion.
RGC number eight Mike Stubbs thought he had given RGC the lead when he powered toward the line. The referee deemed his effort to be short of the line but Harri Morgan capitalized on the loose ball to dive over from short range. This time Carlton-Jones was able to add the extras.
RGC had opportunities to extend their lead after fine open field running from captain Andrew Baston and half back Tom Holloway but they lacked the finishing touch on both occasions. LSH made RGC pay for this when they exploited a dogleg in the defence to go over from five meters out. Once again the extras were added and a missed penalty from RGC on the stroke of half time made sure LSH went in ahead.
RGC returned after half time and looked to raise the tempo and avoid getting locked into an arm wrestle with their physical opponents. Simon Griffiths returned to the RGC pack after playing the first half for the opponents, his club side. It was the RGC scrum that created the opportunity for the first try of the second half. This sent LSH into reverse five meters from their line and back row Kelvin Davies was able to rip the ball from the home scrum half to cross for the try.
RGC decided to keep the scoreboard ticking over as Gareth Evans slotted a penalty. However RGC were not done on the try front and finally managed to marry their expansive game with the clinical finish that had at times eluded them. Fine interplay down the touchline from Nick Blyth, Chris Smith and Kelvin Davies ended in Davies going in under the posts for his second of the evening. Davies’ Llandudno teammate Carlton-Jones added the extras with a drop kick.
The next try came as a result of quick thinking from sharp scrum half Tom Holloway. When RGC were awarded a penalty on the opposition 22, another shot at goal may have seemed the obvious choice. However Holloway decided otherwise and scooted under the posts without being touched. Evans completed the RGC scoring for the night with the conversion.
The competitive home side were not done yet and continued to trouble the RGC defence with some physical and dynamic running. They made sure they had the final word when nice footwork and an offload from the outside half provided LSH the games final try.
RGC were happy to come away with a win on what was a useful outing for both sides. This win should give them confidence going into the varsity series at Eirias Park throughout September.