On a mild October afternoon, Brynley Toms and his Cardiff RFC teammates travelled up north to visit RGC, with the visitors looking to build on an unbeaten start to the season for Steve Lawís men, writes Ian Davies.
RGC kicked off to Cardiff and an early mistake gave the visitors the put-in at the first scrum, from this RGC gained early momentum and pushed down the field where Cardiff was penalised for offside with the home side taking an early 3-0 lead. Ben Burnell was substituted early into the game which saw Olly Robinson move into the centre.
This set the tone for the first 10 minutes with RGC earning several quick-fire penalties as Cardiffís ill-disciplined start saw the home side race into a 6-0 lead. From the kick-off, Cardiff slowed the pace down putting the ball through the hands to get a grasp on the game and 5 minutes later their patience was rewarded when a fantastic break down the wing from James Beal saw RGC deliberately knock on in a try-scoring situation, the referee issued a yellow card to the home side and gave Cardiff a penalty try bringing the scores to 6-7.
Following this, the momentum changed and Cardiff was able to dictate the direction of play again following a brilliant play down the wing, RGC gave away a penalty in mid-field which Harrison James slotted between the uprights extending the lead to 6-10. Following the kick-off the visitors found themselves camped in the RGC 22 until some brilliant spinning out wide from Jacob Lloyd saw him slide into the corner bringing the score to 6-15 with the conversion just straying wide.
From the kick off the home side won a penalty, this time however the attempt struck the outside of the posts and Cardiff was able to clear, but only delayed the home side who kept up the pressure inside the Cardiff half before winning another penalty and slotting it through bringing the score to 9-15. Some clever play down the wing saw RGC have another player sent to the bin, Cardiff was unable to capitalise on the extra man however bringing the half to an end. RGC 9- 15 Cardiff.
The second half started much as the first, an early Cardiff error gave RGC good position within the Cardiff half, but they were unable to take anything from it and Cardiff eventually charged downfield and win a penalty, James again slotted it through the posts making it 9-18 to the visitors. The momentum was maintained with some fantastic forward play inside the 22 before Olly Robinson powered through a tough RGC defence to give Cardiff their 3rd try of the game, James added the extras bringing it to 9-25.
For the next 10 minutes it was RGCís turn to apply pressure and some ill-discipline from Cardiff gave them good field position, The coaches started to look to the bench bringing on Brynley Toms and Ollie Drake to give the pack some fresh legs. This extra stamina showed as RGC powered forward but some resilient Cardiff defence saw them held up over the line.
There was then a quiet 10 minutes with neither side producing any big chances, Alun Rees replaced Joey Tomlinson being the only talking point. Into the final 10 and RGC became more clinical, a great penalty saw them held on the Cardiff 5m line, until their hard work paid off and they pushed forward to score their opening try in the corner bringing the score to RGC 14-25 Cardiff.
Into the final few minutes, Harri Wilde came on for Cardiff, who got some good possession inside the RGC half, but following a knock on the visitors were able to hit a fantastic 50-22 giving them possession as they looked to close the score. Nathan Hudd was sent to the sin bin as Cardiff ill-discipline caught up with them.
With a man advantage RGC powered over to score their second try, the conversion added bringing the score to RGC 21-25 Cardiff.