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Rugby: Former pupils help RGC to dramatic Merthyr win

Rugby: Former pupils help RGC to dramatic Merthyr win

Photo: Tony Bale

A host of former Rydal Penrhos pupils helped RGC kick-off phase two of the Principality Premiership campaign with a dramatic 25-24 win over Merthyr.

No fewer than six current and former pupils were in the squad for the success, with Joe Simpson, Dan Owen, Efan Jones, Mei Parry, Josh Leach and Danny Cross all involved.

The home side began the game strongly but despite dominating possession for long periods, they were unable to find a way past the resolute rearguard of the Ironmen.

A bad-tempered clash brought its first yellow card on seven minutes when Aaron Pincers was sent to the sin bin, but the Gogs could not make their numerical advantage count despite some intense pressure on the visiting line.

They finally broke the deadlock on 19 minutes courtesy of a penalty from Jacob Botica, but the away side levelled proceedings soon after full-back Matthew Jarvis fired through.

Pinches returned to the contest and wasted no time in making an impact, scoring the first try of the contest on 34 minutes. Jarvis added the extras.

It was then the turn of the hosts to receive a yellow card as forward Joe Simpson was sent to the sidelines, and things went from bad-to-worse for Mark Jones’ side on 39 minutes when Tom Daley crossed the whitewash following a period of sustained pressure.

After the break saw further drama at both ends of the field, and the visitors extended their lead after a huge scuffle between the two sides resulted in Nathan Travett forcing himself over the line on 50 minutes. Jarvis added the conversion.

This provoked a strong response from the Gogs, who got themselves back into the clash when man-of-the-match Rhys Williams scored a pair of tries on 56 and 60 minutes respectively, with Botica successful with one conversion attempt.

Things got even better for RGC soon after when the impressive Tiaan Loots touched down on 67 minutes, and a nervy end to proceedings was ensured when Merthyr star Martyn Thomas was sent to the stands after receiving a yellow.

New Zealand fly-half Botica made amends from an earlier missed opportunity with the last phase of the tie after intense pressure from the hosts, and his stoppage time kick sailed over to give RGC a dramatic victory in-front of a bumper crowd at Parc Eirias.

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