2017/2018 Principality Premiership
Swansea 16 v 16 RGC 1404
23 September 2017 - St Helen's, Swansea
Rygbi Gogledd Cymru 1404

Match Report

Swansea 16 RGC 1404 16

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By: Paul Hopkins


The All Whites battled against the odds to clinch a draw against high flyers RGC 1404 despite being reduced to 14 men for 73 minutes of the match.


Richard Lancaster’s men continued their marked improvement this season by refusing to give an inch, thoroughly deserving their share of the spoils.


Swansea began on the front foot when centre Jedd Evans powered over the twenty-two and was supported by fellow centre Tom Williams. However, as the Whites camped on the visitors’ line, an ambitious long pass was spilled forward.


The defining moment of the match came on seven minutes when the touch judge intervened, which led to a straight red card for hooker Ashley James for punching an RGC player in the face.


The North Walian side tried to take advantage straightaway when lock Maredydd Francis and front row men Sam Wainwright and Evan Yardley combined to take play over half way. The backs got possession out wide to winger Afon Bagshaw, but he played on after the tackle, handing Swansea a relieving penalty.


A superb break by full back Dion Jones forced the Whites’ defence offside at the ruck. However, Botica’s touch finder went badly wrong, and ended up rolling over the dead ball line.


Swansea winger Joe Jenkins took the ball at pace and sprinted over half way. The supporting Evans then ducked out of a tackle to set up an attack, but Bagshaw dealt with a grubber kick and was able to clear.


A fight then broke out between flanker Will Jones and Bagshaw, and referee Simon Mills spoke to both players, but took no further action.


The visitors took the lead after a well worked scrum created a platform for Botica to throw an inside pass to centre Tom Hughes, who raced 30 metres to score. Botica missed the conversion.


Swansea hit back on the stroke of half time when Morris raced up to the twenty-two and fly half Phil Jones was brought down with a last gasp tackle. He managed to recycle quick ball out wide to Will Jones, who came within inches of scoring. The pack remained patient and finally got their reward when Morris crashed over for a try. Full back Owen Howe converted.


Half-time:-   Swansea   7   RGC 1404   5


The visitors looked to reassert authority on the match early in the second half and Hughes made a break on the wing, chipping inside, but the chasing scrum half Efan Jones was adjudged to be in front of the kicker.


Instead it was Swansea who extended their lead through a Howe penalty after a high tackle in midfield.


Three minutes later a huge scrum by the Whites’ pack earned another penalty on half way, which Howe converted to take his side a score ahead.


Swansea continued to take the game to the visitors and Tom Williams made another break, but his chip ahead evaded the chasing Morris into touch.


A monster kick downfield by Phil Jones rolled dead, leaving his side to defend a scrum on their own twenty-two. The Whites were driven off a scrum and gave away a penalty, but replacement scrum half Cam Davies spurned three points to take a quick tap pen. It proved to be the wrong decision though as a poor pass ended the move.


Offside at the breakdown by replacement flanker Tim Grey gave Howe another penalty opportunity, but this time his effort fell short of the posts.


From the missed penalty, RGC ran back at Swansea, using their backs to great effect. Davies came close to scoring, but was dragged down. He managed to offload the pass to Hughes for his second try. Botica dragged the conversion wide.


The sprightly Davies made another break from a scrum, sending replacement centre Danny Cross racing past a Whites’ defender. He was supported by Francis and Botica, but substitute winger Rhys Williams stepped into touch a metre short of the line.


Botica tied the scores with a penalty goal after the Whites’ defence was penalised for killing the ball.


With the North Wales side now well on top, only a dropped pass by Dion Jones prevented a certain try.


The tense nature of the match meant tempers inevitably flared again inside injury time as both sides went in search of victory.


With two minutes of stoppage time left on the clock, Botica made a mini break and was supported by replacement number eight Bryn Edwards, who made it up to the twenty-two. Flanker Andrew Williams was driven back, but Whites number eight Rory Gallagher was penalised for diving over the top of a ruck. Botica kicked his side ahead.


The last play of the match saw the Whites steal a lineout and mount one last attack. The RGC forwards were too eager to regain possession and piled over the top of a ruck. Howe kept his nerve to secure a well-earned draw.


Full-time:-   Swansea   16   RGC 1404   16


Swansea scorers:


Tries:-   Morgan Morris (40+2)

Cons:-   Owen Howe (40+3)

Pens:-   Owen Howe (45, 48, 80+9)


Red cards:-   Ashley James (7)


RGC 1404 scorers:


Tries:-   Tom Hughes (28, 63)

Pens:-   Jacob Botica (73, 80+7)


Match facts:


Venue:-   St Helen’s, Swansea

Referee:-   Simon Mills

Weather:-   Light cloud, 17C

Man of the match:-   Morgan Morris

Attendance:-   300


Swansea team:


15 Owen Howe

14 Joe Jenkins

13 Tom Williams

12 Jedd Evans (rep: Callum Carson 76)

11 Jake Randell (rep: Tom Ball 8)

10 Phil Jones

9 Matthew Aubrey

1 Tom Sloane © (rep: Hugh Gustafson 71)

2 Ashley James

3 Chris Thomas (rep: Richard Murphy 46-80+3)

4 Jay Williams (rep: Jon Fox 71)

5 Adam Thresher

6 Morgan Morris

7 Will Jones (rep: Ben Davies 46)

8 Rory Gallagher




16 Tom Ball

17 Hugh Gustafson

18 Richard Murphy

19 Jon Fox

20 Ben Davies

21 Josh Guy

22 James Davies

23 Callum Carson


RGC 1404 team:


15 Dion Jones

14 Afon Bagshaw

13 Tom Hughes

12 Iolo Evans (rep: Danny Cross 53)

11 Ianto Pari (rep: Rhys Williams 61)

10 Jacob Botica

9 Efan Jones (rep: Cam Davies 53)

1 Joe Simpson (rep: Curtis Reynolds 69)

2 Evan Yardley © (rep: George Roberts 79)

3 Sam Wainwright

4 Maredydd Francis (rep: Tim Grey 20-24)

5 Robin Williams

6 Andrew Williams

7 Dan Owen (rep: Tim Grey 46)

8 Alex Taylor (rep: Bryn Edwards 58)




16 George Roberts

17 Curtis Reynolds

18 Jordan Scott

19 Tim Grey

20 Bryn Edwards

21 Cam Davies

22 Danny Cross

23 Rhys Williams



Attendance: 300

Official : Simon Mills (Wales)

Swansea RGC 1404