Apr 21st: Ebbw Vale 26 RGC 25

HOME > Apr 21st: Ebbw Vale 26 RGC 25

Apr 21st: Ebbw Vale 26 RGC 25

For the second time this season, RGC came to Eugene Cross Park as firm favourites and, for the second time, came off second best to the reborn Steelmen. On a sunny Spring afternoon, it all started so well for the North Walians who led 12-0 after five minutes as skipper Evan Yardley and Tom Hughes benefited from expansive, running rugby to go over for tries. Jacob Botica converted the first. There were murmurs on the bank and in the stand, supporters haunted by a drubbing in Colwyn Bay last season, but such worries were unfounded as the rest of the half was Ebbw’s. Forward pressure and an immense scrum, allied to pinpoint tactical kicking kept the visitors on the back foot. From a 5m scrum, with everyone shouting for a pushover, Ebbw went quickly left and a bullet pass from Dai Langdon to Toby Fricker sent the winger in for Ebbw’s first points, soon bettered by Langdon’s conversion. The outside halves traded penalties for 10-15, then a brilliant line out steal by Cameron Reagan on RGC’s 5m line set up Ebbw’s pack for a series of drives that culminated in a try at the posts for skipper Ronny Kynes. The deadly Langdon made it 17-15 to Ebbw at half time.

Ebbw’s pack was now in command and RGC offences that had gone unnoticed in the first 40 minutes now earned the disapproval of the referee. Langdon’s boot took the score to 23-15. With 10 minutes left, a moment of controversy seemed to swing the game RGC’s way. Replacement scrum half Alex Schwarz ran at Langdon, but slipped and fell just as the Ebbw fly half had committed to the tackle. A melee ensued, the officials conferred – at some length – and decided that Langdon’s tackle deserved a red card. Few watching agreed, but decisions have to be made, and refereeing is a difficult task. Fortunately, Schwarz was soon on his feet and Botica converted the penalty.

With Ebbw a man down, RGC decided to move the ball and a great break by Loots put Dion Jones over in the corner to level the scores at 23 each and give Botica the chance to nudge the visitors ahead with the conversion, which he nailed. At 23-25 down, Ebbw’s superior fitness and never-say-die philosophy reaped reward. A series of wonderfully controlled drives seemed to have led to an injury time try, but the referees arm was raised not for a touchdown but a penalty. Dan Haymond kept cool and slotted the kick to push the Steelmen 26-25 ahead. Ronny Kynes caught the restart, his forwards picked and drove through a succession of rucks, and joy was unconfined when Dai Jones kicked the ball dead to end the game.

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Am yr eildro y tymor hwn, colli bu hanes RGC ar Barc Eugene Cross, er bod nhw’n dechrau’n ffefrynnau. A dweud y gwir, ar ôl pum munud, buon nhw yn a blaen gan 12-0, wrth i Evan Yardley a Tom Hughes fanteisio ar chwarae agored, gwych i groesi. Efallai bod cefnogwyr Glynebwy yn cofio crasfa a gafodd Gwŷr y Dur lan yn y Gogs yn ystod y tymor diwethaf, ond nid oedd angen sut gwaethafiaeth. Bu Glynebwy’n gwella’n gyflym iawn ac yn goruchafu ar eu gwrthwynebwyr am weddill yr hanner. Bu Toby Fricker yn mynd drosodd am  y cais cyntaf, yn dilyn sgrym ar linell 5 medr RGC, a phas gwych gan Dai Langdon, a fu’n trosi i ddod â’i dîm i mewn i’r gêm. Er bod Jacob Botica yn estyn mantais ei dîm i 15-7 gyda chic gosh, bu Langdon yn ymateb am 15-10 a bu Glynebwy’n mynd yn y blaen wrth i Cameron Reagan ddwyn meddiant mewn llinell a sefydlu rhes o sgarmesi a fu’n gweld capten Ronny Kynes yn sgorio, a Langdon yn trosi. Felly,wedi dechreuad ofnadwy, bu Glynebwy yn y blaen gan 17-15 ar yr egwyl.

Yn yr ail hanner, bu llu o giciau cosb yn dod i’r tîm cartref, a Langdon yn cymryd mantais. 20-15, 23-15 a blaenwyr Glynebwy yn rhoi pwysau enfawr ar bac yr ymwelwyr. Ond, yn anffodus, bu llosgbwynt y gêm yn dod 10 munud cyn y diwedd. Bu eilydd o fewnwr RGC, Schwarz yn colli ei draed a chwympo wrth i Dai Langdon ei daclo. Gwrthdrawiad anhyfryd, siwr o fod, ond yn hollol hap a damwain, ond nid felly bu barn y dyfarwnr, a gwelodd Langdon gerdyn coch. Bu Botica yn trosi’r gic, a RGC yn meddwl bod ganddynt siawns i gipio’r fuddugoliaeth. Bu canolwr Loots yn carlamu trwy amddifyn Glynebwy a chreu cyfle i Dion Jones fynd drosodd yn y cornel. 23 yr un oedd hi, a bu Botica yn anelu’n berffaith i roi ei dîm yn y blaen, 25-23 mewn amser anafiadau. Ond, dydy Gwŷr y Dur byth yn rhoi’r ffidil yn y to a buont yn adeiladu’r cymalau’n fyneddgar ac yn mynd yn nes ac yn nes tuag at linell gais RGC. Am eiliad, bu’r torf yn meddwl bod Glynebwy wedi sgorio, ond nid cais bu braich y dyfarnwr yn ei golygu, ond cic gosh. Dim ots, bu Dan Haymond yn cadw ei ben a throsi’n berffaith i roi Glynebwy yn y blaen, 26-25, ac fel ‘na buodd hi ar ddiwedd gêm anhygoel a chyffrous.

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Dan Haymond, Toby Fricker, James Lewis, Dom Franchi, Steff Thomas; Dai Langdon, Sam Ireland; Ross Jones *, Rhys Francis, Rob Sevenoaks; Kristian Parker, Jonathan Davies; Cameron Reagan, Ronny Keynes, Lewis Young.

Bench: Joe Franchi, Jordan Rogers, Curtis Hicks, Lance Randall, Ben Papp, Dai Jones, Callum Hall, Lewis Dennett

*Ross Jones 200th Cap, read more here.

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