RGC 13 ABERAVON 15
(by Howard Evans)
All the excitement in this match came in the final two minutes as Aberavon grabbed a fine victory in North Wales.
With time running out and losing 13-8, Aberavon’s fly half and captain James Garland kicked for the corner rather than at goal.
Aberavon pressured and won a scrum and it was Wales under-20 cap Jac Morgan who levelled the scores with a pushover try.
It was all on the conversion and ice-cool Garland landed the kick, but RGC came back from the kick-off.
They had a penalty at halfway with fly half Billy McBryde going for goal to win it, but he missed and Aberavon jumped with delight and jumped again as they heard they had jumped Newport into sixth place.
It was a day that started well for teenage debutant wing Alex Varney, who scored the opening try.
Alex, son of the former Neath and Aberavon flanker Adrian, almost was over later, but RGC’s fine young wing Bailey Rae stopped him.
RGC pulled back when hooker George Roberts was driven over for McBryde to convert and the latter landed two penalties though Garland also kicked one.
Aberavon team manager Steve Jones said: “It was well deserved, and the boys were well pleased though we all held our breath as McBryde almost snatched it away from us.”
As it was, two 19-year-old players had scored the vital tries.
RGC 1404 13 – 15 Aberavon
Chris Banfield; Stef Andrews, Will Price, Rheon James (rep Joe Gage 23 min), Alex Varney (rep Frankie Jones 67 min); James Garland (capt), Iwan Temblett (rep Rhodri Cole 61 min); Rowan Jenkins, Luke Davies (rep Ieuan Davies 23 min), Chris Davies (rep Dexter Thomas 67 min), Ben Thomas (rep Ben Mayers-Davies 60 min), Sam Williams, Lee Purnell (rep Iwan Shenton 60 min), Jac Morgan, Joe Tomalin-Reeves.
Replacement Not Used:
Alex Varney appeared from the Blues; Iwan Temblett, Frankie Jones & Iwan Shenton appeared from the Ospreys; Jac Morgan appeared from the Scarlets; Dexter Thomas appeared from Llandovery RFC; Jon Thomas appeared from Baglan RFC.
T – Alex Varney, Jac Morgan
C – James Garland
PG – James Garland
RGC 1404 Scorers:
T – George Roberts
C – Billy McBryde
PG – Billy McBryde (2)
Man Of The Match:
1 – Joe Tomalin-Reeves
2 – Rowan Jenkins
3 – Chris Banfield
15 min: Aberavon – T – Alex Varney (0 – 5)
39 min: RGC 1404 – T – George Roberts & C – Billy McBryde (7 – 5)
52 min: RGC 1404 – PG – Billy McBryde (10 – 5)
70 min: RGC 1404 – PG – Billy McBryde (13 – 5)
75 min: Aberavon – PG – James Garland (13 – 8)
78 min: Aberavon – T – Jac Morgan & C – James Garland (13 – 15)