31 RGC 1404 - SALE JETS 17

Man of the match Nathan Rees scored two scintillating tries from the right wing in RGC1404’s 31-17 win over Sale Jets last night at Parc Eirias, Colwyn Bay.
His first came after 3 minutes when from a pass by fullback Ciaran Hearn which saw Rees speed to the line. Michael Raikes playing at 10 converted. The Jets responded with fast flowing rugby but it was a penalty, by Jack Turton that gave them their first points,15 minutes into the game. Raikes replied with three penalties and by half time the score was 16-3
The Gogs were in fine form against a hesitant visiting side, The Jets had plenty to think about at the interval, including how they were a man up after prop Doug Wooldridge was shown a yellow card on 22 minutes and yet conceded three points during his absence.
The second half started disastrously for The Jets, Chauncey O'Toole, outstanding in the recent game against Worcester took as pass from Rees to crash over. Centre Moorhouse, increases in confidence and delivery with each match and produced two strong runs. The second one started the buildup for the Gogs' third try. Quick ball, from a tackle and ruck, to gave the deadly Rees his brace of tries. Raikes converted..
The Jets finally strung together some concerted threequarter play, setting up Ian Kench for a try after 61 minutes, Turton converting. Tom Brady then made a great run down the left, fed Eddie Stobart, but the replacement was bundled into touch. The Jets' pressure told again after 69 minutes, Mark Atkinson crossing the line from close range for Turton to convert.
Raikes was in fine kicking form and a penalty at 71 mins took the score to 31-17, and the visiting cause wasn't helped when Sale’s Cameron Thompson was shown the game's second yellow card.
Watched by a crowd of over 600 this was another shot in the arm for North Wales regional rugby.

RGC 1404 – Off to a flyer!

Clive Griffiths’ first home game in charge got off to a flying start with victory over a strong Worcester Warriors ‘A’ side that included many first team squad members. On a cold evening, with the pitch quite heavy underfoot this was never going to be a free-flowing game. However, Worcester came charging out of the blocks and looked like they may blow RGC 1404 away in the first 15 minutes. Joe Carlisle was controlling things from fly-half, but RGC’s defence held strong and they survived the barrage only 3-0 down.
After weathering the storm, the RGC forwards started to take control; working their rolling mauls well and proving good, quick ball for the backs. This pressure soon turned to points and they were 6-3 up thanks to two penalties from Stephen Woodward. Further penalties followed and just before the half-time interval RGC 1404 found themselves camped on Worcester’s try line, but their stubborn defence held out and so the whistle went with the score being 12-6 to RGC 1404.
Something must have been said in the RGC 1404 changing room at half-time as inside centre Nick Blevin started to come into the game more, creating gaps in the Worcester defence. One of these breaks saw the ball being shipped out quickly and winger Nathan Rees capitalised with a try in the corner. Although this wasn’t converted, a penalty did soon follow and RGC 1404 found themselves 20-6 in front.
As the early defending had revitalised RGC 1404 in the first half, the same could be said towards the end of the game for Worcester who came back at RGC 1404. Winger Rees, so recently the hero, was now the villain as he was sent to the sin-bin for not rolling away after a tackle. The extra man soon paid dividends and Worcester full back, found a hole in the thinly spread defence to score in the corner. The conversion attempt was missed and the score remained 20-11 at the final whistle.
This was a brilliant result for RGC 1404, as Worcester had inflicted a heavy defeat (72-3) on their last visit to Parc Eirias. Coach Clive Griffiths was delighted with his new look team: “this result shows a massive turnaround in the fortunes of North Wales rugby in the last 12 months. I’m naturally delighted to put one over on my former club, but more importantly I’m delighted to see the team gelling further and becoming a cohesive unit. There are still areas to improve upon, and we will address these in the next few weekst”
Following on from the victory over Glamorgan Wanderers two weeks ago, Griffiths also added: “this is the creation of a small piece of history for RGC 1404. To have defeated Premiership teams from England and Wales in consecutive games is no mean feat and I’m absolutely delighted for those who initiated this project. It took Worcester 79 minutes to unlock our defence and that was only once we were down to 14 men. The game may have not been ideal for rugby purists, but we are working hard to look at the new laws at the breakdown area and once these have been addressed, we will start playing rugby to delight the supporters”.
A crowd of over 500 people watched the game at Parc Eirias, defying the freezing night to cheer on the team. “I hope that we can develop a hardcore support to get as many people as possible to Parc Eirias” added Griffiths.
Next up for RGC 1404 is a home game against Sale Jets at Parc Eirias on Wednesday 24th November. Advanced tickets are available at a reduced rate through Venue Cymru on 01492 872000.


PRESIDENTS XV 26 - 12 RGC 1404

Tony Gray’s President XV achieved a notable victory  at Bangor RFC when his team managed and put together by Alwyn Bevan from locally based club players and coached by Ieuan Jones (Caernarfon) and Eddie Kirby (Mold) comfortably beat RGC1404 by four tries to two.

The facilities and the conditions at Bangor RFC were conducive to open rugby and the sizeable crowd were treated to a great game which was well controlled by referee John Roberts. Enterprise Co. who have recently announced a sponsorship deal with North Wales Rugby could not have picked a better match to mark their association.

From the outset the President XV had the edge with their superior forward power led by their outstanding lock Arwel Lloyd (Machynlleth) and their combative front row unit of James Jones (Nant), John Shirley (Mold) and Gareth Pawson (Llangefni). Considering it was a scratch side their set pieces went well with Iestyn Dafydd (Llangefni) dominating the lineouts. Their scavenging back row trio of Harri Parri (Pwllheli),Carwyn Ellis (Nant) and Caernarfon’s Andrew Williams harassed RGC back line forcing errors and denying them the opportunity to get over the gain line. It seemed that the step up in the pace and intensity of the game was too much for the nucleus of the RGC players who play their club rugby over the border.

Winger Dylan Gwyn (Caernarfon) opened the scoring for the President team when he grounded his own delicate chip sprinting clear of the cover defence to score in the corner.

Against the run of play RGC responded with a fine individual try by livewire winger Richie Hopkins (Mold) when he cut infield on a fine running angle to touch down under the posts. Try converted by M.Raikes (Sale Amateurs) to put RGC in the lead 7-5.

With scrum half Gareth Padgett (Caernarfon) sniping at every opportunity the President XV exerted pressure for some time on the RGC try line but were denied a score with RGC defending strongly.

When RGC threatened the President defence held firm, well marshalled by centre Gwilym Jones (Caernarfon) and the ever reliable Arwel Roberts (Llangefni) who had a fine game at full back.

Just before half time the spectators were treated to a great try when the President’s winger Carwyn ap Myrddin (Nant) made a scintillating break from his own half, the ball passing quickly through three pairs of hands before the supporting Harri Parri (Pwlheli) crashed over beneath the posts. Llywarch ap Myrddin (Nant) converted to make the half time score 12-7.

The President XV coaches made a few changes at half time and they continued where they left off continuing to exert pressure forcing RGC to make errors and concede turnovers.

Despite the valiant efforts of RGC captain Wil Bown (Chester) the pressure eventually took its toll and it was no surprise when Bangor based centre Chris Malhene touched down following a strong forward drive to make the score 19-5.

There was now an air of desperation in the RGC ranks as they tried to chase the game prompted by strong running centre Jack Moorhouse (Sale Amateurs) and replacement hooker Andrew Baston (Sale Amateurs) together with replacement prop Rhodri Owen (Chester).

The President’s men were not to be denied and prop Gareth Pawson (Llangefni) burst through two tackles and using a classic hand off scored a great try under the posts making an easy conversion to take the score to 26-5.

Coaches Ieuan Jones and Eddie Kirby continued to ring the changes and to their credit RGC kept going with Andrew Baston (SaleAmateurs) going over for a consolation unconverted try in injury time, making the final score 26-12.

A thoroughly entertaining match which no doubt demonstrated the abundance of talent in North Wales club rugby. Alwyn Bevan commented after the match that it was a very worthwhile exercise in staging the game, he thanked the players and coaches for their support and knows that RGC coach Clive Griffiths was pleased with the talent on show which will now give him a larger pool of players for selection consideration for coming RGC fixtures. Whilst he appreciated that the Canadian RGC players were rested for this match nevertheless he thought it was a great rugby occasion for representative rugby in North Wales.

Coach Ieuan Jones said, “It was great to be involved and have the pick of North Wales clubs talented players. Eddie and myself pre match motivation was not difficult as our players were keen to show their talents in front of RGC 1404 coach Clive Griffiths and were up for it. It was a great rugby occasion and the players were chuffed when President of North Wales Rugby Council and ex Wales coach Tony Gray came to the dressing room afterwards to say how proud he was of his team!!!”


Head coach, Clive Griffiths’ aim to have the best north Walian players in the RGC1404 squad takes another step forward with a game against a President’s XV on Thurs 11th Feb at Bangor RFC (LL57 4AA) k.o. 7.30pm. RGC1404 will take the field without its Canadian players against a side selected from over 50 North Wales players who want to be part of the squad.

North Wales Rugby Council President and former national coach Tony Gray will be there to see his team play, what promises to be, a competitive match. In this instance though, Gray has handed the cones and pads to Eddy Kirby and Ieuan Jones coaches of successful North Wales Division 1 sides Mold and Caernarfon.

“If there are players out there who want to put their hand up and be part of RGC1404, this is their opportunity” says Head coach Griffiths. RGC1404 have shown their potential in beating Glamorgan Wanderers 25-10  on the back of a 22-14 win against a strong Antiassassins team in Chester.

The Presidents game, originally scheduled for the 5th January, but called off because of bad weather, has meant that some prospective squad members have not had the opportunity to be seen in a competitive game. RGC1404 needs a bigger squad so that all the top and up and coming north Walian players have the opportunity to develop until the tutelage of Griffiths and his coaching team of Rudi Meir, Jason Forster and Jon Aby.

Rescheduling this game, at short notice required that it be moved away Parc Eirias, a venue that RGC1404 shares with other stadium users. “We are keen that Parc Eirias should continue to be multi-user facility and are happy to work with other organisations to achieve this” commented a spokesperson. Like Parc Eirias, Bangor is easily accessible.

The Presidents XV will turn out in new shirts generously sponsored by Enterprise, a support services company that provides infrastructure maintenance services to the public sector, the utilities industry and other large organisations. “We hope that this will be the first of many games for the Presidents XV. We envisage that it will play invitation games in parallel to those of RGC1404” commented Stuart Waters, North Wales Rugby Council Treasurer and Enterprise representative.

The north Wales public is itching to see its new side and although not at our home ground this will be a preview of the side and an opportunity to support the side. There will be an opportunity to purchase replica shirts, to learn about the commercial opportunities with the team, to join the Cooperative Community Interest Company and to volunteer to assist.


This was a game of three parts. In the first 20 minutes, RGC1404 used the width of a pitch, which needed a late inspection to pass it fit for play after a frost the previous evening. With good ball retention and quick hands from centre Jack Moorhouse, Ioan Davies ran in the first try on the left, leaving Stephen Woodward an easy conversion.
The middle 40 went to the Wanderers, some impressive scrummaging took the score to 10-7 with a pushover try. Down to 14 men after lock Luke Cudmore was yellow carded, RGC1404 absorbed considerable pressure. By maintaining their defensive shape and executing first up tackles, Clive Griffiths' charges kept the home team out.  RGC 1404 drew level through a penalty and the game remained tied until flanker Chauncey O'Toole, one of an effective backrow trio with Joe Palmer and Jebb Sinclair, went over for a try to make the score 15-10.
The last 20 went to RGC1404. Late in the game, replacement 10 Mathew Parry score in the left corner after considerable pressure from the RGC pack. Five minutes later, in the dying moments of the game it was Parry again who opened up the defence with an excellent break which took him to within 5 metres of the line, With a last shimmy in front of the full back, he popped the ball to Moorhouse and with Ioan Davies in support the try was certain.
It was an encouraging win for RG1404 just 18 days into this project. It was also a good rugby game which entertained a small crowd on a bitterly cold Ely afternoon.