JACK MOORHOUSE MAN OF THE MATCHWith a good crowd of over 450 watching RGC 1404 started strongly against the Navy in their warm up game prior to playing the army at Twickenham on May 1st. Within 10 minutes of kick-off RGC were 10-3 up with tries by prop Tom Dolezel and wing Dylan Owen. The navy had little match for RGCs strong running and effective offload in the tackle and RGC went further ahead with a pushover try from Dolezel quickly followed by good phase play leading to a try by scrum half Sean White. Both tries were converted by fullback Ciaran Hearn. The RGC surge continued and centre Nick Blevins was the next to go over the Navy line again converted by Hearn. Just before half time, great running by man of the match, Jack Moorhouse, led to the final score of the half putting RGC 36-3 ahead. The second half was a very different affair with the Navy containing RGC’s attack and beginning to test their defence. Twice, the Navy were virtually over the North Wales try line but their defence held. For a period the play became rather scrappy with neither side in ascendancy and errors beginning to creep in on both sides. It began to look as though the second half would be scoreless when RGC put on a late attack and after the ball was worked across field, young winger Kriss Wilkes took advantage of the overlap and scored the final try of the match which Hearn again converted. With the final score at 43-3 to RGC this was a convincing win and sets the team up well for their next match against Russian touring side Enisei at Eirias Park on 7th April.
Five minutes later, a penalty by outside half Michael Raikes saw RGC1404 take the lead for the first time since the sixth minute of the game. With the score at 19-16 it looked as if the RGC might sneak a win but a strong attack brought Sale a scrum infront of 1404's posts. A few minutes later, a try out wide by Birchall clinched the game for Sale.
The game had started well for RGC1404, early pressure brought them a penalty after 6 minutes. Raikes converted. As is often the case, in the early stages of the modern game, Sale drew level with a penalty by Jordan Davies, 5 minutes later and another penalty took the score to 6-3 to the home side on the 24th minute. Playing at high intensity the home team extended the lead through a try by Will Cliff. Davies converted to make it 13-3 at the break. It looked at this stage as if Sale were going to be easy winners.
Whatever coach Clive Griffiths said to the team in the interval, it worked because four minutes after the restart, Ciaran Hearn, playing in one of his best games of the season, entered the line with a perfectly timed run to make it 13-8.
RGC were now gaining the ascendancy but a penalty on the hour, by Davies, allowed them to extend the lead. Raikes responded three minutes later and with the score at 16-11, enter Rhyl's young rugby league star Wilkes.
This was a hard, physical contest with good rugby played on both sides. Although the result did not go RGCs way, this is just the sort of closely fought game that development teams need to produce high quality rugby.
The game started well for 1404. Following some penetrating runs, an offside offence gave them a penalty after two minutes. Outside half Steve Woodward put the home team ahead. The lead was short lived and a few minutes later another offside saw Leeds draw level through the boot of Christian Georgiou.
The Gogs performed well in the set pieces but their attack looked disorganised. Second row Luke Cudmore produced good lineout ball and had an excellent game. The scrum performed well but on a dry pitch in front of a good crowd, the Gogs 8,9,10 unit, so effective in previous games, did not quite add up to 27.
RGC were competitive at the breakdown with Will Bown and Spillane’s man of the match Chauncey O’Toole in good form. Decisions are the breakdown seemed unpredictable at times, both to the crowd and players, and a penalty each brought the score to six all at half time.
In the second half, Leeds continued to challenge, innovative kicks behind the Gog’s defence and some excellent offloading kept the home team on its toes. In this intense but game, there were frequent infringements by both sides. The penalties favoured the Gogs and Woodward put the home team 12-6 ahead.
From early on it seemed one of those games that would be won by the first side to score a try. A momentary defensive lapse allowed Leeds to break the line from 30 metres out. Harry Rowan scored near the posts leaving an easy conversion to bring the score to 13-12 to the visitors.
Stung by this try, RGC went on the offensive, but it was too late, the referee’s whistle concluded the game.
L ot R Peredur Jenkins (WRU), Kevan Rudd (Enterprise), Lord Elis-Thomas, Kenton Morgan(RGC)
Enterprise plc, a major player in the utility services and public sector maintenance industry, have become a sponsor of RGC (Rygbi Gogledd Cymru) 1404.
“Developing a successful rugby business is key to the sustainability of RGC1404 and the support from Enterprise will be critical to our success,” stated RGC chair Kenton Morgan.
Their vision to support “Sustainable, productive communities that benefit the residents, businesses and future generations” is also an aim of the Rygbi Gogledd Cymru, the Cooperative Community Interest Company which runs the team.
Kevan Rudd, Service Director for Enterprise explained their involvement further: “Enterprise is fully supporting rugby in North Wales. We recently sponsored a new kit for the Presidents XV team and are now backing the RGC 1404 team. We can see the huge potential here and want to be long-term partners in this exciting project." He also revealed: “We have signed up to a 1-year deal, with the option to extend for a further 2 years. I hope this shows our commitment to not just the team, but to the region as a whole.”
Cllr Dilwyn Roberts, Leader of Conwy County Borough Council said, "I am delighted that RGC 1404 have the support of the business community, it reaffirms the Council's belief that this important initiative that will bring opportunities as well as enjoyment to North Wales."
The RGC 1404’s new kit has also been officially unveiled. Joe Lydon, WRU Head of Performance & Development said: “It was felt that a kit was needed that would bring RGC 1404 into the modern era. The kit is being produced by Samurai and uses the traditional North Walian colours of black and yellow. An awful lot of consideration was taken during the design process and I hope that the supporters like the kit and can now see the huge strides forward that the team are making”.
“This team has the potential to really progress and compete at the highest level. Announcements like this are brilliant news as they show that there is commitment, not just verbally, but also that businesses want to be involved with us and be part of a project that is going places” stated Clive Griffiths, Head Coach of RGC 1404. “Personally I really like the look of the kit and look forward to seeing the supporters wearing the kit at future games”.
Canadian international, Doug Wooldridge, first played in the kit during the recent 20-11 victory over Worcester Warriors ‘A’ and he felt that the new kit gave the players an added dimension: “The kit gave the players an extra spring in their step and a little extra confidence”.
North Walian scrum-half Carwyn (Cookie) Williams added: “We really feel like a team now and are looking forward to coming up against top-class opposition whom we feel we can now compete against on a level playing field”