Thursday, April 26, 2018

Ebbw Vale 26 RGC 25, Premiership, 21/04/18

In glorious Spring weather, Ebbw Vale fought back well to edge a tense encounter against our friends from the North, 5th WRU region RGC.

It was a great effort to come back after being 0-12 down within 5 minutes, a time during which the Ebbw players seemed to still have their 'heads in the sheds'. Rather than a downer, this proved to have a galvanizing effect as the Ebbw pack subsequently gained dominance.

Forward pressure led to a try for winger Toby Fricker which was converted by Dai Langdon. Langdon also added a penalty, with RGC matched, giving the visitors a 5 point lead. This was short lived as before half time more Ebbw forward strength and set piece prowess brought about a try for skipper Ronnie Kynes, converted by Langdon. Half time 17-15.

The home side's power pack was starting to cause cracks in the RGC resistance, and 2 more Langdon penalties followed. With the game seemingly in Ebbw's hands, a bizarre refereeing decision changed the game's mood, with Ebbw 10 Langdon scandalously penalised and sent off for a high tackle, despite the RGC player simply slipping and falling into the tackle. It seems that only the assistant referees saw it as foul play, and the home crowd were incensed that the referee showed the red card upon their bad advice.

The resulting penalty was converted and RGC took the lead with an excellently worked move against the 14, bringing about a converted try. This threatened to spoil Ross Jones's 200th appearance, but the Steelmen responded not with bitterness, but with skilled forward drives, sniping and probing at the Gog defence. With the drive making 40 to 50 yards, a try was claimed, but the referee disagreed and went back to award a penalty for an earlier infringement.

With Langdon off, it was left to full back Dan Haymond to slot the 3 points and seal the deserved Ebbw victory 26-25, closed out from the restart by further experienced forward control.

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