Botica penalty gives RGC late victory over Llanelli

Reporter:

Dean Jones

RGC notched their first win of the Principality Premiership season with a dramatic 25-22 success over Llanelli.

Head coach Mark Jones called for a response from the home side following their opening day loss at Llandovery and his players responded when a fantastic break from Dion Jones presented Tom Hughes with an opportunity, and the centre took full advantage to cross the white wash. Jacob Botica added the extras.

This provoked a strong response from the visitors, who hit back after the restart when Tom Rogers went over in the corner after a fine team move on 17 minutes.

Things almost got even better for the away side midway through the half, but they were unable to find a way past the resolute RGC defence who suffered a blow when former New Zealand U20 international Alex Taylor was forced off through injury.

Their persistence finally brought a second try through Ryan Conbeer, who demonstrated his immense promise with a fine solo effort on 23 minutes to turn the game on its head.

The Gogs weathered the storm and they regained the advantage on 32 minutes when a powerful surge enabled Henri Williams to narrowly squeeze the ball across the line. Botica fired over the conversion.

After the break saw the hosts come out with a renewed sense of purpose and they were rewarded when Evan Yardley touched down under the posts a minute after the interval. Botica rattled the post with his conversion attempt to leave their advantage at nine.

Phil Davies’ men received a further blow when Tom Phillips received a yellow card, but this failed to deter them from getting themselves back into the contest when Matthew Flanagan scored against the run of play for an unconverted try on 57 minutes.

The flawless Botica notched his first conversion of the contest on 64 minutes to keep the scoreboard ticking over for RGC, but an end-to-end game took a further twist when Llanelli levelled matters with another try courtesy of Craig Simpson, with replacement Nathan Hart adding the extras.

A nervy end to proceedings followed before it was left to Botica to continue his sensational form with the boot with his second penalty of the afternoon on 74 minutes, which proved to be enough to secure victory after a pulsating clash.

Email:

coastalsport@nwn.co.uk

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