Women’s rugby: RGC give Blues closer battle than score suggests

Bethan Davies celebrates her try for RGC. Pic: Omega Photography

RGC 7 Cardiff Blues 48
Women’s Regional Championship

Four converted tries in the last quarter secured Cardiff a victory which was probably not quite as emphatic as the scoreline suggests.

RGC competed really well for long periods of Sunday’s round two Regional Championship battle at Rhyl Rugby Club’s new Tynewydd Field ground.

The home team forwards very much held their own, but the Blues always had the edge through their more clinical backs.

Cardiff started strongly and after a spell of pressure near the home line, fly-half Millie Williams took a quick tap penalty and went over for a try.

RGC responded brilliantly, pushing their opponents back for a lengthy spell, but they were unable to finish off their chances.

Full-back Bethan Davies, formerly of Caernarfon but now signed for Firwood Waterloo in the English Premier, pulled off a brilliant overhead catch, then kicked ahead, but the ball just ran out of bounds as she chased it frantically.

It was against the run of play when on 33 minutes Y Gleision’s Paige Randall beat a succession of defenders on the right wing and cut inside for a fine individual score.

The Gogs replied almost instantly, Wales full-back Davies pouncing for a close-range try which she converted herself.

A three-point deficit at the break would have suited RGC nicely, but the visitors struck twice in added time, Catherine Richards finishing off a sweeping backs move wide out before more slick handling enabled Randall to touch down again.

Half-time: 7-20.

RGC looked certain to score a try early in the second half, but stoic away defence held them out. Three or four attacking phases went unrewarded.

By the 64-minute mark, Cardiff remained just two scores in front, but a number of personnel changes worked in their favour.

RGC’s Iona Evans hands off Cardiff blues forward Liliana Podpadec. Pic: Omega Photography

Rebekah O’Loughlin went over in the corner after lovely passing among the backs and Robyn Wilkins landed her team’s first conversion from wide out.

Up to the 78th minute it was 27-7, but a tiring RGC conceded three late tries.

Seren Gough-Walters grounded in the corner, Wilkins boosting with the boot. Wilkins’ smart cross-field kick then saw Randall win the foot race to dot down for a hat-trick, before a magnificent break from O’Loughlin enabled her to land try number eight. Wilkins added the extras to the last two tries.

RGC: T – Davies; C – Davies
Cardiff Blues: T – Williams, Randall 3, Richards, O’Loughlin 2, Gough-Walters. C – Wilkins 4.

RGC: Gwenllian Pyrs, Molly Kelly, Brea Leung, Carrie Tooley, Emma Edwards, Emily Wilkes (c), Cat Davies, Ali Rooke-Dennis, Grace Johns, Elinor Issac, Sioned Williams, Iona Evans, Libby Jones, Jess Kavanagh, Bethan Davies.

Replacements: Tirion Thomas, Gemma Robinson, Sarah Toll, Morfudd Ifans, Becki Jones, Hannah Hughes, Judith Oguguo, Ashleigh Davies. TR1 Jess Bailey, TR2 Mari Walker.

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