North Wales Rugby: RGC slay champions in opener, Div 1 North title holders Llandudno off to stormer

RGC (dark strip) celebrate a try. All pictures: Aled Jones

North Wales rugby union results – Saturday, September 7

Indigo Group Premiership

RGC 23 Merthyr 17

Division One North

Bala 43 Dolgellau 0
Llandudno 87 Bro Ffestiniog 0
Llangefni 28 Caernarfon 12
Nant Conwy 24 Bethesda 32
Pwllheli 29 Dinbych 5
Ruthin 26 COBRA 8

Division Two North

Colwyn Bay 0 Rhyl & District 12
Newtown 3 Mold 52
Shotton Steel 68 Bangor 0
Teirw Nant 81 Llanidloes 0
Welshpool 19 Wrexham 38

Division Three North

Holyhead 22 Wrexham 2nds 13
Machynlleth 21 Flint 17
Mold 2nds 14 Llangefni 2nds 15
Pwllheli 2nds 30 Dinbych 2nds 0
Rhosllanerchrugog 24 Menai Bridge 31

RGC 23 Merthyr 17

RGC’s new head coach Matt Silva

It was a dream start for new RGC head coach Matt Silva.

The 2019-20 season could not have begun any better for the Gogs as they defeated Premiership champions for the past three seasons Merthyr at Stadiwm Zip World.

In an edgy first half the teams exchanged penalties, RGC’s Billy McBryde and Merthyr fly-half Rhys Jones making it a 9-9 game at the break.

The second half saw the Ironmen start with some real intent, testing the Gogs defence with some strong running from Hemi Barnes.

Pressure told when Matthew Jarvis ran in at the corner, but Jones failed to add the extras.

Jarvis was then yellowed minutes later and the tide turned.

RGC supporters were delighted to see the champions turned over at Stadiwm Zip World

RGC controlled the phases and created some space before a crossfield kick found winger Rhys Tudor, who collected the ball in the air and scored. McBryde hit the conversion.

The discipline of the visitors was being highlighted and with the extra man RGC extended the lead with a driving maul, before George Roberts crossed over. McBryde again converted.

Tension built when Merthyr’s Jones knocked a penalty over to bring them within six points in the last five minutes.

Strong pressure from the visitors was met by strong defence from the hosts, who held on for a memorable win.

Division One North

Champions Llandudno got off to a flyer as they ran in 13 tries in an 85-0 opening day demolition of visitors Bro Ffestiniog.

Tries were scored by: Ryan Pike (3), Morgan Owen (2), Lloyd Evans, Byron Davies, Rhys Henderson (2), Pat Coy (2), Dan O’Sullivan and Rob Jones. Pike added 10 conversions for a match total of 35 points.

The Goats produced an outstanding display of support rugby at Maesdu Road, looking every inch the champions they are.

Bala romped to a 43-0 home victory against a Dolgellau side which experienced a painful return to the top flight.

The Maes Gwynant hosts dominated this derby match from start to finish, scoring seven unanswered tries.

Fly-half Owain Aled (2), No8 Ilan Rowlands, hooker Endaf Jones, left-wing Elgan Evans, full-back Miall Roberts and flanker Iestyn Dylan all crossed the away line. Owain Aled also booted four conversions.

Llangefni opened up with an impressive 28-12 home defeat of Caernarfon.

Cefni led 21-5 at the break, Declan Griffiths, second row Alun Roberts and Dion Oliver with the home tries, Greg Horsman improving all three. No8 Mac Jones replied for the Cofis with a 40-metre run to the line.

Caernarfon dominated the second half and a try from Aled Jones, which he converted himself, cut the deficit to nine points.

Cefni were penned in their home 22 before a dramatic interception try from Horsman clinched the home triumph.

Rhuthun outscored newly-promoted COBRA 26-8 at Cae Ddol.

After 20 minutes the first score went on the board with a fine try from wing Gwion Richards.

COBRA replied with a penalty to make it 5-3 at half time.

Tries from scrum-half Cai Edwards and full-back Nathan Jones, who converted both, extended the home lead to 16 points after the break.

Virtually on 80 minutes, the hosts clinched the bonus point when Richards sped over the whitewash with Jones converting.

COBRA grabbed a late consolation try.

Other scores: Nant Conwy 24 Bethesda 32; Pwllheli 29 Dinbych 5.

Division Two North

Shotton Steel ran out emphatic 68-0 winners at home to Bangor.

Tries were scored by: John Ketland (5), Shaun Kemp (2), Ste Garret, Karl Rusowisc and there was one penalty try. Conversions: Ste Ellson 7, Matty Condren 2.

Tries from Reeve Wright and Ethan Woodfine secured Rhyl and District a 12-0 victory at Colwyn Bay.

Division Three North

Holyhead defeated Wrexham 2nds by 22 points to 13.

While the home side’s overall performance showed plenty of room for improvement, they still kicked off the season with a home bonus-point victory.

Raymond Lear, Ben Jordan, Owain Thomas and Aron Parry produced tries for the hosts. Thomas also kicked one conversion.

Nathan Kaitani and Danny Guy went over for the visitors, Lloyd Roberts landing a penalty.

Menai Bridge took the honours 31-24 at Rhosllanerchrugog.

A match of contrasting styles saw Rhos aiming to steamroller the smaller Bridge side through their power play, whilst the visitors tried to open up the game.

The home side started well and in the opening quarter had built a 12-0 lead from tries for Mike Muia and Dan Roberts.

Bridge then managed to gain field position and scrum-half Ed Williams wriggled over from a five-metre lineout for his try.

Dan Hughes found a gap from full back to score a second away try, both being converted to give the islanders a 14-12 interval lead.

Shortly after the restart Dion McGrath added a penalty for Bridge, but Rhos responded well again through their forwards with No8 Jack Norris rounding off a number of forward drives with a try.

Rhos extended their lead when Simon Bala grounded in the corner to take the score to 24-17.

Bridge fought back as spaces appeared and the ball was moved wide. Winger Logan Jones bagged a pair of tries with some intelligent pacey running, both scores improved with the boot to seal a hard-fought bonus point success.

NOTE TO CLUBS: I want to improve this coverage to include points scorers from as many games as possible. Please e-mail with your details. Pictures are always welcome too. Many thanks.

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