RGC 24-40 Cardiff RFC

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Cardiff RFC got the defence of the Specsavers Cup off to a flying start on Saturday as the Blue and Blacks overcame a tough test against RGC at Parc Eirias.

Coming off the back of a late win over Pontypridd in the Indigo Group Premiership the week before there was a confidence in the squad heading North, however injuries and unavailability meant Ollie Drake, Sam Beard, James Beal and Edd Howley were all missing from the matchday 23.

There was also the fact that RGC had beaten Merthyr last week, and the Cardiff team bus was delayed getting to the ground due to traffic, but the Blue and Blacks didn’t let any of that phase them as they flew out of the blocks.

Jack Brooks and Morgan Allen both crossed for tries in the first 12 minutes, with Gareth Thompson converting each for a 0-14 lead, while the defence started strong, keeping the hosts out despite a sustained spell of pressure in our 22.

Unfortunately it couldn’t hold as Will Bryan scored for RGC on 25 minutes with Billy McBryde converting, before a hectic spell of play took us to the half-time break.

First Afon Bagshaw scored with Mcbryde converting again to level the scores, before Cardiff hit right back with Leon Andrews finishing a well-worked attack out wide and Morgan Allen bagged his second of the game, Thomspon converting the latter.

Then Callum Bradbury was sin binned and Rhys Tudor went over for the visitors, ending the first half with a 19-26 scoreline.

Fortunately being a man down did not impact the start of the second half, and the game settled as both sides pushed for the victory.

After the chaos of the ten minutes before half-time tries were at a premium but the boot of Gareth Thompson continued to extend the Cardiff lead, with three penalties taking the score to 19-35.

RGC did manage to get over the whitewash through Robin Williams in the last few minutes, but a missed conversion meant it was still an 11-point margin and Barney Nightingale crossed for the visitors just to make the winning scoreline all the more comfortable on paper.

The Blue and Blacks now advance into the next round and continue to improve on last season’s start, with two wins in a row heading into the Premiership tie away at Llanelli next Saturday.

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