Clive Griffiths' first home game in charge of RGC 1404 got off to a flying start with a 12-6 victory over a strong Worcester Warriors 'A' side that included many first team squad members.
On a cold evening, with the pitch quite heavy underfoot this was never going to be a free-flowing game. However, Worcester came charging out of the blocks and looked like they may blow RGC 1404 away in the first 15 minutes. Joe Carlisle was controlling things from fly-half, but RGC's defence held strong and they survived the barrage only 3-0 down.
After weathering the storm, the RGC forwards started to take control; working their rolling mauls well and proving good, quick ball for the backs. This pressure soon turned to points and they were 6-3 up thanks to two penalties from Stephen Woodward. Further penalties followed and just before the half-time interval RGC 1404 found themselves camped on Worcester's try line, but their stubborn defence held out and so the whistle went with the score being 12-6 to RGC 1404.
Something must have been said in the RGC 1404 changing room at half-time as inside centre Nick Blevin started to come into the game more, creating gaps in the Worcester defence. One of these breaks saw the ball being shipped out quickly and winger Nathan Rees capitalised with a try in the corner. Although this wasn't converted, a penalty did soon follow and RGC 1404 found themselves 20-6 in front.
As the early defending had revitalised RGC 1404 in the first half, the same could be said towards the end of the game for Worcester who came back at RGC 1404. Winger Rees, so recently the hero, was now the villain as he was sent to the sin-bin for not rolling away after a tackle. The extra man soon paid dividends and Worcester full back, Chris Surman, found a hole in the thinly spread defence to score in the corner. The conversion attempt was missed and the score remained 20-11 at the final whistle.
This was a brilliant result for RGC 1404, as Worcester had inflicted a heavy defeat (72-3) on their last visit to Parc Eirias. Coach Clive Griffiths was delighted with his new look team: "this result shows a massive turnaround in the fortunes of North Wales rugby in the last 12 months. I'm naturally delighted to put one over on my former club, but more importantly I'm delighted to see the team gelling further and becoming a cohesive unit. There are still areas to improve upon, and we will address these in the next few weeks, with all flaws being ironed out"
Following on from the victory over Glamorgan Wanderers two weeks ago, Griffiths also added: "this is the creation of a small piece of history for RGC 1404. To have defeated Premiership teams from England and Wales in consecutive games is no mean feat and I'm absolutely delighted for those who initiated this project. It took Worcester 79 minutes to unlock our defence and that was only once we were down to 14 men. The game may have not been ideal for rugby purists, but we are working hard to look at the new laws at the breakdown area and once these have been addressed, we will start playing rugby to delight the supporters".
A crowd of over 500 people watched the game at Parc Eirias, defying the freezing night to cheer on the team. "I hope that we can develop a hardcore support to get as many people as possible to Parc Eirias" added Griffiths.
Next up for RGC 1404 is a home game against Sale Jets at Parc Eirias on Wednesday 24th November. Advanced tickets are available at a reduced rate through Venue Cymru on 01492 872000.
Wales 7s captain Luke Treharne may have only played once on the World Series, but he has full confidence in his side as they prepare for the opening two rounds of this year's series in Dubai and South Africa, as WRU TV's Graeme Gillespie discovers.
Wales 7s Manager Steff Thomas believes Luke Treharne has all the attriubutes to be a top class captain. WRU TV's Graeme Gillespie hears his reasons why as the squad prepare for the opening two legs of the new World Series in Dubai and South Africa.
The British & Irish Cup kicks off this weekend with the four Regional Premiership Select XVs flying the flag for Wales. Welsh
Sat 14 Nov: Blues Premiership Select v Nottingham (2.30) & Connacht Eagles v Dragons (2.30)
Sun 15 Nov: Yorkshire Carnegie v Ospreys Premiership Select (1.30) & Scarlets v Bedford Blues (3.00)
The Welsh Rugby Union is forming a new Youth Board with a brief to help keep more young people involved in the game during their late teenage years and beyond. The first task of the fifteen strong Board will be to analyse and consider the issues which lead to a number of youngsters drifting away from the sport between the ages of 16 and 21. To apply visit www.wru.wales/youthboard
The Foster's Challenge Cup will involve the 12 Principality Premiership sides and will run during European and British & Irish Cup weeks, providing vital fixtures for the participating clubs and an opportunity for upcoming players to step up to semi-professional rugby and make a claim for starting places within the Premiership squads.
Eighty schools and colleges in Wales now have a full time rugby officer as part of the WRU's school club hub scheme. All of the school club hub officers recently gathered at the National Centre of Excellence for various workshops.
With Liam Williams forced out of the World Cup through injury, lock Luke Charteris and Skills Coach Neil Jenkins say they have to put yesterday's defeat behind them as Wales now look ahead to another physical encounter against South Africa in the quarter-finals of the Rugby World Cup.
WRU Consultant Head of Physical Performance Paul Stridgeon praises the Physical Performance department for their work and dedication as he addresses the media ahead of Wales' Pool A clash against Australia
Twelve young people have been selected to follow a one year WRU Coach Core apprenticeship programme. Coach Core was set up by the Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry as part of the Olympics legacy in 2012 and the Duke of Cambridge was on hand to meet the apprentices on their first day in the job. The programme has been funded by the Hunter Foundation.