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14 May 2017 / Club News

Merthyr 35 RGC 1404 7

IRONMEN BOOK A PLACE IN THE PREMIERSHIP FINAL

MERTHYR 35 RGC 1404 7

Merthyr booked their place in this season’s Premiership final next Sunday at the Talbot Athletic ground where they will face Aberavon as they revenged three earlier defeats against North Wales regional side RGC 1404. Merthyr who had faced the North Wales side on three previous occasions this season had lost twice in the league and in the semi-final of the WRU Cup. The North Wales side started the more positive side in opening 10minutes and should have taken an early lead but normally reliable goal kicker Jacob Botica missed two straight forward penalty kicks. However, Merthyr settled their nerves when they took the lead through outside half Matthew Jarvis who slotted a penalty form 35 meters. This was shorted lived as the RGC dangerous backs Afon Bagshaw, and Rhys Williams showed their intent early with some jinking runs. Botica made a break from a ruck 25 meters and found captain Andrew Williams on his shoulder as he crashed over for the opening try, Botica converted and RGC had taken a 3-7 lead. Back came Merthyr as they stole the ball at a breakdown, scrum half Downes whipping the ball wide creating an overlap for wingman Richard Carter to race up field, as he was tackled short of the line back row man Edward Siggery was on hand to barge his way over, Jarvis converted and Merthyr had regained the lead, 10-7. RGC were then reduced to 14 men when second row Henri Williams was shown a yellow card by referee Rhys Thomas for persistently offending. Merthyr soon took advantage of the extra man as they kicked the penalty into the corner, and from the lineout they drove RGC back over their line and big number 8 Phil Rees crashed over for Merthyr’s second try, Jarvis converted to give the ironmen a 17-7 lead. Things got worse for RGC as full back Josh Flye gather a high kick on the half way line and ran back at RGC and as he raced up field he threw a long pass to wing man Kyle Evans who raced away unopposed to score, Jarvis converted and Merthyr had opened a 17-point lead as they went in half time 24-7. Merthyr continued to take the game to RGC early in the second half as they once again turned down a penalty 30 meters out and opted for the kick to touch. Once again they drove RGC backwards from the lineout and this time hooker Rhys Williams was driven over the line, Jarvis hitting the post with the conversion but Merthyr had extended the lead 29-7. Credit to RGC they still threw the ball around trying to get back into the game with their dangerous centres Tiaan Loots and Tom Hughes looking dangerous with ball in hand but good home tackling from Arron Pinchers and Harri Millard keeping them out. RGC began to fade as the Merthyr pack began to take command with good runs from back row man Osian Davies, and Man of the match second row Lou Reed. The RGC scum also began to fold as the Merthyr 8 drove them backwards on their own ball 30 meters out and when they deliberately collapsed the drive they were penalised and Jarvis made no mistake with the 3points to stretched Merthyr’s lead further 32-7. As hard as they fought RGC had no answer to the power and strength of the Merthyr 8, led by Captain Craig Locke. RGC were going down fighting as they came back at Merthyr with Botica trying to get his backs into action and a good break form Bagshaw nearly set up a score, but once again good home defence keeping him out. Just before full time replacement outside half Dean Gunter landed a penalty from 25 meters for the ironmen which saw Merthyr ran out comfortable winners 35-7. This was a great performance from the ironmen as once again the Merthyr pack paved the way for the victory. Second row Lou was superb in the line out and loose play well supported by Siggery, Davies, and Rees. Behind the scrum half backs Downes and Jarvis combined well together with Jarvis finishing with 12 points from the boot, which takes his tally to over 300 points for the season. Next Sunday sees the grand final were the ironmen face the Wizards of Aberavon on their own ground following losing the toss. Scorers are even in the league with Aberavon winning at home earlier in the season 21-17, but Merthyr winning at the wern 34-23 two weeks ago. Should be a great final which can be seen live on S4C next Sunday, or why not come along and support the boys.   

MERTHYR: 15 J FLYE, 14 K EVANS, 13 H MILLARD, 12 A PICHERS, 11 R CARTER, 10 M JARVIS, 9 R DOWNES, 1 J HOWE, 2 R WILLIAMS, 3 G POWELL, 4 L REED, 5 C LOCKE(C) 6 E SIGGERY, 7 O DAVIES, 8 P REES, 16 N TREVETT, 17 L BELCHER, 18 R JAMES, 19 B MURPHY, 20 T DALEY, 21 J JAMES, 22 D GUNTER, 23 M THOMAS.

SCORERS, R WILLIAMS 1T, P REES 1T, K EVANS 1T, E SIGGERY 1T, M JARVIS 3CONS, 2 PENS, D GUNTER 1P

REFEREE: RHYS THOMAS(CARDIFF)       

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