By David Parsons
Scrum half Joe Williams came off the bench to help himself to a second half try hat-trick as Cardiff beat RGC 35-17 at the Arms Park in the Indigo Premiership.
It was 14-3 to the Blue & Blacks at the break before Williams popped up to secure the bonus-point win. Prop Freddie Barnes opened the scoring with a close-range effort before Wales U20 outside half Harrison James hit a hat-trick of penalties.
Sam Earl-Jones kicked the only first half points for the Gogs. Former Dragons forward Huw Taylor then barged his way over for a try, which Earl-Jones improved, and RGC were suddenly back in the contest at 14-10.
Then came Williams’ hat-trick as he made the most of his pack’s dominance and James converted two and Jacob Lloyd the third. RGC finished with a try from Daf Williams, which was converted by Earl-Jones, but it looks like being a long, hard season for them.
— David Perkins (@Davidperkins54) September 10, 2023
Beaten by a 93rd minute penalty on the opening weekend of the season against Bridgend, Swansea agonisingly fell behind to a Matthew Jarvis penalty five minutes from time at Pontypool Park as they went down to a 20-17 defeat.
Rhys Jones had kicked the Whites into an early lead and then converted a try by Harvey Jones that made it 10-7 midway through the first half. Pontypool had a try by Wales U20 wing Huw Anderson for starters, which Jarvis converted, and then took full advantage of a yellow card to back row man Jake Baker on the stroke of half-time for skipper Scott Matthews to drive over.
Jarvis added the extras and then extended the lead early in the second half with a penalty from half-way. Back came Swansea with a Matthew Jenkins try that Matthew Aubrey converted to level at 17-17, but then came the sting in the tail from Jarvis to extend Pooler’s unbeaten home league run dating back to April 2016.
Evan Lloyd put the boot into Pontypridd as he kicked Ebbw Vale back into a red-hot contest at Eugene Cross Park before steering the Steelmen to a 31-21 victory.
Matthew Jarvis praised the effort of the squad as they dug deep to get the first points of the season on the board.https://t.co/KTVcsGQzTe
— Pontypool RFC (@PontypoolRFC) September 10, 2023
The home side had given Merthyr a 21 point lead at The Wern on the opening weekend before reeling them back in to take a losing bonus point and this time they allowed Ponty to build a 15 point advantage.
Former Cardiff Rugby centre Ryan Wilkins played a part in two early tries for the visitors as he firstly sent Dale Stuckey into the left corner and then finished off a free-flowing move that had started in his own 22.
Josh Phillips converted the latter and then added a penalty to make it 15-0. Lloyd then got started and kicked two penalties of his own before converting a Lewis Young driving maul score to cut the gap to two points.
one for the archive;
water break due to the high temps and sun at Ebbw Vale
— Ioan Dyer (@Ioan_Dyer) September 9, 2023
Then, on the stroke of half-time, Phillips launched a long-range effort that made it 18-13 to Ponty. That lead didn’t last long after the break as wing Ryan Davies crossed for Lloyd to improve.
Then the home outside half picked a penalty and dropped a goal to take his match tally to 16 points. Opposite number Phillips kept the game very much alive with another penalty before No 8 Ryan Jenkins rounding off proceedings with a third home try.
Carmarthen Quins ran in a magnificent seven tries in their victory at The Gnoll, where newly promoted Neath were beaten 49-14. Scrum half Efan Jones grabbed two first-half tries, and skipper Tom Phillips, centre Josh Batcup and wing Kalum Evans also crossed as the Quins changed ends 35-0 ahead.
Good shorts weather Dan https://t.co/oWrpnzs8Qm
— Carmarthen Quins RFC (@CarmQuinsRFC) September 9, 2023
Further tries came from Lewys Millin and Sin Jones and Jac Wilson converted all of them. Neath replied with two tries, the first from Kieran Charles, and both of them were improved by Kris Jones.
Reigning champions Llandovery made it 92 points and 12 tries in their opening two games as they beat Merthyr 38-12 at Church Bank. Scarlets centre Macs Page scored twice as the Drovers raced into a 28-5 interval lead.
Lee Rees also crossed and Jack Maynard kicked three penalties and two conversions on his way to a match tally of 16 points. Joe Powell then ensured the Drover picked up a bonus-point by scoring a fourth try in the second half.
— Riley Sports (@RileySports) September 9, 2023