1XV v Nantyglo (Away) 29 Oct 2011

25-3 Win

Awful Weather Helps Monmouth To Good Win.

Monmouth’s pack is already known for its strength and when the bad weather comes as it did at Nantyglo last Saturday it really shows through.
Despite playing a much changed side with some new faces on show due to injury to others, Monmouth, aided by the power of its front five looked dominant throughout.

But with the strength of the wind in their faces making for some questionable line kicking, and the rain making handling difficult, pressure did not readily translate into points in the first half.

Attacks aplenty there were but the number of spills almost matched the number of tackles, but in fairness after a neat bout of handling in the left hand corner when two or three individuals could have scored if they had backed themselves to go over left wing Gareth Morgan was on hand to twist out of a tackle to score the only try of the half.

Monmouth’s forward pressure did at last set the ball free again on the left with the promise of a try but a careless final pass saw the ball thrown over the touch-line, rather than into the hands of the well placed supporting winger.

Nantyglo in turn threatened to break away from time to time but generally they were soon cut down. Apart from a missed penalty when they might have hoped for advantage instead, the only other scoring opportunity for them resulted in a three pointer, just before half-time giving them some encouragement, albeit very slight, that they might contain Monmouth in the second half.

To have held a side to a 3-5 deficit against the elements would normally be considered a good first half achievement but given the amount of Monmouth territory and possession that was squandered through choice of wrong options, mis-handling and over-elaboration in general, cause for celebration was limited.
Greater precision, bossing of the contact area and intelligent use of the freshening wind were the pep-talk watch-words but Nantyglo had other thoughts and managed initially to frustrate the best endeavours of the visitors until fly half Rhys Rickets’ arrival from the bench seemed to coincide with a much greater ‘go-forward’ approach in general, although his first attempt at a penalty kick with the aid of a strong wind was an abomination, put down he said afterwards, to his feet being quite frozen from standing on the touch-line for the past hour.

He made up for it soon after with a delicate chip-kick ahead which centre Andrew Davies followed through to ground the ball under the posts. Ricketts in adding the conversion stretched the lead to 3-12 and pointed the way to win as the weather was worsening by the minute, with the rain growing heavier and colder and with a strengthening wind behind their backs.

Within two minutes of the re-start scrum-half Ludo Thomas kicked along the left hand touch-line and Rhys Ricketts was up with him to pick up in-goal and move nearer the posts for another try.

Monmouth were now inspired by these rewards for their efforts and the ball moved more readily around about the field with the ball at one stage moving through six pairs of hands but to no avail.

Next, a line-out was won deep on the right, and the forwards gained their reward as they drove over the line for flanker Ed McCord to claim the score .

Monmouth were not finished despite having gained a four try bonus point because full back Matt King took the opportunity of floating a penalty kick high on the wind to bisect the posts to complete a 3-25 success which saw them jointly leading the Swalec league.

Cup rugby away against Caldicot is next week’s challenge kicking off at 2.30p.m. as usual.

Tries: G.Morgan, A.Davies, R.Ricketts, E.McCord
Conv: R.Ricketts
Pen: M.King

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