1XV v Brynithel (Home) 18 Feb 2012

36-0 Win

Further League Advance

After a two week lay-off because of the weather, despite some rustiness showing in their play, Monmouth beat visitors Brynithel by 38 points without reply at the Sports Ground last Saturday, gaining a valuable bonus point in the process.

Brynithel had arrived with less than a full squad and to the credit especially of their prop who stuck at it, scrums only became 'passive' midway through the second half when he eventually left the field through injury.

Monmouth’s greatest strength is their pack it might have been easier for Brynithel to call a halt earlier but they were made of tougher stuff than that, although their continual dissent with whoever would listen had not endeared them to the referee.

After the opening skirmishes, Monmouth were first to settle and from a quick penalty centre Dewi Lane broke through two tackles to score near the posts. Fly-half Rhys Ricketts added the conversion with the first of six successful kicks of the afternoon, most far more difficult than this one.

A further kick added another three points for holding the ball after the tackle but generally Brynithel gave as good as they got. The conditions were excellent for running rugby with Monmouth putting several flowing moves together and Brynithel being particularly threatening on the counter-attack out if defence.

It took time for pressure to tell as the visitors edged the turnover count, but the concentrated set-piece effort of the Monmouth pack, helped by the reliable front line jumping of veteran John Powell eventually brought a succession of attempted push-over tries after half an hour when from a back row pick up, No 8 Mike Griffiths, on yet another Player of the Month performance, drove over for Ricketts to make it 17-0 at the break.

With all going well, the Coach asked for closer support play and more clinical execution of moves and Monmouth were rewarded by an interception try by Lane in the first minute of the second half. Ricketts was again on target.

Playing into their favourite corner with what wind advantage there was, Brynithel now struggled to make ground upfield, and succumbed to full-back Anthony Layne stepping inside the covering defence following a smart inter-passing move in the right hand corner. The conversion neatly bisected the upright and cross-bar from far out.

2nd row Sam Harding completed the try scoring with the second interception of the afternoon with no-one likely to stop him.

Brynithel stuck at it though and when Griffiths was sent to the sin-bin with six minutes or so to go they tried hard for a score of their own, but Monmouth do not give in easily these days as they defend their league leading position and the game ended with a clean sweep.

International rugby again intervenes next week and then the biggest test of the season arrives with an away trip to current runners-up Hafodyrynys on 3 March.

Tries: D.Lane (2), M.Griffiths, A.Layne, S.Harding
Conv: R.Ricketts (4)
Pen: R.Ricketts

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