1XV v Trinant (Home) 14 Apr 2012

68-5 Win

Ten Try Triumph

Paradoxically on an ideal day for open rugby, even after scoring ten tries to one, an air of disappointment drifted over the Sports Ground last Saturday, because visitors Trinant had come with a bare 15 players and no regular hooker so scrums had to be uncontested throughout.

To Trinant’s credit they honoured the fixture but something short of a real contest was the outcome with a large try count and sparkling three-quarter moves, many excellent individual performances but substantially more errors, at least in the first half.

Within minutes of the off, lively right wing Matt Tabb all but scored when the ball he was chasing from near half-way ran dead.

Trinant responded by kicking for position but 2nd row John Powell cleverly used his height and centre of gravity to prevent the touch they sought and started a counter attack which after much inter-passing brought the first of three tries for centre Dewi Lane and fly half Ricketts the first of 9 conversions in an almost faultless kicking performance.

Scrum half Gareth Morgan was on form both with his boot, passing and pace and following one such chip-kick over the defence, Lane was able to feed fellow centre Andrew Davies who stretched well for the line.

Fourteen points ahead after little more than ten minutes and everyone was trying to get in on the act with little to show for it other than ample cardio vascular exercise for forwards and backs alike as moves were well supported only for them to founder repeatedly at the last.

Line out errors had been keeping Trinant in the game when Morgan nearly reached the line after a superb line-out take by No 8 Mike Griffiths but his grubber kick was recovered by a Trinant back who in turn was well tackled by Griffiths and then failed to be released. Trinant relieved the pressure with the resulting penalty and so the game remained with similar incidents for a frustrating 25 minute spell.

Lane nearly scored again as he was questionably said to have been held up but with Trinant and some of their valiant if old forwards blowing hard, Monmouth eventually took advantage minutes before half-time when the ball was spread along a line of home players for flanker Ed Wheeler to cross. Ricketts brought the score at the break to 21-0.

With the final score in no doubt Monmouth were urged to be more methodical in their approach even if they had no scrum base to work from and almost immediately the surprisingly mobile prop Paul Stockley set off a move which Lane took on for completion by Ricketts for the much awaited fourth try bonus point.

Tabb then completed two well constructed moves on the right to lift the lead to 42 points in the space of four minutes.

The forwards continued to play their part too, with hooker Phillips just held and Powell making considerable ground before feeding Lane for his hat-trick. It was then Lane again who fed Morgan with a flat pass for a well deserved score of his own.

Perhaps this passing of the half-century caused Monmouth to ease off because Trinant found themselves near the Monmouth line, aided by a questionable penalty against substitute back row man Shirlaw for alleged handling in the ruck. From the resultant plays near the line Trinant gained a try which they deserved if only for their continued resolve.

This sparked Monmouth again and despite the loss of a forward to a yellow card, two more tries resulted from two of Monmouth’s own ‘veterans’; first by Powell following a succession of rucks and then Edwards who dabbed the ball down on the line just as he was forced back.

68-5 was a comforting result in the context of maintaining their league challenge but whether it was the best preparation for next week’s home game against Usk will only be known around 4p.m. on 21 April. Why not come and see for yourself?

Tries: D.Lane(3), A.Davies, E.Wheeler, M.Tabb, G.Morgan, J.Powell, S.Edwards, R.Ricketts
Conv: R.Ricketts(9)

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