Druids v Abergavenny (Home) 24 Sep 2011

10-27 Loss

Defeat for Druids

By winning their two opening two league games, Monmouth Druids, were optimistic about continuing this run of form when they faced local rivals Abergavenny at home.

Early play saw some of the referee penalise the visitors but the Druids missed two long range kicks by Matt King and Skipper Dave Brace. The game was end to end and the visitors took the lead through one of their Centres who crashed over for an unconverted try. A little later they increased their advantage when awarded a penalty kick deep in the Druids half. They elected to kick to the corner and take the lineout. They duly won the set piece, formed the maul and drove over the Druids line for a converted try and a 12-nil lead.

At half time the Druids would have felt they would have to raise their efforts to get back into the game.There was a real arm wrestle up front but the visitors backs looked more threatening. Although some of the Druids tackling was very good, the visitors three quarters passing was posing problems.

The Druids reduced the deficit through a 20 metre penalty goal by skipper Dave Brace. This lifted the home side and they closed the gap even closer through a nice move involving backs and forwards.The ball was transferred across the threequarter line but held up on the Abergavenny try line. Number Eight Nick Phillips gained possession and forced his way over for a well worked try. Dave Brace who was prominent in the move, kicked the conversion to bring the visitors lead down to 2 points.

This optimism was quickly squashed when Abergavenny stretched their lead through an unconverted try. The Druids were penalised on the half way line and a Monmouth player, gave some back chat to the referee who moved the penalty another 10 yards. The visitors kicked to the corner and routinely won the lineout.The ball arrived into the hands of their Number 8 and he crashed over the Druids try line.There is a learning point from this score which some of the Druids players might benefit.

Abergavenny were finishing strongly and they got two more scores to gain a well deserved victory. A 25 metre penalty goal and a converted try following ‘good hands’ across the three quarter line handed out a 27-10 defeat to the Druids.

What are the learning points? Well the tackling was satisfactory especially from Flanker Scot Mcgowan and Full Back Matt Tabb who stopped Abergavenny attackers in their tracks. Scrum half Mike Hall must try to get his backs moving offering attacking options for the Druids. The well established Druids spirit saw them contest every yard of territory against the visitors side. Stand-in Hooker Gareth Rowlands must be commended for taking on his temporary role.

Tries: N.Phillips
Conv: D.Brace
Pen: D.Brace

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