Druids v Risca (Home) 26 Nov 2011

15-20 Loss

Druids home defeat

Top of the table Monmouth Druids suffered a 15-20 points home league defeat against Risca on Chippenham Mead. The game started with uncontested scrums because the visitors could not field prop forwards. The Druids who up until this latest game, had won their last four games, would not have lacked confidence for this match.

Just 5 minutes into the game and Risca took the lead when Centre Alex Meade kicked a 20 metre penalty goal. The Druids looked to give a quick response and in they put in a fine handling move but the pass to left wing Gareth Jones did’nt go to hand close to the touch line. However the Druids did draw level when Captain Dave Brace kicked a 30 metre penalty goal.

Risca used the advantage of the strong wind to good effect. Good kicking put the Monmouth back three under pressure. The follow up to the kicks gave great difficulty to the Druids defence in clearing their lines. To rub it in, Risca kicked two penalty goals again through Alex Meade to increase their lead to 9-3.
In the second half with the elements on their backs, the Druids would have hoped to use them to good effect.In fact they struck first in the second blow through a fine try. A period of pressure in the visitors 22 metre area resulted in Number Eight Nick Phillips touching down. A ruck formed close to the Risca try line resulted in Phillips having to use all his finesse and skill to dive over the try line and reducing the deficit to 8-9. The conversion kick failed but another Druids score was soon to follow.

Yet another threequarter handling move saw long legged right wing Sam Scott get on the end of the move to run and touch down behind the posts. Dave Brace converted to put the Druids into a 15-9 lead.

From here it looked as if the Druids had done enough to win the game. They failed to kick accurately and Risca were rarely put under pressure. The visitors pack of forwards were difficult to subdue and deservedly Risca scored an unconverted try wide out on the right.

Risca through Alex Meade kicked two penalty goals to win the game by 20-15. His accurate kicking made more difficult by the strong gusting wind was crucial. When reviewing the game, the Druids will have regretted not using the wind to their advantage plus they made a number of handling errors which proved vital.

The Druids flankers, Mcgowan and Morgan, tackled strongly and the place kicking of Dave Brace, with over 150 points for the season, was creditable. At the back they sometimes looked vulnerable but Risca proved to be the better side on the day. As for the referee , well say no more, he did no favours for the home side.As a matter of interest, the only 3 games the Druids have lost have all been at home.

Tries: N.Phillips, S.Scott
Conv: D.Brace
Pen: D.Brace

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