Druids v Caldicot (Home) 03 Mar 2012

27-26 Win

Another double for the Druids

Monmouth Druids entertained Caldicot RFC on Chippenham Mead hoping to secure another double and consolidate their lead at the top of the Newport and Pontypool league table. The result was in doubt until the end of the game and the match proved to be close and entertaining.

It was the Druids who had the opportunity to take the lead but Captain Dave Brace missed a long range penalty goal made even more difficult by a strong wind which blew across the field of play.

Druids right wing Rob Farr had a good run which was stopped only by determined Caldicot tackling. The wind was in favour of the Druids and their astute kicking made sure they used this in their favour. Farr was in the picture again, this time in a defensive role. Caldicot attacked from deep and looked odds on to score in the corner. A fine cover tackle by Farr prevented the visitors from opening their account.

The Druids were having more of field position and eventually made it pay. A quick throw in at a lineout led to the first try of the game. Flanker Gavin Jones quick thinking put Hooker Mark Jones in for a try which was not improved but gave the Druids a 5-0 lead.

The home side increased the lead after Number Eight Nick Phillips broke from a scrum and the ball went through several pairs of hands before Rob Farr sprinted over for an unconverted try. Caldicot who ran strongly when in possession reduced the arrears when one of their Centres broke a Druids tackle and scored between the posts. The Outside Half kicked the conversion to make the score 10-7 in favour of the Druids.

Just before the interval the Druids extended the lead when Nick Phillips crossed the Visitors line from a scrum close to the Caldicot line. The conversion attempt hit the bar and rebounded away. At half time the Druids lead 15-5 but did they use the advantage of the wind sufficiently to win the game?

Soon after restart the Druids extended their lead from a tap penalty in the Caldicot 22 metre area. A quick inside pass to Mark Jones saw him crash over the try line close to the posts to give the Druids a valuable bonus point for the team scoring four tries in the match. Dave Brace converted to make the score 22-7 to the home side and appearing to have secured victory.

Caldicot had other ideas and they retaliated by scoring two tries, one of which was converted to reduce the deficit to three points and the game was on! Stoic Druids defence held firm as the visitors used the wind cleverly to attack the home try line.

In a Druids counter attack, a Caldicot defender was tackled by Centre Gareth Jones and the ball went loose. Scrum Half Matt King hacked the ball over the visitors line and he won the race to the touch down. The kick failed but the score now stood at 27-19 to the home side with minutes remaining.

Yet again Caldicot hit back and scored a try again earned through strong running and good support play. The conversion was successful but the final whistle saw the Druids win by 27-26.

Another victory in an exciting match and ensured that the Druids stay top of the league and they are in the Semi Final of the Cup competition.

Tries: Mark Jones (2), Rob Farr, Nick Phillips, Matt King
Cov: D.Brace

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