U10 v RTB Ebbw Vale (Home) 11 Dec 2011

Monmouth Bears hosted a round-robin event against unfamiliar opponents from Ebbw Vale and Croesyceiliog, neither of whom we have played before in the “contact” era. The visiting teams opened the event, both with Bears’ players loaned to them to make up numbers – a close game ensued, with each team scoring a single try, the final result going 7 - 5 in Ebbw Vale’s favour, courtesy of a successful conversion.

Match 1: Bears vs. Ebbw Vale

All the training drills drummed into the boys over the last couple of seasons really came to the fore, with the Bears displaying great discipline in getting the ball out wide at every opportunity through fine passing and handling. The greatest improvement this season has been the defence and everyone today really made their tackles count.

The gulf in class between the two teams was immediately apparent from the first whistle, with the Bears out of the traps quickly with a try from James Robertson. Regular tries followed, most of them the result of wonderful flowing rugby, helped by fairly weak tackling from the visitors, from Will Ruck, Raphael Kefalas and Ben Pilot. Three of the first-half tries were converted, which saw the Bears 26 – 0 ahead at the break.

The second-half was just as impressive, with both Will and Raphael doubling their try tally in the game. Further tries followed from Josh Lewis and Jonny Snell and with all four second-half tries converted, the Bears broke through the half-century points mark for the second time this season. Relentless tackling ensured the Bears kept a clean sheet, with the visitors’ only sight of the try-line was their own, having to stand on it eight times whilst waiting for Monmouth conversions!

Final Score: Monmouth 54 – 0 Ebbw Vale

Try Scorers: Will Ruck (2) Raphael Kefalas (2) Josh Lewis, Jonny Snell, James Robertson & Ben Pilot

Conversions: Ben Pilot (3) Raphael Kefalas (2) Gus Mackintosh & Will Ruck

Match 2: Bears vs. Croesyceiliog

Next up for the Bears were the boys from Cwmbran, who, having just witnessed the Bears’ demolition of Ebbw Vale, must have been quaking in their boots. Whilst they had a couple of large and robust ball carriers, they were chopped down on every occasion by fine aggressive tackling by the Bears’ defence.

In attack, the Bears threatened on every occasion, again scoring it seemed at will through more superb flowing rugby – four first-half tries from Sam Hughes, Raphael, Roderick Ho and Will Ruck, all of which were successfully converted, saw half-time arrive with the Bears 28 – 0 to the good.

The second-half continued in the same vein, with the Bears turning the screw with three further tries, one each for Josh, Raphael and Alastair McIntosh. The only time in the game that the Bears’ try-line was threatened saw a great double tackle from Will and James, forcing back the big ball carrier some yards – all the Bears were ferocious in defence to the end.

Final Score: Monmouth 45 – 0 Croesyceiliog

Try Scorers: Raphael Kefalas (2) Sam Hughes, Roderick Ho, Will Ruck, Josh Lewis & Alastair McIntosh

Conversions: Ben Pilot (2) Will Ruck, James Robertson & Raphael Kefalas

In summary, Sunday’s display by the Bears was spectacular. The two games saw the Bears score 15 tries, shared amongst nine players and 12 conversions, with 99 points scored and none conceded. Their fantastic attacking and flowing rugby was lovely to watch, but just as pleasing was the consistently excellent tackling and defence, ensuring two more clean sheets – well done the Bears!

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