U10 v New Panteg (Home) 04 Mar 2012

30-0 Win

Tough conditions and rugged opponents were the order of the day, when Monmouth Bears entertained visitors New Panteg. Heavy overnight and morning rain had turned the Chippie pitch into treacle, meaning it was going to be an energy sapping morning of physical and competitive rugby. Given the large visiting squad, it was agreed to play an extra game to give everyone as much playing time as possible – happy days!

The first match commenced with the rain just about easing and it was the hosts who immediately went on the front foot, taking the game to the visitors. Recent coaching on the tackle breakdown area saw a great improvement from the Bears in this key element of the game, with more decisiveness and rapid ball recycling keeping the visitors pinned down in their own half. However, they kept their try-line in tact through robust tackling until Will Ruck finally got the score-board moving, with a typically strong run to crash over the whitewash.

Any incursions the visitors made into Monmouth territory were easily snuffed out through strong defence from the Bears, with Henry Watkins leading the tackle count. As the game progressed, the Bears’ far greater share of territory and possession began to take its toll on the tiring visitors, as the hosts ran in two more tries from Will and lastly, Josh Lewis, to see them end the first game 15 – 0 ahead.

Both teams took the opportunity to bring on fresh legs for the second game and again, a tough battle ensued. The injury count for both sides was increasing more quickly than the score-board, as both sets of players continued to bravely battle it out with some heavy knocks resulting from the sheer physicality of the game. The visitors were initially more threatening in attack, but continued brave resistance from the Bears ensured they were on their way to record their tenth clean sheet of the season.

The final period of the day’s play saw the Bears take firm control once again, with Will opening the scoring with his third try of the day. Powerful running from Roderick Ho saw the Bears double their try tally and the final score went to Josh, ducking under a covering tackle and nipping in at the corner to touch-down.

In summary, the Bears got back to winning ways, seeing a great improvement in ball recycling and much more assertiveness at the breakdown. They need however to recover from the collective “white-wash fever” which saw many chances go begging, but for a final pass out wide.

The Player of the Week Award was deservedly presented to Henry Watkins, for his tough tackling and magnificent work at the breakdown.

Final Score: Monmouth 30 – 0 Monmouth

Try Scorers: Will Ruck (3) Josh Lewis (2) Roderick Ho

Player of the Week: Henry Watkins

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