Youth v Risca (Away) 03 Mar 2012

20-17 Win

Monmouth Youth returned to winning ways, in Saturday’s league game, away at Risca but this was a poor performance and all credit to Risca for playing the game to their strengths. The pre-match warm up from the Monmouth Coaches was all about playing the game at a high tempo, getting quick ball, getting the ball out wide on what was a very wide Risca 1st XV pitch and to keep the ball away from the much larger Risca forwards.

A simple game plan which wasn’t executed by the Monmouth players. This was exacerbated by poor discipline from, primarily, the Monmouth forwards which meant that constant penalties were awarded against them by giving away good field position and instead of large phases play which should have tired the Risca forwards out meant that the game was very much a stop start affair.

Risca were the first to score, after Monmouth conceded two consecutive penalties, with a well worked set of phased plays from their rumbling forwards. They also kicked a penalty and had they not have missed three further kicks the first half score would have been worse. Risca scoring their try seemed to galvanise the Monmouth forwards and with three simple phases of play, Dean Bartlett, the Monmouth prop went over for their first try of the game. Half time Risca 8 – Monmouth 5

The Half Time team talk was almost a repetition of the pre-match talk and the second half started much as the same with Monmouth conceding two consecutive penalties straight from the kick off and Risca converting one of them for another 3 points. To make matters worse, Mitchell (but I was still on my feet ref) Gleed was given a yellow card for handling in the ruck.

Then came probably best move of the game. Monmouth were awarded a scrum just inside the Risca Half. Quick ball ensued with Dan White, the Monmouth Scrum Half, passing to Joe Paley at Fly Half, who passed to Liam Musselbrook at Inside Centre and the Joe Paley took the ball on the loop, straightened up and evaded 3 Risca Tacklers to score from 40 yards out. A well worked try which the Risca backs were still looking at in disbelief after the game had finished and are probably still talking about now.

Monmouth were now back within 4 points and had scored two tries. However, Monmouth’s indiscipline continued with further penalties awarded against them which meant any territory gained was quickly lost and their constant bickering meant that everyone was blamed apart from the actual perpetrator.

With Monmouth now back to full strength and the score finely poised at 14-11 Monmouth put six or 7 phases of play together and suddenly the rumbling Risca pack couldn’t make the breakdown without conceding a penalty themselves. It was from here, close to the Risca line, that Dan White took ownership, took a quick tap penalty and scored from 5 metres out. Monmouth were ahead, for the first time, and there were 5 minutes on the clock.

It was time for cool heads. No such luck and straight from the Kick Off, Monmouth again conceded a penalty but this time Risca didn’t need the kick and chose instead a drop goal attempt which cleanly bisected the posts and put them ahead once more.

The referee said that there two minutes on the clock as Monmouth kicked off. Luckily Tom Green, the Monmouth Captain, on a fine run was not adjudged by the referee to have knocked on, which would have given the scrum to Risca, but allowed play to continue. Six further phases of play continued, at high tempo, with quick ball and it was Cameron Boycott Watson, the Monmouth Number 8, who scored Monmouth’s fourth and winning try in the corner.

A very lucky escape and all credit to Risca who played a gutsy game, with great determination and whilst Monmouth scored four tries what could they have done had they stuck to the game plan and not given away too many penalties.

Something for the players to work on for next week.

Tries: Dean Bartlett, Joe Paley, Dan White, Cameron Boycott

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