1XV v Chepstow (Away) 01 Sep 2012

16-21 Loss

League Loss for Monmouth

The away trip to Chepstow for Monmouth’s first league game of the season provided much encouragement but only a losing bonus point in a 21-16 loss.
On a sunny day before a good crowd, Monmouth’s defence first cracked within seven minutes despite last ditch tackles first by full back Dave Brace and then centre Andrew Davies who all but put the attacker into touch.

Goal kicking was to be a lottery in the strong wind and Chepstow’s tactics of tackling up supplemented by judicious kicks ahead was to prove fruitful throughout although the extent to which the home team breached the offside line helped too.

Monmouth’s set piece play was the more physical and was causing the home team considerable discomfort throughout and No. 8 Mike Griffiths could be relied upon to make several charges to break out of their early stranglehold but completion of several scoring opportunities sadly eluded them.

The loss of wing Matt Tabb with a leg injury was a setback but Monmouth seemed to find the way forward when fly half Adam Roberts kicked a penalty with the wind after Chepstow had offended at a ruck to frustrate what should have brought a bigger reward.

But then, disaster, as a wild back pass in loose play saw the home team pounce to give them a half-time lead of 10-3.

The re-start brought no early relief as Monmouth conceded a three point penalty for foul play but they redeemed themselves with strong tackling gaining them ground. Resultant crossing in mid-field brought a successful penalty from Roberts after ten minutes but then Monmouth fell foul again to a kick ahead that was mis-fielded allowing Chepstow to extend their lead to 18-6.

Monmouth came back strongly as their back row combined with Davies who looped around to handle twice in the move. From the resulting 5 yard scrum flanker Scott McGowan scored a push-over try to narrow the score to 18-11.

Chepstow maintained their pressure with the help of the wind and another penalty but Davies who was having his best attacking game for a while broke again with Brace supporting, only for his inside pass to be knocked down. A line-out resulted and Monmouth went over again from close quarter with the conversion only narrowly failing.

With 13 minutes to go Monmouth had a penalty chance fail into the wind and with hindsight it was not clear given their line-out superiority why a kick to the corner had not been considered the better option.

Both sides provided an entertaining last ten minutes as they each strove for scores but it was probably as well that Chepstow failed with their next kick at goal because time then ran out and Monmouth had at least gained a losing bonus point on a day when they had certainly suffered from people having to play out of position and in equal measure some poor tackling and wild passes.

Things will undoubtedly settle down in the coming weeks but Machen away will probably prove a stern test next week.

Tries: S.McGowan, ???
Pen: A.Roberts (2)

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