1XV v Ynysddu (Home) 06 Oct 2012

10-29 Loss

A minutes silence in memory of Life Member Bernard Davies and glorious weather set the scene for the best start Monmouth have displayed for a while.

Within the first ten minutes pressure from the Monmouth pack kept opponents Ynysddu pinned deep in their 22 metre area, commencing with a 20 metre driving maul that had the visitors at a loss to defend. The resulting ruck led to fly half Adam Roberts suffering a high tackle which brought him three points from his own penalty kick.

Whether this raised Ynysddu's spirit or Monmouth relaxed is not clear but following a deep clearing kick which a Monmouth defender took into touch, it was all Ynysddu for a considerable period.

First they missed a kickable goal and then hands in a defensive ruck saw the scores drawn at three points each from the penalty.

Further pressure resulted in a penalty kick to touch for holding the ball in the tackle. The line-out was a particular weakness for the home team with their very changed side from the previous week and from winning this line-out they won the ruck that followed and their right wing stormed over for the first try of the game and a 3-10 lead.

With pressure telling, the re-start was kicked direct into touch but from a quick penalty there was a spark of hope as scrum half Gareth Morgan seemed clear away but was called back because of the referee not liking something said to him by a player.

Ynysddu's tails were now well and truly up giving them the desire for more and although Monmouth doggedly defended their line on several occasions their line at last gave way at last to a close quarters drive and the gap had stretched to 3-17 at the break.

The Coach urged his team to concentrate on the basics relying on the pressure the pack could generate and Monmouth's greater fitness to see them through, but Monmouth were still exhibiting a frantic rather than controlled nature.

Ynysddu put themselves in a good position with a penalty kick to the left corner and when they predictably won the line-out they formed a maul and drove over again for an unconverted try.

Thirty minutes of play remained with plenty of time to recover the position but despite stalwart tackling at close quarters by prop Matt Ricketts and occasional sniping runs by Morgan and side-stepping ones by centre Andrew Davies Ynysddu were determined not to concede.

They maintained their pressure and it was no surprise when their blind-side flanker, their best forward on the day, broke through some missed tackles to gain his side a bonus point with a converted try.

Monmouth were however not finished by this and set about a comeback with some style and determination helped on their way by an unstoppable try by second row Sam Harding which was converted. But try as they might with visiting players falling injured as the clock ticked on their defences held leaving Monmouth to suffer a final 10-29 reversal - one of the worst they have suffered for some time.

Monmouth are home again next Saturday when Blaenavon will provide a similar challenge but no doubt work will be done in training to deliver the performance that one has grown used to expect of this local team..

Scott McGowan for one should need little incentive to try even harder than he typically does as he learned after the game that his team-mates had chosen him as Player of the Month in September.

Tries: S.Harding
Conv: A.Roberts
Pen: A.Roberts

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