1XV v Blaenavon (Home) 13 Oct 2012

12-31 Loss

Another Loss at Home for Monmouth

On a cracking day for Rugby with little wind and plenty of sun, Blaenavon visited Monmouth for the first time in many a year and went away the 12-31 winner and with a bonus point for four tries, too.

Monmouth had expected a big challenge but struggled in the early stages because of the incessant pounding by the visiting pack. The local boys did their best defensively but the waves of attacks not only brought an early converted try but were to score two more tries with one conversion without return by the break. Few if any individuals could be criticised for mistakes although with hindsight too much possession was kicked back for their opponents to mount further attacks. Blaenavon were just more street-wise and organised during this period as their defences showed on the occasions Monmouth were able to generate territorial threats of their own, although those who had stepped up to fill the boots of absent players all gave of their very best.

To make up a nineteen point deficit was going to be a stiff second half challenge but at least Monmouth were now playing down towards their favourite corner and by sticking to their own game plan and trying to dictate their own pace the opportunities should come.

But sadly Blaenavon had ideas of their own and they continued to harry as they had done in the first half with a charged down clearance kick giving them a further early 7 points to add to Monmouth’s burden. Whether the ball had just crept over the dead-ball line or not is a moot point but it all happened so quickly with many people unsighted that it was what the referee thought that counted.

This at least stirred Monmouth who began in turn to pressurise the visitors’ goal-line.
Eventually they were rewarded for their efforts and centre Dewi Lane scored neatly near enough the posts for Monmouth’s first try converted by fly half Adam Roberts.

Ample time was left at this stage and with a substituted increase in the weight and size of the home pack coinciding with changes of Blaenavon’s own, the Monmouth forwards achieved greater parity in set and loose play as they pursued at least a narrowing of the scores and a hoped for losing bonus point.

But they were still susceptible to the pacey Blaenavon backs succumbing once again through a double missed tackle.

Not to be outdone Monmouth kept plugging away and it was good to see back row man Dave Morgan supporting in the right hand corner to score Monmouth’s second try following some neat handling in the attack that led up to it. The kick was a bit too far out to convert but Monmouth at least battled away to the end.

And this they will need to do aplenty for their away game next week at Caldicot as the memories of some of the more expansive wins of early season fade and the challenges become more head on and tougher, not least for the selectors as various individuals stand up to be counted, too.

Tries: D.Lane, D.Morgan
Conv: A.Roberts

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