1XV v Caldicot (Away) 20 Oct 2012

0-26 Loss

A Game of Two Distinct Halves

Slow to take the field due to confusion as to whether they were to wait for the referee to call them out, Monmouth compounded the problem by suffering a charged down kick in the in-goal area in the very first minutes which bobbled about amongst stretched arms to fall to a Caldicot player and an opening try for them under the posts,

But that was only the start of the setback.

A good attempted penalty by visiting wing Matt Tabb from far out just went under the bar but then the hosts who were fielding a younger and determined side largely outpaced and outplayed Monmouth, scoring four tries without reply for a winning bonus point and this before the half-time whistle sounded!

It did not help that Monmouth lost one of its nippiest backs for ten minutes due to some temperamental indiscipline but all in all Caldicot were quicker to the breakdown; more vigorous when counter rucking leading to many a turnover and using good spoiling tactics to limit Monmouth in the mauls.

The scrum and line-out brought Monmouth some parity but despite this and the hard work of the new half back pairing, play was largely defensive or Monmouth were seen to kick possession away giving their opponents ample opportunities to counter-attack.

The early try had set the tone and after the second which resulted from a less than convincing high tackle attempt with the subsequent conversion going 'in off' the upright, heads appeared to go down and it was therefore no surprise when two more tries followed as a result of first slack tackling and then lethargic covering.

Much depended on a change of attitude at half-time and the players were left in no doubt as to what was required of them if only for reasons of pride.

And improve they did with far greater urgency being shown and with numerous individuals now standing up to be counted.

Tackling was stronger and moves began to be put together from deep but never quite well enough to complete the full distance to the line.

When tiring legs were replaced Monmouth's fire was even more noticeable but Caldicot playing in front of an impressive home crowd were never going to let go and it was to their credit that they kept a resurgent Monmouth out.

But taken half on half, Monmouth more than held their own from half-time on to ensure they kept a plain sheet and a wiser decision at a penalty when Caldicot were in turn reduced in number by a yellow card might have instead resulted in the score they sought.

Scrum half Cratchley made several noticeable incursions, as did full back JJ Thomas coming from deep but on the day there was too much of a deficit to recover Roll on the return game at Monmouth when hopefully heads will be more turned on.

Next week brings a trip away to Abersychan in the second round of the Swalec Bowl when a win will do more than help re-build their recent lapse in confidence although a more lively and determined start will be vital if they are to succeed.

www.monmouthrfc.com Telephone: +44 (0)1600 712309 Email: info@monmouthrfc.com copyright Monmouth RFC 2017