1XV v Cilfynydd (Away) 17 Nov 2012

26-8 Win

Monmouth lose heavily at Cilfynydd

On a dry sunny day seemingly made for Rugby, Monmouth paid their first visit to Cilfynydd in ten years and came away well beaten despite being on top in the pack for most of the game. Their inability to contain counter-attackers whilst being less than incisive themselves behind the forwards, meant that the home team eventually put 4 tries on the board to the visitors one.

The referee did little to help, proclaiming his interest from the outset in an enjoyable game, and yet missing the most blatant attempts to frustrate Monmouth’s strengths, only getting to grips with the play stifling tactics of entering from the side, dragging down mauls, etc., by the eventual issue of two yellow cards to Cilfynydd later in the game and one red card in the dying minutes for foul play by Monmouth, which can never be forgivable but certainly born of provocation and extreme frustration on this occasion.

Invited to kick off down the slope, the visitors were soon pressurising their opponents’ line following several chip kicks ahead in succession down the right hand side. But the home team scrambled a turnover and from behind its own line show their punishing counter-attacking abilities with one player running a sinewy course to the other end for the first converted try of the game.

Monmouth were not to be outdone and in no time at all were back on the attack. A side entry at a ruck gave centre Adam Roberts a long distance kick at goal which he achieved with yards to spare.

In just two more minutes Cilfynydd went off their feet at a ruck to frustrate play but this time Roberts only managed to hit the left upright with an easier shot.

Monmouth had a good share of possession but passing along the line regularly failed to find gaps and progress often had to be made by the boot with right wing Rob Farr next to show in attack but only to be just beaten to the touchdown.

Cilfynydd moved back up-field and following a succession of winning rucks, one key missed tackle saw them score their second try for a half-time lead of 14-3.

No cause for panic they said in the team talk even though they had to defend hard in the corner before welcoming the whistle for the break. Better finishing and greater alertness as to what was happening around them backed up by strong first up tackles should see them overhaul the deficit.

But as play was run back from the kick-off, the ball was lost in the tackle and but for a last ditch tackle Cilfynydd would have scored again. Rhys Ricketts, gratefully returned from serious injury made his first real intervention as a substitute full back with a stylish and long line clearance as Monmouth retrieved the ball at the breakdown.

It was now Monmouth’s turn to offend by handling at the ruck and from the penalty and subsequent maul from the line out, Cilfynydd crashed over for a try which they were unable to convert but a 19-3 lead nevertheless.

Injuries were mounting but Monmouth were now pressing hard , and were first frustrated by an accidental offside decision against them and then also near the line a defender picking the ball out of a scrum which at the time was being propelled fast over their line enabling him to kick to the nearby touch-line but all sadly out of the referee’s view.

Tensions were growing as a yellow card was awarded against the home team and spirits rose as Number 8 Mike Griffiths, and surely Man of the Match at that stage, picked up at the rear of a scrum driving over for an unconverted try.

He got his come-uppance in a subsequent brawl as from which he departed for attention to a blood injury and then a further Cilfynydd yellow card raised the stakes some more with 8 minutes left to play.

Cilfynydd were seeking a 4 try bonus point and Monmouth were seeking a losing bonus point if they could not achieve an actual win which was still a possibility.

But the drama had not yet ended as Griffiths, soon after his return was red carded, and yet within a minute of the final whistle Monmouth had a chance of a full length move to secure a point, but fluffed it, only to see Cilfynydd to their delight run in at the right corner for another try and a final 26-8 victory.

No matches now until 8 December away at Cwmbran but time to take stock whilst the Internationals continue.

Tries: M.Griffiths
Pen: A.Roberts

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