Druids v Crickhowell (Away) 15 Dec 2012

11-21 Loss

Early cup exit for Druids

Crickhowell Rfc were the opponents for Monmouth Druids in the first round of the Ivor Jones Cup competition. Having won the event last season, the Druids were hopeful of defending the old trophy.

In damp, cloudy and slowly deteriorating weather, the spectators bravely withstood the adverse conditions. A large group of visiting Druids travelled the short journey and were optimistic of a victory.

The Druids took the lead in the first 10 minutes through a 25 metre penalty goal by Centre Dave Brace. This was short lived as Crickhowell squared the scores by kicking a penalty goal. This was justly deserved as Crickhowell built up a steady pressure on the Druids. So much so that they were camped in the visitors 22 metre area .Only fine last ditch tackling by the Druids kept their line in tact.

Inevitably, the home side took the lead from a scrum 10metres from the Druids try line. The visitors scrum was shunted back and Crickhowell gathered and drove over the Druids line for an unconverted try and a 8-3 lead.

In fact, in the first half particularly, the Druids scrum was second best and allowed Crickhowell to have a large territorial advantage. They forced the visitors into conceding two penalty kicks which they kicked and increase their lead to 14-3.

One rare Druids venture into the home half almost lead to a try. A long kick out of defence was followed up by the Druids back row. Quick passing to left wing Sam Skipp saw a half chance be created but cover tackling held him out.
Dave Brace read the riot act at the interval demanding increased effort from the Druids. This showed itself when they forced Crickhowell into conceding a penalty which Dave Brace converted to reduce the Druids arrears to 14-6.

The scrum which was a weakness for the Druids in the first half, was now much evenly fought and Crickhowell were less dominant. Crickhowell set up a rolling maul some 25 metres from the visitors line. It trundled on and the referee awarded a try to the home side. This converted try put Crickhowell into a 21-6 lead. A Druids player voiced his displeasure at the referee and was red carded.

Far from being downhearted, the Druids mounted a series of attacks and threatened the Crickhowell try line with sustained attacks. A number of substitutions were made as the sticky playing surface took its toll on weary legs. The Druids deserved a try and it came from one of the substitutes Mat King. A series of sharp passes saw King evade two or three tacklers to dash over the line for an unconverted try.

So a 21-11 defeat for the Druids and they will give the referee the credit to him for this reverse. They witnessed a display of incompetence which is hard to equal. Physical fitness is demanded of referees as well as players. Decision after decision went against the Druids which could not be adequately countered. Merry Christmas and a happy New Year.

Tries: M.King
Pen: D.Brace (2)

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