Druids v Risca (Home) 20 Apr 2013

22-29 Loss

Druids just fall Short

Top of the league Risca were the latest visitors to face Monmouth Druids on Chippenham Mead. The Druids faced this challenge with some expectation but they sighed when Risca requested passive scrums, apparently not for the first time this season. Is it a true game of rugby without the test of scrumaging? More teams have made this call and many believe it is a tactic which protects some teams weaknesses and therefore can be used to help secure success.

A positive aspect of Risca results this year has been the number of tries they have scored and they soon showed their skills in this part of the game. In fact within the first ten minutes, Risca touched down for two tries, one of which was converted to give a 12-0 lead.

The Druids gathered themselves and scored a fine try through Centre Greg Wilding. Ouside half Aaron Price gained possession and put in a deft kick over the heads of the advancing Risca defence. Wilding gathered the ball and crashed over the Risca try line which was converted and reduced the Druids deficit.

Druids Captain Dave Brace kicked a penalty goal to make the score 12-10 in favour of the visitors.

Risca responded with a try after moving the ball wide to one of their speedy wings and he raced in at the corner. This was not improved but Risca quickly stretched their lead through yet another try to make the half score 22-10 at half time.

We don’t know what was said at the break but the Druids made some substitutions and upped their determination. They camped in the Risca 22 metre area and their forwards through ‘pick and drive’ put the visitors under severe pressure. Then from a breakout, Risca scored a try which ultimately was a killer blow. A long relieving kick out of defence by Risca took a wicked bounce, was gathered by their left wing and he scuttled over the Druids line which was converted to make the score 29-10.

The match seemed to be have won but the home side had not given up. Centre Greg Wilding, who earlier in the match had a try made for him by Aaron Price returned the favour. Wilding broke from the 10 metre line in the Risca half and made ground deep into visitors territory shaking off tackles as he went. Although held close to the try line he passed to Price who touched down for a fine unconverted try.

The Druids were not finished as they kept Risca pinned in their half mainly through forwards superiority. A scrum ball was won by the home side and passed along the threequarter line to wing Gareth Jones. Hugging the touchline he evaded tacklers as he set off on a 30 metre run. He shook off tackles and sidestepped players to cross in the corner for a fine individual try. Dead eye Dave Brace converted to make the score 29-22.

The last 10 minutes was spent in the Risca 22 metre area and the Druids had their chances but failed to get a score which could have drawn the scores level.

A defeat for the home side but some plus points. The second half substitutions gave more balance for the Druids and Tom Hurst and Tom Gibson made good impressions. There is a weakness in their defensive alignment which has been apparent for some weeks, causing leakage of tries.

Risca played a loose game, getting the ball wide to their fast wings to telling affect. Up front the Druids were dominant and they believe that would have been extended in opposed scrums.Using more mobile players in the front row is a real advantage. Referee reports should include teams who request unopposed scrums and the frequency of these occurances.

Tries: G.Wilding, A.Price, G.Jones
Conv: D.Brace (2)
Pen: D.Brace

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