U11 v Usk (Away) 18 Nov 2012

40-5 Win

A beautiful frosty autumn morning, with clear blue skies, provided perfect conditions as Monmouth Bears visited local rivals Usk. As ever, the hosts were struggling for numbers, so a rota was set up for two Monmouth players at a time to take it in turns to play for Usk, meaning neither team had replacements, but at least everyone would get to play a full game.

From the start, it was clear that Monmouth were much the stronger team, constantly trying to get their back division going with ball through the hands. Many opportunities went begging however through basic handling errors, so it took some time before Monmouth opened the scoring with a fine move – from a scrum in Usk’s 22, outside-half Ben Pilot went blind and a miss-pass straight into the hands of left wing Josh Lewis, gave him a clear run into the corner. Almost immediately, Monmouth doubled the score with a fine flowing team move, resulting in Jonny Snell finishing-off very well in the right corner.

The second quarter started with the hosts halving the lead, benefiting once again from yet another penalty decision against the Bears for another “high-tackle” – a quick tap from five yards out saw them breach the Bears’ line for what would be their only score of the match. The Bears responded immediately from the re-start – the drop-out was fielded by Will Ruck who off-loaded to Josh, who proceeded to jink his way from deep in his own half through the desperate home defence, to touch down out wide. Up stepped Ben to score the fourth try from close out to see half-time arrive with the game already in the bag, with Monmouth ahead 20 – 5.

The second-half saw debutant Zu MacDermot get on the score-sheet – receiving the ball out wide, he showed great strength to shrug-off tackles to touch down in the corner. Ben did another show-and-go to double his tally for the day, before Josh completed his hat-trick with a great solo effort down the left touch-line. Raphael Kefalas concluded the scoring with a surging run – his fine all-round display saw him presented with the Player of the Week Award.

Overall, an easy win, but a fairly lacklustre display, not helped with the stop-start nature of the refereeing. However, great defence, particularly with robust tackling from Henry Watkins and Ieuan Rose, saw the Bears really keep the hosts at bay and coupled with fine work at the breakdown, they were able to do enough to record another comfortable victory. Well done to Brian, Cameron, Zu, Alastair, Roderick, James, Flynn and Jonny for playing for the hosts at various stages in the game.

Final Score: Usk 5 – 40 Monmouth

Tries: Josh Lewis (3), Ben Pilot (2), Jonny Snell, Zu McDermot, Raphael Kefalas

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