Druids v Abergavenny (Home) 19 Oct 2013

19-0 Win

Druids back to winning ways

Abergavenny RFC travelled with only field fourteen players when they faced Monmouth Druids in a league fixture on Chippenham Mead. Despite being a man short, Abergavenny sportingly fulfilled the fixture.
The Druids squad was not quite up to full strength but strong enough to give hope of a victory.

The first twenty minutes saw the Druids threatening but unable to get a score. In the tight play they were in command but in the loose Abergavenny were equal to the home side.

A try was almost inevitable for the home side and Left Wing Dan Williams took the opportunity to score his maiden try for the Druids. A ruck was won in the visitors half by the Druids and the ball passed on the blind side to Williams some 25 metres from the try line. The winger put his ears back and raced down the touch line and crossed in the corner. Greg Wilding converted with a fine kick to give the Druids a 7-0 lead.

Just before half time the weather conditions changed and had a significant effect on the game. Torrential rain fell making the playing surface very wet with standing water in some areas. This made running and handling tricky with numerous errors from both sides. In fact the referee advised both sides that he was conscious of the difficult playing conditions and he was monitoring the situation. However the rain stopped but the very wet playing surface remained.
The Druids declined a penalty shot in favour of kicking to the corner despite strong advice from their supporters.Their noses were in front but Abergavenny were in arrears by one converted try only and the visitors could have drawn level with a score.

The scrum dominance from the Druids became more prominent and despite the refereeā€™s frequent whistle they drove the Abergavenny pack backwards. This advantage was fully exploited by the Druids when they scored two identical tries from scrummages.

Number Eight and Captain Nick Phillips picked up and drove hard over the Abergavenny line to score both tries. Greg Wilding converted one of these tries to make the final score 19-0.

So a derby win is always welcome but Abergavenny, a man short, deserve praise for holding the Druids for a long period. The forwards had a real arm wrestle as both sides fought to get over the gain line. There were frequent occasions when the ball was lost in contact which made the game a little scrappy.

The Druids still could use the kick to gain field position and their choice of moving the ball through the hand albeit, in wet conditions, is fraught with risk. Dean Bartlett threw in well at the line out, Mike Price, Will James and Jack Howells were prominent in a hard working pack.

Tries: D.Williams, N.Phillips (2)
Conv: G.Wilding

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