U12 v Abergavenny (Home) 03 Nov 2013

12-17 Loss

For the first time this season, Monmouth U12s played a match against same age-group opponents, welcoming local rivals Abergavenny to Chippie Fields on a chilly and blustery but bright autumn morning. The visitors have been buoyed recently by an increase in player numbers, whilst the hosts continue to struggle to field a full team, today having to borrow a couple of players from their opponents for the game to go ahead.

As the game started, it was clear that the visitors were more than a match against their traditionally stronger opponents, playing confidently whilst the hosts took some time to find their match legs. Both teams seemed to take it in turns at gaining the advantage, but with few clear breaks being achieved, neither try-line was initially under threat of being breached in the first quarter of the match. It was however against the general run of play that the visitors took the lead, taking advantage of a few missed tackles to finally get the scoreboard moving – the conversion was missed.

Back came the hosts, finally enjoying a period of more possession and territory as the game headed towards half-time. Such was the pressure, Abergavenny gave away a penalty close to their own try-line – a quick tap-and-go by Monmouth’s outside half Ben Pilot saw him throw a dummy, only to bundle his way through would-be tacklers to touch down – he converted his own try. Half-time arrived with the hosts 7 – 5 ahead with all to play for.

The second-half saw Monmouth again enjoying the greater territory and possession and after a sustained period of pressure, “guest” player Louis Proctor touched down despite the best efforts of Abergavenny to hold him up – the difficult conversion fell just short. They continued to press, with Brian Rowlands, Callum Lanfear and Josh Lewis all going close.

The visitors however responded well – benefiting from constant rolling substitutes, they seemed to gain extra wind in their sails, whilst the home team players had no such respite, with fatigue and lack of match practice beginning to take their toll. Abergavenny drew level with a try from their flying winger, exploiting space out wide on the left, to touch down under the posts, thus setting up an easy conversion for the scores to be tied at 12 – 12. It wasn’t long before they repeated the exercise, this time on the right, benefiting from Monmouth bunching-up and failing to hold their defensive line out wide – the easy conversion failed however – final score 17 – 12 in favour of the visitors.

Overall, it was a great effort by the boys, with some still very new to competitive rugby. Local bragging rights for the first time ever in this age-group were won by the visitors – we look forward to the return match later in the season, hopefully with a fuller complement of our own players.

Tries: Ben Pilot, Louis Proctor
Conv: Ben Pilot

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