U12 v Hereford (Away) 24 Nov 2013

14-28 Loss

A mixed bag of an “U12s” team, supplemented with a smattering of U11s and U13s players, made their way to Hereford for the first time since the distant days of tag rugby. Monmouth’s “Dirty Dozen” with no subs would have their work cut-out against a large Hereford squad, who were able to make numerous rolling changes, thus keeping legs fresh and energy levels up.

The match, split over four quarters, began with Monmouth on the front foot, despite the unfamiliarity within their ranks. Monmouth totally bossed the quarter, but ending the period only one try to the good, scored by Henry Watkins from close range and converted by Ben Pilot. They went close a couple of other times, but with one try chalked-off for a minor hand-off and another not given for grounding the ball an inch short of the line, they could not move the score-board along any further.

The second quarter saw the hosts roll out the big guns who seemed to add some urgency to proceedings. A sustained period of pressure, kept out by some magnificent defence from Monmouth, eventually saw the visitors’ try-line breached – rather like a number 68 bus, once one came, another one followed quickly, to see the teams turn round at half-time 14 – 7 in Hereford’s favour.

The second half saw the game continue to be a tight tussle, albeit the hosts found space out wide to extend their lead. Come the last quarter, Monmouth began to flag somewhat through injuries and fatigue, but they managed to reduce the arrears with a close-quarters pick-up and drive from Flynn Ruddiforth, again converted by Ben. With the game drawing to a close, the hosts 21 – 14 to the good, it was still anyone’s game. Virtually the last play of the game saw the ball spill-out sideways from a ruck, to be picked up an alert home player, who scuttled away untroubled to the try-line – final score 28 – 14 to the hosts.

A great battling display by a make-shift Monmouth team, not helped at all by a very fussy referee – if you thought scrum time was an issue at the top level, it was nothing compared to Sunday’s game!!

This report would not be complete without a special mention for the three U11s lads who made up the numbers – Robbie Nixon who led the forwards into battle; Ollie Scriven at centre with his aggressive running and winger Adam Davies, who made great yards going forward and tackled everything Hereford threw at him – well done boys!

Final Score: Hereford 28 – 14 Monmouth

Tries: Henry Watkins, Flynn Ruddiforth
Conv: Ben Pilot (2)

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