U11 v Gwernyfed (Away) 15 Dec 2013

It was typical weather for a Monmouth away match at Gwernyfed – cold, wet and windy. However, the Monmouth U11 Lions arrived with a determined 12 players on Sunday 15th December. The Gwernyfed cockerels have often proved difficult for the Monmouth U11s and despite having beaten them at their home ground previously there was still an element of nervousness in the air.

Gwernyfed had 8 players so with Monmouth lending 2 players in each half an equal game of 10-a-side began.

Credit should be given to Hamish Lawson, Oliver Williams, Matty Arnell and Kieran Williams for putting in some great play for the opposition.

Oliver Scrivens provided the team with the perfect start – his usual jinking style led him to run 2 stylish tries and despite persistent attempts by the backs a third try was finally bulldozed over the line by prop Benedict Williams. Overall the Monmouth boys appeared to play cautiously in the first half with Gwernyfed managing to score twice, showing our boys were certainly not at their strongest. Monmouth backs looked good at times with ball in hand, however wet conditions contributed to several lost balls and frustrating missed tackles. Coach Brian Nixon felt they were capable of more and after strongly conveying this to the boys at half time the Lions came out to a roaring second half. Rob Nixon typically showed strong leadership, directing the team and scoring a hat trick of tries. Phenomenal power was shown by James Williams throughout, both with his strong tackling and sheer physical presence - also earning the team a hat trick of tries. The forwards kept Gwernyfed securely hemmed in their own half and as the Lions grew in confidence the Cockerels appeared to shrink. Xavier Brevet showed tenacity, strong defence and his creative forward play provided a tenth try.

Scrum half Lewis Richards was quick to strategically pass out during rucks and provided great support to Benedict Williams who scored again after pushing through the Gwernyfed defence. Due to the pitch size and lack of posts Harry Johnson was not given the usual kicking opportunities that the team have come to rely on, however, he more than made up for this with an outstanding display of tackling and strong rucking support.

Given the difficult conditions, overall this was an amazing, well deserved win for the Monmouth U11s and left them on a high just before the Christmas break.

Final score – Monmouth 11 Gwernyfed 3

Man of the match – Rob Nixon

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