Druids v Garndiffaith (Home) 01 Mar 2014

28-10 Win

Emphatic victory for Druids

Monmouth Druids most recent league game was against Garndiffaith RFC on Chippenham Mead. Minds and thoughts would have been on next months’ fixture against the same opponents, on the same ground, in the semi final of the Rocyn Jones Cup. Would the game give any indication of the result of this cup match?

The Druids squad was missing 4 or 5 established players giving younger players an opportunity to develop their skills and show what they can offer. The visitors had forwards which were bulkier than players in the home side, suggesting a possible advantage in the tight.
Early play saw the Druids move the ball through the hands trying to run the steam out of their heavier opponents. It was Garndiffaith who got the scoreboard moving with a fine 40 metre penalty goal and put them into a 3 point lead.

This lifted Garndiffaith and they set up attacking moves in the Druids 22 metre area. Only fine Druids first up tackling kept their line intact. In fact the home side counter attacked from their try line when a Garndiffaith move was broken up by the Druids defence. Quick transfer of the ball to the wing saw Jamie Tyler race down the tramlines. Although held, good support play and slick handling saw the move cross the field into the hands of Scrum Half Gareth Morgan. Using his speed, he avoided defenders to touch down for a fine try. Jack Howells converted to edge the Druids in front 7-3.

Good scrum ball again and a run from Gareth Morgan saw Forward Ben Goldingay touch down in the opposite corner. This time Matt King kicked the conversion with a fine kick from the touchline and a 14-3 lead. The same kicker missed a penalty to prevent the Druids from increasing their lead.

This was short lived, as just before the half time the Druids scored another try. Once more, good support play and crisp Druids passing ended with Matt King diving over. King duly converted to make the half time score 21-3 in favour of the home side.

The second period began in much the same mode as the first. The Druids moved the ball through the hand and supported each other. Garndiffaith were always under pressure and only attacked through individual efforts.

The visitors scrum half, their best player, broke from a set piece and threw a long pass across the field. The Druids defence looked to have held but Garndiffaith recovered to touch down near the corner flag. The scrum half converted with a well judged kick to make the score 21-10.

The scoring was not over as the Druids pressured the visitors defence. After several phases of play, with Garndiffaith running out of defenders, Centre Tom Gibson dived over for the fourth Druids try. King again converted to make the final score 28-10.

A deserved win following last weeks’ efforts and a continuation of good play this week. Very sound first up tackling, good interplay, quick rucking and accurate place kicking was the basis of this victory. Another sound performance from Druids Forward Mike Price who is doing missionary work in the London area-he will be missed. Ben Goldingay returned after a long period of injury and he showed good form.

Yet another fine team effort which bodes well for the future, but where are all the front row forwards? Bring on the cup match!

Tries: G.Morgan, B.Goldingay, M.King, T.Gibson
Conv: J.Howells, M.King (3)

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