1XV v Ynysddu (away) 18 Oct 2014

10-14 Loss

Close and Hard Fought

The away trip to second in the league Ynysddu turned out to be as hard fought as expected but also even overall with the deciding factor sadly turning out to be an unsighted but wrong refereeing decision that left some local supporters who did see what actually happened saying how lucky they had been.

Monmouth set off like a rocket stretching the home defence both left and right, limited initially only by their fierce three-quarter spin-passing and numerous knocks on including two over the line in the early stages. The home defence deserves credit though, too, as they ensured 31 minutes elapsed before the score was opened against them.

In fact they were contained in their own half for 21 minutes by a Monmouth side who were putting on their best attacking performance of the season to date, before Ynysddu achieved a touch outside their own half.

Solid though their defence had been it was the Monmouth hooker who displayed a novel way of responding to a further high kick up-field by losing the high ball in the air and inadvertently heading it some distance without trying.

Monmouth were holding their own and still proving troublesome with scrum half White metaphorically punching far above his diminutive stature. From a burst of his on the left he kicked ahead and as the line beckoned he was taken out off the ball with a penalty and yellow card the outcome.

And it was he again who was to zip over from an inside pass from his captain Phillips who had taken the ball on from the base of a scrum. Wing Tabb added the extra points with the half-time break beckoning.

A further push back up-field from the re-start resulted in a scrum and when the home side was adjudged to have shoved early, Tabb was again on hand to take the score to 0-10 from 40 metres on the right.

But Ynysddu are nothing if not determined and when Monmouth lost a ball against the head having defended fiercely they were lucky to escape unpunished when Ynysddu missed a penalty awarded for offside.

The worm was to quickly turn as the second half started when Phillips was penalised as the home crowd went wild for what appeared a possible spear tackle but was a more combination of a player running at speed into a low tackle by the resolute No. 8.

Penalties began to fly thick and fast in almost a random manner particularly for scrum offences and after one such decision and some aggro between the front rows, the Ynysddu scrum half took a kick quickly and darted over untouched with the conversion easily added.

The Monmouth coach had asked for more kicks behind the home defence and play alternated from end to end as each side strove for position. Phillips was next to suffer for something inexplicable being sent from the field for ten minutes nevertheless and within minutes following another Ynysddu attack and a ruck 8 metres from the line, a try was awarded by the referee who guessed it had been scored when anyone the goal-line side of the ruck could see that it was well and truly held up. The conversion gave Ynysddu what was to prove a 14-10 match winning result a mere 15 minutes into the half.

Ynysddu defended clinically and fiercely but Monmouth did have their long range chances. Tabb twice was within a few feet of completing penalty conversions from 45/50 metres and from the second of these was thwarted by the smallest of wind gusts which caused the ball to drop just under the bar.

Upon resumption Ynysddu charged through and over a ruck and took out a non-ball carrier. The match official after a good first half, seemed to ignore the initial illegality and sent both players off for 10 minutes for their scuffling.
The Monmouth pack were once again dominating in the set piece but it was Ynysddu who were able to respond with superior lines-out. Evenly matched indeed but in differing respects.

Deep kicks and counter-attacks were now the pattern and it took a fine tackle by full back King to prevent another home score.

Throwing caution to the wind Monmouth were now giving their all. Centre Howells continued to run elusively but with players strung outside him, he backed himself by chipping ahead only for what proved to be the last real chance of a score to be snatched away.

Whether Monmouth would have won if the ‘held up’ try had not been awarded is questionable if only because Ynysddu both defended with vigour and retaliated well in adversity. A losing bonus point will have to suffice on this occasion for Monmouth but this performance suggests that the return game should be ‘a corker’.
So, too, should be the visit of Girling in Saturday’s SWALEC Bowl game at home.

Tries: D.White
Conv: A.Tabb
Pen: A.Tabb

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