1XV v Ynysddu (home) 07 Mar 2015

23-20 Win

Hard Won Victory For Monmouth

The visit of Ynysddu, highflyers in Swalec League 3, was always going to be a stern test, and so it proved for the first half as the visitors used booming kicks with the strong wind they had behind them to force Monmouth back time and time again.
Ynysddu nearly went over in the fifth minute but Monmouth held them out but the intense pressure was relieved when the visitors’ excessive testosterone on display saw them very lucky to get away with just a penalty in return for punching an opponent under the very nose of the referee.

A mere seven minutes later brought a blood substitution by Monmouth and a lecture for both captains from the referee but their opponents’ aggression only made the local forwards more determined not to be bullied and were soon first on the board with a penalty for dragging down a maul near their line which wing Tabb confidently kicked.

Ynysddu remained under the cosh and when a tackler failed to roll away Tabb put them 6-0 ahead despite an unpredictable wind against him.

Many off the ball indiscretions were going unnoticed by the referee but Monmouth remained disciplined yet certainly not intimidated. Fly half White made ground from a quickly taken penalty to find prop Green up in support but sadly his pace was such that he overran the pass when he almost certainly would have been able to crash over between the posts. A penalty for off-side was the outcome instead though and inside 23 minutes the score had crept ahead to 9-0 again courtesy of Tabb.

The visitors rallied and despite fast hands as Monmouth tried to run a ball back saw them being forced back 10 metres despite being in possession and then speculative high kick brought a missed tackle from Monmouth and 40 metres later a 7 point score in the left hand corner.

Back up to the other end and Tabb gained another successful kick again for off-side but the remaining ten minutes of the half were fairly nail-biting as the Monmouth backs displayed their frailties in tackling but they escaped any further score partly due to the wrecking nature of the home team back row in which Rees, as captain, and Griffiths particularly excelled.

From the off after the interval Ynysddu showed their determination to redress the situation. One of their bigger forwards made a good break which gained much ground and although the tackle on him was fine he cleverly popped up the ball to a team-mate who scored with ease under the posts as three Monmouth defenders appeared to stand off him and thus concede the lead, now 12-14.

The war of attrition continued and with Griffiths in the vanguard he appeared to score having taken defenders over the line with him but whilst trying to recover the arm tight around his neck was attacked by his opposing No. 8 with the result that both players were put ‘in the bin’ to cool off.

Despite the yellow cards it was Monmouth who were awarded the penalty which Tabb missed on this occasion much to his annoyance.

Ynysddu soon earned themselves another yellow card which gave Tabb another three points and the lead again but when more fighting broke out as Ynysddu appeared to hold on to the ball on the ground, they benefited with a kick of their own which regained the lead 15-17 and a fourth lecture for the captains. The game had got out of hand and an early yellow card for the rather obvious punch could very well have seen a far more even tempered game.

All was not done though as the visitors crept further ahead 15-20 as Monmouth strayed off-side with Monmouth almost immediately responding with three points of their own given that there was 6 minutes of ordinary time to play as well as added to boot.

Both sides were now giving their all with a penalty missed by both sides in the closing minutes but as the final whistle approached several successive rucks right on the Ynysddu line brought a further try for Griffiths and despite a failed conversion, a 23-20 win which at least sent the home supporters happy.

Next week’s International against Ireland means there is no game next Saturday and Oakdale will be the next opponents away on 28 March.

Tries: M.Griffiths
Pen: M.Tabb (6)

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