1XV v New Tredegar (home) 25 Apr 2015

8-17 Loss

Disappointing End to Season.

Despite having beaten New Tredegar away earlier in the season and dry sunny conditions fit for running rugby, the final game of the season proved a disappointment for Monmouth. A substantially changed team coupled with the usual frailties in tackling and failure to kick for territory rather than try to run out of defence, brought an 8-17 loss which was not really surprising.

Various injuries to players of significance and the sporadic availability of others is said to have brought the opportunity of donning a 1st XV shirt this season to around 60 players which at least will have blooded a wide range of youngsters but with little prospect of continuity.

Play opened with pressure from the visitors who had some strong runners in their midst but when Monmouth found their feet, prop Green drove up through the mid-field to win a penalty for Monmouth. A ruck followed the scrum choice and No8 Griffiths was unlucky to be called back for a questionable off-side when gathering a neat chip chick and on his way to score.

Monmouth had New Tredegar on the back foot at this stage and full back King was not able to take advantage in the gusting wind, hooking badly a 38 metre penalty in the tenth minute.

The visitors won a line-out after kicking off deep with the wind and scored a converted try with barely a hand laid on the scorer. Line out control in general was poor with the scrum-half having to deal with balls batted back at pace in his general direction but at least his resilience and the Monmouth back row all being ‘on song’ helped no end in clearing up difficult situations.

New Tredegar kicked regularly for position but they, and Monmouth later, misjudged the strength of the wind and the ground’s hardness resulting in dead balls and play being called way back.

A further kick at goal went awry in the wind for a defender to run the ball back to half-way but Monmouth responded with a 35 metre break by centre Smith but when stopped, the recycled ball was deliberately knocked on in desperation by a defender some 22 metres out. The dissent offered the referee for his decision brought another ten yards but not the yellow card the home crowd bayed for. White however drilled the ball low and hard through the posts to narrow the deficit to 3-7 but this was soon negated when a New Tredegar player was illegally held back at a line-out.

The visitors were having to defend hard now and at long last the referee went into his pocket and banished a visiting 2nd Row for handling the ball in a defensive ruck.
With a man down, Monmouth began finding the gaps and when flanker Rees recycled the ball at a ruck, fly-half Davies excellently wrong-footed the defence and drew a man putting wing Lane away to score in the left corner. The wind again defeated the kicker but at 8-10 the task suddenly stiffened again as Griffiths was yellow-carded for foul play.

Both sides began the second half rejuvenated, with play going from end to end but with a welter of errors until up near the home team’s line Monmouth succumbed to the pressure when the ball went out along the visitors’ back line and a player changed his angle evading the clasping hands of a defender to score near the posts. The easier conversion which resulted was achieved and stretched the score to 8-17 with more than 30 minutes left for Monmouth to recover the position.

In the end despite many near misses at goal and the line with driving mauls by Monmouth and New Tredegar in turn being thwarted by resolute defence when they were held up over the line in the act of scoring.

To Monmouth’s credit, they bombarded the visitors’ line in the final minutes but New Tredegar’s defence held firm and Monmouth were left to ponder what they will have to do next season if they are not to disappoint so often.

Tries: A.Lane
Pen: D.White

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