Druids v Caldicot (away) 11 Oct 2014

22-24 Loss

Druids just fall short

The squad that the Druids took to Caldicot RFC was missing players who were injured, some who were shopping and two committeemen who stood in at the last minute. Their apparent lack of quality was offset by the confidence of a good start to the season plus boundless enthusiasm. But would this be sufficient to gain a victory away from home?

Players were greeted at the ground by the news that the referee had travelled from North Wales to officiate at the match. Some rugby tours extend beyond shorter distances! Was he on missionary work in South Wales?

Play was quite even from the kick off with both sides seeking opportunities but a slippery ball from a wet surface plus sound tackling keeping defences intact. The first score went to the visitors in the form of a penalty goal kicked by returning outside half Greg Wilding.

This was followed by a well constructed try from Wing Kester Mobbs-Morgan. Greg Wilding broke, fed Centre Dan Williams who in turn gave a well timed pass to Mobbs-Morgan who raced over near the posts. Greg Wilding improved the try to give the Druids a 10-0 lead.

Caldicot awoke from their apparent slumber and gained the ascendancy by not falling off tackles and hard driving play. This was rewarded by a try following encampment on the Druids line. A home forward crashed over for a converted try which had injury consequences for the Druids. Scrum Half Nathan Cocker and Dan Williams clashed heads in attempting to make a tackle and as a result Williams was forced to retire from the field of play. The Druids reorganised and Committee man Andy Howells was the sole replacement.

Caldicot drew level with a penalty goal but just before half time the Druids added to the scoreboard to renew their lead. Winning possession on the halfway line the ball was worked to Centre Callum Connors and he pinned back his ears to scorch over near the posts. Wilding converted and the referee blew the half time whistle with the Druids leading by 17-10.

The visitors were reduced to fourteen players when Cocker was forced to leave the field of play as a result of the clash of heads earlier. Could the Druids hold out for a victory with the handicap of being a player short?

Caldicot showed clear intent soon after the restart. Moving the ball wide, exploiting the man advantage, they crossed the Druids line for a converted try to bring the scores level at 17 points apiece.

The Druids hit back through their forwards and forced a scrum near the Caldicot line. Number Eight Jack Howells picked up and drove hard to within a metre of the home line. Flanker Gareth Morgan picked up and forced himself over for a well deserved try and a lead of 22-17.

Caldicot responded strongly and tried to use the extra man on the overlap. They almost had success when their left wing sped away down the touchline with the Druids line in sight. He seemed to have broken the defence but Kester Moggs-Morgan made a fine covering tackle to prevent a try being scored.

Druids then missed a 30 metre penalty goal which in hindsight was crucial.

Caldicot scored a vital try which was converted to give them a 24-22 victory but it was tinged with controversy. In the lead up to the try, the Caldicot linesman flagged for the ball going out of play, but put down his flag when the home side gained quick possession which resulted in the score.

Another incident which wrangles with the Druids involved a conversion attempt which was ruled ‘a miss’ by the referee. The ball was falling short of the crossbar but it struck a home defender and floated over the bar. The referee ruled that the conversion had failed.

Outstanding for the visitors in a hard competitive match were Kester Moggs-Morgan, Greg Wilding & Callum Connors behind the scrum, and up front Paul King and ‘committeemen’ Andy Howells and Andy Scourfield stood out.

For the team, they have scored over twenty points in each of their five matches this season. Some concern will be on the number of tries they are conceding.

Tries: K.Mobbs-Morgan, C.Connors, G.Morgan
Conv: G.Wilding (2)
Pen: G.Wilding

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