1XV v Hereford (away) 22 Aug 2015

Monmouth Rugby Has Much To Do

After being soundly beaten by Newent RUFC on the 15th August, taking on Hereford away last Saturday was to prove equally dispiriting.
Although the innate skills of many individuals was apparent, the lack of cohesive play by Monmouth at times, confronted by excellent Hereford counter-attacking play, compounded with endless penalties which regularly lost them ground for what often seemed rather petty and at times, slanted issues, saw them suffer another sound beating with a try count of 12 tries to one.

The final score of 78-7 almost says it all but not all was bad. A substantial number of younger players with a fair sprinkling of ‘old heads’ kept at it despite the regular scores against them with some quite courageous and robust tackling but their support play and ball retention was poor. The eagerness displayed by the home team showed they were all clearly playing for their places in their cup match against Whitchurch (Salop) next week. Monmouth’s first formal game is not until Oakdale visit them on 5 September which gives them time to work on necessary improvements.

The scrummaging was fairly equal but Hereford seemed able to turn over possession almost at will and the speedy way they spread the ball to their wings by way of counter-attack ensured the game was punctuated by their weaving tries.

From each re-start Monmouth worked hard to move the ball upfield but either regular loss of possession saw the ball run back at them or they were on the receiving end of the referee’s whistle followed by a booming kick to the corner from which they were able to force their way over the line on two occasions at least.

In a game of four quarters, apart from initial parity, it was a full 40 minutes and 38 points against before Monmouth’s best phase of play.

Passes found their target and when Monmouth kicked for position they were up in sufficient numbers to catch a defender in possession and from the ensuing ruck, No.8 Nick Phillips used his strength to get Monmouth on the score-board supplemented by an excellent conversion from far out.

Hereford rallied in response capitalising on errors by scoring three times in that session, at the end of which Monmouth responded with a good break through the centre by ‘Tutter’ Evans taken on by the supporting prop Tom Green but all this achieved as Hereford killed the ball illegally was a yellow card and the whistle for the break. A near thing which could have well given Monmouth the lift they needed for the final session but although there was further heroic defence by individuals another three tries were to follow with everyone looking forward to some refreshment after this stretching run-out on what was a very sunny afternoon.

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