1XV v Chepstow (away) 24 Oct 2015

6-24 Loss

Loss Away At Chepstow

Fortunately there were two good World Cup games for Monmouth supporters to watch last weekend to take away the taste of another loss, 24-6, at the hands of neighbouring foes, Chepstow.

Initial pressure came with the home team overcooking a kick for territory which went dead followed soon by one of their enduring strengths, a maul, from which Monmouth were spared by the first penalty of the game which allowed for a clearing kick to touch but it was to take them a full five minutes to emerge from their own half.

The forceful and varied Chepstow attack was to be frustrated repeatedly by Monmouth’s defence in the early stages led by a strong set piece scrum supported throughout by a sterling performance from their back row and the diminutive scrum half who punches well above his weight.

Eventually open side flanker Korb decisively broke out into the opposing half with the ball being taken on well by three-quarter King and when Chepstow resorted to illegal tactics in slowing the ball at the tackle site it was King who was first to score with a penalty kick in the 12th minute.

Chepstow though were fired by this, making ground from a scrum mid-field and breaking the line in mid-field to take the lead 5-3 mere minutes later and then again from a driving maul in the left corner with a try which again went unconverted to take the lead to 10-3 in the 28th minute.

Adam Roberts was next to feature for Monmouth when he ran a ball back from deep, kicking through and regathering the bouncing ball to win a penalty from the panicking Chepstow defenders when eventually brought down. Another King penalty narrowed the gap to 10-6.

With half time approaching Monmouth made the most of the downward slope largely through kicks ahead into the home 22 but their line was never seriously threatened by the time the whistle blew.

During the break, coach Boycott made it clear what he wanted with the plan being to play with the same intensity they had shown towards the end of the half; to beware of the driving line by Chepstow and to gain territorial advantage from (now) up-field kicks to the corners.

Wierdely Chepstow started playing funny apparently time-wasting games delaying a drop out after a failed penalty kick by Monmouth but whether this took Monmouth’s mind off the task or not, in no time they were defending in their right hand corner initially holding up the potential scorer over the line but from the resultant scrum, the opponents’ right wing scored untouched in the corner and a magnificent kick stretched the lead to 17-6.

The game really livened up as a consequence. Monmouth surged through a succession of rucks and maul but lost ground from a penalty kick to touch for rather foolishly entering a maul from the side and then losing ten metres for failing to give up the ball.

Chepstow employed their usual maul to gain the ground needed, spread the ball wide right and despite vigorous tackling went over near the posts for an easily kicked goal.

Retalliation there was with several individual periods of sparkle but trying to run the ball out of defence proved far less effective up the slope than kicks. The game rose to a sort of crescendo with both sides giving of their best in the final 15 minutes but without further score, only to end in an anti-climax as play was held up for lengthy treatment to a Chepstow player which strangely brought the final whistle, presumably because everyone by now wanted instead to head for the nearest TV set and the first of the semi-finals.

Next week Tredegar are the visitors to the Sports Ground and the World Cup Final will be available after the final whistle in the Club-house.

Pen: M.King (2)

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