Druids v Usk (home) 26 Dec 2015

15-12 Win

Boxing Day Thriller

‘Mud, mud glorious mud, nothing quite like it for cooling the blood’. This was the scene left by Monmouth Druids and Usk on Chippenham mead after the Boxing Day rugby match. The larger than normal crowd was treated to an exciting match in the traditional holiday fixture.

Playing into a brisk breeze the Druids started with disregard to the sticky conditions retaining possession and putting in forceful runs. It was from one of these moves that drew the first score. A Druids pass went astray and Usk gathered and moved the ball wide for their left wing to race in for a fine opportunist try. So a 5-0 deficit for the Druids with barely five minutes elapsing.

The Druids responded with a move which put their wing in space near the touch line. His lack of pace possibly hindered by the soft playing surface caused the Usk defence to tackle him into touch. The Druids had the better of the territorial battle but the last pass failed to produce a score.

They did eventually score a try starting from a scrum in their 20 metre area. Outside half Matt King punted the ball high in the air in the Usk half. Although gathered by an Usk player he was tackled in possession and the ball went loose. Druids centre Chris Read following up the kick, gathered cleanly and sped 40 metres to touch down between the posts. King converted to edge the home side ahead 7-5. A missed penalty by the Druids brought the half time whistle.

Although now playing with the wind at their backs the Druids could not use this advantage to good effect. The Usk pack upped the pace and the Druids pack had their work cut out to remain competitive. The use of substitutes by the Druids affected the cohesiveness of the side. The home side went further ahead following a line out in the Usk 22 metre area. A good catch and careful transference of the ball saw Hooker Joe Christopher crash over for an unconverted try.

This was a period of pressure by the home side and Usk were penalised only 15-20 metres in front of their posts. Although it was tempting to ‘run it’, the option to kick the penalty was taken .Up stepped Matt King and he put the Druids 15-5 up, crucially two scores ahead.

Usk put in a grand stand finish which caused the home side to have to defend their try line desperately.With the final whistling beckoning the visitors scored a converted try to make the scores 15-12 in favour of the Druids. For the home side, backs Chris Read, Matt King and Kes Mobbs-Mogan stood out whilst forwards Dan Ansty, Gareth Morgan, Pete Saran and Tom Hurst put in a good shift.

A hard 80 minutes for both sides but played in the best of spirits. Muddy marvellous!

Tries: C.Reed, J.Christopher
Conv: M.King
Pen: M.King

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