1XV v Caerphilly (home) 28 Jan 2017
Sound 13 try beating for Monmouth
After the high of last week when beating New Tredegar 60-5, the tide was truly turned when visiting Caerphilly last Saturday.
It was always going to be a tough call as Caerphilly are having a strong resurgence this season, but to come away defeated 81-7 (or 13 tries to 1) despite significant forced changes to the team gives cause for alarm.
The opening try, run back from a deep kick, with full back Candy evading 6 tackles to score under the posts, may have been due to the Monmouth boys still mentally being on the coach.
Prop Green, attempting to prove otherwise, broke the line before long in return but when the ball was stripped from him in the tackle, a skill the hosts repeatedly displayed throughout the game, the same procession through half-hearted tackling put them 14 points in arrears in a mere 7 minutes. Crucial now that heads were not allowed to drop but this was not helped by the kick-off going direct into touch and the Monmouth line only being spared by a forward pass. The eagerness of the home team from 1 to 15 was immense, supplemented by sound hands, vision and considerable pace on their wings boded ill.
A further attack including a grubber to the corner brought a cross-kick to the opposing wing and although Monmouth were there under it, a spillage led to Caerphilly pouncing again.
Despite the writing now rather being on the wall, Monmouth came back a little but by the time the game had reached the break Caerphilly had advanced to 36-0 with the final score resulting from an interception amidst some laboured three-quarter passing. Only a further forward pass had prevented the score advancing more.
The pitch had been very greasy and may have led to defenders seeming easy to beat with their legs planted in position but this did not seem to have the same debilitating effect on attackers who eluded tackles at will. More confidence or determination in a team already well ahead in a game or half-hearted defence?
Continuing deep kicks-off invited the counter-attack and gave little encouragement to those few bothering to chase, with only a good last ditch tackle prevented an immediate score from the re- start and then following an outrageous dummy in mid-field came a further try. Bad omens indeed! Play eventually moved into the opposition corner with a line-out near the line and an attacking ruck but relief came to Caerphilly with a turn-over and their right wing shot away over 65 metres for yet another score to reach the half century.
Sinking hearts and tiring legs were now having to concede to further tries through midfield openings and overlaps on the wings with only brief ripostes by the visitors. Having earlier overheard a local supporter questioning what league Monmouth might be from, when the referee stopped play for some treatment to himself a Monmouth wag suggested that if the game had to be stopped we might offer a replay on a better day.
And then Monmouth's luck changed a little. Centre Nuove pounced on a loose ball to run in over some 45 metres to score near the posts. Emmanuelli added the conversion and with a near ten minutes left was this the chance to start to rebuild some pride?Sadly not, as Caerphilly pressed hard again to rub it in with one further score to make it 81-7 by the end.
Hopefully with a more settled side next week at home against Llanhilleth, normal service can be resumed but only time will tell! At least the journey will be shorter for the faithful Monmouth followers on this occasion.
Published by Pete Walters, last edited Mon, 30/01/2017 - 9:08am.