1XV v Hafodyrynys (away) 08 Oct 2016

25-18 Win

Cup win sees Monmouth progress

Despite having to introduce several changes in personnel again, a good first half for Monmouth playing down the slope saw them build enough of a lead by half-time to just withstand a strong revival by hosts, Hafodyrynys last Saturday.

The home team was first to score when almost from the kick-off they gained a line-out in the Monmouth corner and easily kicked a penalty for off-side in mid-field. But Monmouth bounced straight back through the boot of Emanuelli for exactly the same offence at the other end with the same result to draw even at 3-3.

Hafodyrynys were taking no prisoners and a tackle off the ball put Monmouth into a 3-6 lead in this action packed first ten minutes.

With the crowd's ire growing due to misunderstanding the seeming endless advantage the referee allowed, the Hafodyrynys scrum-half attracted loud applause for taking the lead with a short dart to score under the posts with the conversion almost a formality.

The see-saw action continued with Ellard scything through the centre to comfortably round the defence only to be late tackled after scoring behind the posts. The Monmouth over-reaction was perhaps understandable but given that the referee was already dealing with the situation, some of the benefit of a red card was lost with Monmouth receiving a yellow card in return for their attempted retaliation.

With a near hour of play left one hoped that this one man advantage would help see Monmouth through to the next round of the competition and so it seemed up until half-time.

Emanuelli just missed with a dropped goal and from the restart, Hafodyrynys kicked the ball straight into touch with a scrum back in mid-field. The Monmouth pack were driving well at this stage and soon the backs were launched on a lengthy move with good handling until a player hung on just too long. His taking contact led instead to a knock on.

The home team kicked deep when they could and from such a kick Ellard again used his pace to run the ball back and rocket through for yet another try under the posts taking the lead to 10-20.

Further attacks were rebuffed until just before half-time when wing Mobbs Morgan was up to gather the bounce following a long and clever kick towards the left corner. HIs try was near the touch line but despite the missed conversion the 10-25 leave looked insurance enough.

But Hafodyrynys were not to be outdone and it was soon clear a tough shift was needed to keep them out. Drive after drive were thwarted by sound tackling but the depleted home pack was determined.

Their kicking a penalty from a mere 19m gave them further encouragement, as did a stoppage for injury and a suggestion of gouging which went unproven and in their favour.

The pressure was considerable and Monmouth had occasions to thank their lucky stars as a good move by their opponents was passed directly to touch, another was adjudged forward and a dropped goal was pulled wide.

Some relief came from a long line kick by Monmouth which brought a line-out but when a local player went off his feet at a ruck, instead of kicking for goal and a good chance of three points, a quick penalty was snuffed out and play reverted to deep in the Monmouth 22.

With a strong line-out and maul, play became concentrated deep in the right corner but for a while Monmouth were saved by dogged defence and the occasional handling error by their opponents. Hafodyrynys, encouraged by a very verbal group of supporters, eventually had their reward when newly returned 2nd row Sparey was adjudged to have dragged down a driving maul receiving a yellow card with nine minutes still to play.

Predictably the penalty was kicked to the corner and soon the reduced Monmouth pack conceded to see the score narrow perilously to 18-25.

In a very tense last few minutes, the home team battered away at the Monmouth line but to the extreme relief of all the visitors the final whistle blew with Monmouth the ones progressing to the next stage of The Bowl competition and just a week to readjust their sights to the visit this Saturday (15th) to the Sports Ground of high flying Chepstow.

Tries: D.Hellard (2), K.Mobbs-Morgan
Conv: P.Emanuelli (2)
Pen: P.Emanuelli (2)

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