1XV v New Tredegar (home) 21 Jan 2017
Nine Try Bonanza For Monmouth
Having failed to crack Amman Utd. away the week before in Cup rugby, in far better playing conditions at the Sports Ground last Saturday, Monmouth again displayed their improving team-work and confidence to beat visitors, New Tredegar, by nine tries to one and gain a try scoring bonus point at the same time.
Numerous individuals stood out but pre-eminent amongst them was captain and flanker Tom Rees who seemed to be everywhere in defence or attack, assisting unselfishly in the scoring of many tries as well as landing two of his own.
Monmouth got off to the best of starts with a converted try from the first three-quarter move of the game. Rees having made good ground in mid-field, drew his man and set up Hellard to score in the left corner. The pressure was kept on but some less than clinical finishing and determined defence by New Tredegar saw them 'escape' on several occasions.
Confidence was obviously high with several examples of over elaboration in the Monmouth backs limiting their early play, but the opportunities were there and wing Smith was unlucky to be called back from scoring again on the left for a marginal pass forward. A penalty for a high tackle was some consolation as the score eased out to 10-0.
The visitors responded and for a while had the home team near to their own line but some forceful and clever inter-passing allowed them to regain position and a line-out well in their opponent's half. A forward drive set up a succession of rucks followed by a quick hands transfer along the line for Smith to get on the score-sheet. The kick this time was beyond Emanuelli.
The 15-0 gap brought a casual Monmouth reaction at the re-start bringing a touch and from that with a badly missed tackle New Tredegar joined in the scoring.
Monmouth quickly learned the importance of concentration and with a charge by Harding they regained territory. A demolished scrum soon led to a nippy run and score by scrum half Goddard and an Emanuelli conversion.
Seeing how it can be done, prop Green then improved one of his trade-mark drives by lining up a tackler and stepping around him to score from some 12m out - the equivalent in front row players' minds of, say, 40 metres?
With the half-time break almost upon them, the visitors rallied and threatened the Monmouth line but in a move which eventually fizzled out.
With a 27-5 lead it was probably not surprising that the visitors set out determined to restore matters of pride. A long kick to touch and a subsequent lively attack took them over the line but a knock on in the process prevented a score.
Monmouth had been urged to 'keep it simple' in their half-time pep talk and so they did. Captain Rees led the way with a stirring 60m break which after a well timed dummy saw him score under the posts for an easy kick at goal.
New Tredegar were now appearing a little desperate losing a player to a yellow card for his late, rather cynical tackle leaving the home supporters wondering whether the referee had ducked out of a harsher sanction. Apart from this the match official had a superb game although players, accustomed to speaking deferentially to 'Sir', struggled occasionally to remember on this day it was 'Miss'. With the visitors' line soon under pressure again Monmouth made a bit of a hash of crossing the line attempting driving over with wrong body positions but when they spread the ball left full back Parsons was on hand to score and Emanuelli to convert from way out.
The forwards were now enjoying themselves and Green was again in the van for another 7 pointer, quickly followed by Rees drawing a defender to put another colleague over. New Tredegar were now desperate, and it was no surprise when Rees, the deserved Man of the Match finished off a move in the right corner to set up supporting right wing Mobbs Morgan to take the final score to 60-5.
The Club having very recently lost two former stalwarts and friends in Jeff Scourfield and John Gwilliam, will be remembering another of their former 'Warriors', Will Copley, with a memorial Veterans game for any players over 35 years of age at 1130 on 11 February as a precursor to the Wales v England game later that day. Before then the 1st XV travel away to a difficult fixture at Caerphilly this coming Saturday.
Tries: D.Hellard, Smith, L.Goddard, T.Green (2), T.Rees (2), S.Parsons, K.Mobbs-Morgan
Conv: P.Emanuelli (6)
Published by Pete Walters, last edited Tue, 24/01/2017 - 10:28am.