1XV v Tredegar Ironsides (away) 23 Sep 2017

52-16 Win

Bumper win for Monmouth

Fearing the worst in case the pitch was waterlogged as had been suggested only the day before, Monmouth were delighted to play away at Tredegar Ironsides on a perfect pitch and in bright sunshine.

The persistent diagonal wind was a potential asset for at least half of the game for both sides although neither used it perhaps often enough when they had the chance. But at least it all combined to provide a fast and flowing game with a total of 10 tries scored but with 7 of these for Monmouth, the rather obvious winner from an early stage.

The visitors had undoubtedly been appropriately fired up, too much it seemed, as they would have scored but for some white line fever preventing a very early score. Not that it mattered because almost immediately they won a sequence of rucks and fly half Parsons sold a textbook dummy to open the way for a try converted by full back Tabb.

A deep kick set the Irons back as their clearing kick made little ground into the wind. A penalty awarded for not rolling away from the tackle was missed by Tabb and then a grubber kick into the into the in-goal area was just dropped on in time.

Appropriately enough flanker Grant and Tabb combined to increase the lead to 14 points in the fourteenth minute. This spurred Tredegar a little and they found their way out of their half for the first time after a whole 26 minutes but another penalty against them brought a warning for persistent infringement.

Even handed, the referee soon awarded them their first kick of the game which they missed but from a line-out near the Monmouth line they drove over from a maul for their first score. Kicking into the wind the conversion failed.

Back at the other end, 2nd Row Harding used his determination to make ground and put Grant in for his second try.

With a 5-19 lead and heaping on the pressure it perhaps came as little surprise to find the home team having to request uncontested scrums which for the front five takes half the purpose out of a game.

With half-time approaching, another score was needed and centre Nove did not disappoint. His powerful incursions throughout were probably the highlights of the day. From a chip ahead he went over untouched and Tabb added the extras for a 5-26 score line at the break.

And so it was again as the second half commenced. Nove broke up the right, handing on to fellow centre Paley who, with a lovely side-step inside, left a defender floundering for Tabb to convert yet again.

Nove featured again with a strong thrust and an ever so clever pass out of the tackle to put Paley away on the right. Grant as ever was up in support to edge the score upwards to 5-38 but despite trying to draw the conversion in despite the wind, the try remained unconverted.

Quite whether a 33 point lead introduced a degree of complacency at this stage, or the Irons dug deeper is unclear but it was the home team who were to score next after being rebuffed three times on the line and finally out stretching the defence to score on the right.

Monmouth retaliated and Nove led the way, unselfishly handing on to Williams who gratefully touched down under the posts for Tabb to convert again.

At 10-45 following multi substitute changes by Monmouth, the Irons came back into it and scored again closely followed by a yellow card being awarded against Boxall for over-exuberant play.

With less than a quarter of an hour to play and with the Irons picking up again they pushed hard for a fourth try of their own and a potential losing bonus point but a penalty kick to the corner went dead requiring a scrum back and relief for the visitors.

Monmouth continued to dig in deep and fittingly that Nove had the final say, running virtually the full length of the field to once again hand on to the supporting Pardoe under the posts. Tabb, too, rounded off a good day by advancing the final score to 16-52.

Abergavenny are next up away in the league and again the week after in the 2nd round of The Bowl. This good Monmouth performance should do their confidence no harm.

Tries: S.Parsons, Grant (3), Nove, Paley, Williams, Pardoe
Conv: M.Tabb (6)

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