newsletter for 13-Oct-2014

latest results

11-Oct-141XV v RTB Ebbw ValeHomeLeague19-13 WinMatch Report
11-Oct-14Druids v CaldicotAwayLeague24-22 LossMatch Report
11-Oct-14Youth v RTB Ebbw ValeHomeLeague
12-Oct-14tigers logoU15 v Old RichiansAwayFriendly15-12 Loss

next fixtures

18/Oct/141XV v Ynysddu15:30pm kick-off. (Away)
18/Oct/14Druids v Garndiffaith15:30pm kick-off. (Home)
19/Oct/14dragons logoU7 v Abergavenny11:30am kick-off. (Away)
19/Oct/14warriors logoU8 v Abergavenny11:30am kick-off. (Away)
19/Oct/14griffins logoU9 v Abergavenny11:30am kick-off. (Away)
19/Oct/14sharks logoU10 v Abergavenny11:30am kick-off. (Away)
19/Oct/14chiefs logoU11 v Abergavenny11:30am kick-off. (Away)
19/Oct/14lions logoU12 v Abergavenny11:30am kick-off. (Away)
19/Oct/14crusaders logoU16 v Hereford11:30am kick-off. (Home)
25/Oct/14Youth v Markham15:30pm kick-off. (Home)
02/Nov/14tigers logoU15 v Spartans11:30am kick-off. (Home)

match reports

1XV v RTB Ebbw Vale (home) 11 Oct 2014

19-13 Win

Monmouth Hang On To Win

Any hopes of a free and open game in the strong Autumn sunshine were quickly dashed by a thunderstorm and rain that descended in bucketsful as the game on the Sports Ground kicked off last Saturday. Thereafter slipping and sliding was to play a big part in what turned out to be a highly competitive match between Monmouth and RTB Ebbw Vale.

With both sides having missed long range penalty kicks at goal in the opening minutes, a deep clearing kick out of defence found touch for the visitors and prefaced a prolonged period of pressure in the Monmouth half. Eagerness to keep them out caused the home backs to stray offside and go three points behind to an easy kick after 13 minutes.

Penalties were being awarded evenly by the referee for varying offences largely related to rucks and tackle areas but with several being missed by both sides with the greasy underfoot kicking conditions, Ricketts capably levelled the scores when a visiting forward offended at a ruck.

With play alternating from end to end, Monmouth worked their way up the full length of the field through boot and hand but their progress was halted 10 metres out when failing to release the ball in a tackle.

The resulting penalty relieved pressure on RTB for a while, but Monmouth’s superior scrum drove them back metres with a resultant penalty from 24 metres proving no problem for fly half Ricketts. At 33 minutes Monmouth took the lead 6-3.
RTB heads were down now and a long kick upfield deep into their defence found left wing Matt Tabb up to catch their defender from whom centre Howells ripped the ball and fed it out to the overlapping flanker Mike Griffiths who scored in the left corner.

Rather than subdue the visitors further, RTB rallied and were soon harassing the Monmouth backs near their line. Scrambled passing left Ricketts in the lurch and caught behind his own line.

The scrum gave the ball back to RTB who used it creatively with one of their backs cutting inside three defenders as their feet slipped from under them. With the added two points for the kick the half-time whistle sounded leaving Monmouth with the slimmest of 11-10 leads.

RTB resumed well up the slope and into the bright sun and were able to charge down a rather casual clearance kick. The ball rebounded to a defender who knocked-on but at scrum that followed Monmouth were relieved to be awarded a free kick when it collapsed.

Their senses now focussed, Monmouth used their forward strength to hold up a maul some thirty yards from their line only to concede a further three points and the lead again for questioning the referee. Forty-five minutes gone and 11-13 down!

But Monmouth rallied immediately and led by scrum half White they found a touch 60 metres on the right. Ruck after ruck failed to breach the RTB defence and when a scrum was taken for an offside offence RTB succumbed to the battering their front row had sustained by claiming uncontested scrums which left the referee seemingly rather perplexed but unable to disagree. Opting for a kick at goal missed the target and what some might consider a cynical tactical ploy had prospered yet again.

This brought substitutions by the home team and a move to a lighter, more mobile front row with the arrival of Stacey Edwards at prop in this, his 21st season, supplemented by the experienced Davies arriving in the centre.

Monmouth continued to batter the opposition line but RTB held out well albeit with the assistance of the match official’s relaxed take on offside together with wrong options taken off the base of the Monmouth scrum. After three wasted minutes of being held up on the line, common sense prevailed and the strength and girth of No.8 Phillips was eventually used to break through and regain a 16-13 lead.

RTB continued to hold out often illegally and when they lost a player eventually to a yellow card, Tabb’s long kick ahead was touched down just before he arrived.
Play was now fast and furious, epitomised by a hasty decision to take a quick penalty 30 metres out and under the posts. Three certain points at this stage would have calmed things down a little rather than the smallest man on the field running into the secure arms of some of the RTB team.

With what turned out to be another 15 minutes with injury time added, the home defence were having to dig deep, but RTB were under the cosh too and when a defender knocked-on a high kick, his team-mate clearing up the mistake from an offside position brought three further points for Ricketts and a greater breathing space for the hectic closing stages and an ultimate 19-13 win.

Welcome encouragement indeed as Monmouth continue to climb the table prior to a hard game away next week against Ynysddu!

Try: M.Griffiths, N.Phillips
Pen: R.Ricketts (3)

Druids v Caldicot (away) 11 Oct 2014

22-24 Loss

Druids just fall short

The squad that the Druids took to Caldicot RFC was missing players who were injured, some who were shopping and two committeemen who stood in at the last minute. Their apparent lack of quality was offset by the confidence of a good start to the season plus boundless enthusiasm. But would this be sufficient to gain a victory away from home?

Players were greeted at the ground by the news that the referee had travelled from North Wales to officiate at the match. Some rugby tours extend beyond shorter distances! Was he on missionary work in South Wales?

Play was quite even from the kick off with both sides seeking opportunities but a slippery ball from a wet surface plus sound tackling keeping defences intact. The first score went to the visitors in the form of a penalty goal kicked by returning outside half Greg Wilding.

This was followed by a well constructed try from Wing Kester Mobbs-Morgan. Greg Wilding broke, fed Centre Dan Williams who in turn gave a well timed pass to Mobbs-Morgan who raced over near the posts. Greg Wilding improved the try to give the Druids a 10-0 lead.

Caldicot awoke from their apparent slumber and gained the ascendancy by not falling off tackles and hard driving play. This was rewarded by a try following encampment on the Druids line. A home forward crashed over for a converted try which had injury consequences for the Druids. Scrum Half Nathan Cocker and Dan Williams clashed heads in attempting to make a tackle and as a result Williams was forced to retire from the field of play. The Druids reorganised and Committee man Andy Howells was the sole replacement.

Caldicot drew level with a penalty goal but just before half time the Druids added to the scoreboard to renew their lead. Winning possession on the halfway line the ball was worked to Centre Callum Connors and he pinned back his ears to scorch over near the posts. Wilding converted and the referee blew the half time whistle with the Druids leading by 17-10.

The visitors were reduced to fourteen players when Cocker was forced to leave the field of play as a result of the clash of heads earlier. Could the Druids hold out for a victory with the handicap of being a player short?

Caldicot showed clear intent soon after the restart. Moving the ball wide, exploiting the man advantage, they crossed the Druids line for a converted try to bring the scores level at 17 points apiece.

The Druids hit back through their forwards and forced a scrum near the Caldicot line. Number Eight Jack Howells picked up and drove hard to within a metre of the home line. Flanker Gareth Morgan picked up and forced himself over for a well deserved try and a lead of 22-17.

Caldicot responded strongly and tried to use the extra man on the overlap. They almost had success when their left wing sped away down the touchline with the Druids line in sight. He seemed to have broken the defence but Kester Moggs-Morgan made a fine covering tackle to prevent a try being scored.

Druids then missed a 30 metre penalty goal which in hindsight was crucial.

Caldicot scored a vital try which was converted to give them a 24-22 victory but it was tinged with controversy. In the lead up to the try, the Caldicot linesman flagged for the ball going out of play, but put down his flag when the home side gained quick possession which resulted in the score.

Another incident which wrangles with the Druids involved a conversion attempt which was ruled ‘a miss’ by the referee. The ball was falling short of the crossbar but it struck a home defender and floated over the bar. The referee ruled that the conversion had failed.

Outstanding for the visitors in a hard competitive match were Kester Moggs-Morgan, Greg Wilding & Callum Connors behind the scrum, and up front Paul King and ‘committeemen’ Andy Howells and Andy Scourfield stood out.

For the team, they have scored over twenty points in each of their five matches this season. Some concern will be on the number of tries they are conceding.

Tries: K.Mobbs-Morgan, C.Connors, G.Morgan
Conv: G.Wilding (2)
Pen: G.Wilding


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