1XV v Blaina (Home) 08 May 2013

84-7 Win

Blaina is a famous side but their lowly league position shows how much they have struggled all season. To their credit they have stuck at it and they did so despite Monmouth running them ragged on Chippenham last Wednesday evening, clocking up 14 tries to one in the process.

Full back Jordan Howells bagged four with right wing Dewi Lane also getting a hat-trick, while fellow backs Roberts, Davies and Morgan contributed four more between them.

The moves were sparkling with some slick handling and pace helped somewhat by a lack of defensive team-work and sure tackling on the part of the visitors. As the game wore on with a tiring opposition, the forwards increased their scoring contribution to three, even though the general play became more solo rather than team work which was probably not surprising given the scoring bonanza.

The wind was strong and gusting which made for end to end play and a fair number of errors but the highlight for Monmouth was not the rampant try-scoring but the way several younger players made the step up with credit. In particular the front row kept Blaina under pressure and to see Tom Green running at pace out of defence was a revelation - few people knew he could run with such purpose, and Ed White at hooker, threw and struck the ball well and seemed to revel in taking on the larger of his opponents. The remaining forwards were given ample opportunity to wreak havoc in the loose.

With Rhys Ricketts going off injured early on, the goal-kicking was more of a lottery than usual with only 7 of the 14 tries being converted by an assortment of wannabe 'Halfpennies' but they added 14 points to make it an even more high scoring game.

Blaina could easily have capitulated but they did not and when a stray pass was hacked through and over the line for a converted try at the end of the third quarter one wondered if this would give them the spur they needed for a comeback of sorts but instead, Monmouth rounded off the game with a further 17 entertaining points.

Hopefully this exhibition of running rugby will have put them in the right frame of mind for the far harder prospect of New Tredegar away to close the season on a complete high but it might also have lulled them into a false sense of capability. The next and last report of the season will tell all but a bonus point win which would be hard to achieve could put them firmly into the top half of the table.

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