Druids v Gwernyfed (away) 06 Sep 2014

27-17 Win

The first fixture in the new rugby season saw Monmouth Druids travel to Talgarth to play Gwernyfed RFC. Their squad was a mixture of established players, ex-youth players and newcomers but missing some who would normally be selected in the team.

So all players had abilities but as a team were untried as a unit. The kick off saw the Druids immediately put the home side on the back foot especially in the scrums where they pushed Gwernyfed back. In open play, the alertness of the visitors created some problems for the home side.

A penalty was awarded to the Druids in Gwernyfed territory and scrum half Dan White took a quick tap and off he sped. His pace and quickness of thought caught the home defence cold and he raced over the Gwernyfed try line for an unconverted try.

Within five minutes the Druids scored a second try following good support play and inter passing. Winger Tom Cratchley ran evasively with pace and crossed the line near the corner flag for another Druids try which was converted by Outside Half Adam Roberts.

The Druids missed a penalty to increase their lead but good kicking out of hand by Adam Roberts kept the pressure on Gwernyfed. From another attack, the visitors added to score line. Passing in the home side backs was halted by a tackle from left wing Chris Gordon. He gathered the ball and raced away from the home defenders to touch down. Adam Roberts duly converted move the score to 19-0 in the Druids favour.

Just before the half time whistle Gwernyfed set up a move on the right hand side in the Druids 22 metre area. They created an overlap and their right wing dived over to reduce the arrears for Gwernyfed to 19-5.

Gwernyfed started the second half with more determination and forced a scrummage within 5 metres of the Druids try line. The home side Number Eight picked up the ball from the scrum and forced his way over the Druids line for an unconverted try to reduce the deficit to 19-10.

This score further encouraged Gwernyfed and they enjoyed a period in the game where they were dominant. Perhaps the Druids’ took their foot off the pedal’ but the visitors found themselves having to defend with vigour. The home side Hooker found himself in space and he stretched his legs to beat the Druids defence and cross near the posts. The try was converted to make the score 19-17 in the Druids favour.

A Gwernyfed player was Yellow Carded for handling in a ruck and this did nothing to help their cause. The Druids upped their efforts and scored a crucial try following a handling move by the three-quarters. Centre Dan Williams ran strongly to burst away and touch down for an unconverted try. In the final minute Adam Roberts kicked a penalty goal for a 27-17 Druids victory.

A highly satisfactory start for the new campaign but hard fought and at times only stern tackling held the line. Four tries earned a valuable bonus point for the league table. Flanker Gareth Morgan with his tackling, Scrum Half Dan White’s running, the kicking of Adam Roberts stood out for the Druids. The scrumage was sound but the line out play needs to improve but its very early days yet in the season.

Tries: D.White, T.Cratchley, C.Gordon, D.Williams
Conv: A.Roberts (2)
Pen: A.Roberts

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