Druids v Usk (away) 26 Dec 2014

13-7 Win

Druids gain Revenge

The Boxing Day friendly match for Monmouth Druids away against Usk gave an opportunity to avenge a home defeat just two weeks ago. The Usk team contained less than a handful of players who took the field in that defeat. Included in the Usk team was ex Welsh Prop Keri Jones ensuring a busy afternoon for Druids tight head Leigh Watkins.

The holiday weather was cold, wet and breezy which made the playing surface soft and the ball ‘like a bar of soap’-ideal local derby conditions.

From the start, Usk were the more assertive and most of the play was in the visitors half. The Druids held firm with crisp tackling and a good defensive display. The visitors counter attacked and were awarded a penalty which the Druids chose to kick for position rather than for the posts. A maul developed from the line out and they kept possession skilfully before Outside Half Jack Vaughan dived over to give the visitors the lead. Full Back Kris Gordon converted to stretch the lead to 7-0.

Usk were stung into retaliation and looked threatening in the Druids 22 metre area. From broken play, Usk prop Keri Jones powered under the posts for a converted try to bring the scores level.

Just before the interval, Usk were forced into conceding a penalty and Kris Gordon kicked a thirty metre goal and restored the Druids lead to 10-7.

The second half saw the Druids have the better of the play with their scrum starting to dominate the home side. A scrum deep in Druids territory saw Druids Scrum Half Dave Croudace break from the set piece and set off on a mazy run deep into the Usk 22 metre area. A try seemed probable but a dropped pass saw Usk relieve the situation.

This was only temporary relief for Usk and they used a number of substitutes trying to snatch the victoryThe home Number Eight tried a little too hard and was sent off by the referee for punching a Druids forward. The Druids rose to the occasion and Kris Gordon kicked another penalty to give the Druids a 13-7 victory.

A welcome victory for the Druids over ‘the old enemy’ following the recent defeat. Dave Croudace, in the unusual position of scrum half played very well as did Prop ‘super veteran’ Paul King and young hooker Christopher. A much improved display from the pack which fronted up when they were under pressure. Lively in the loose and tight was Second Row Dan Anstey. Wing Sam Skipp had a few runs and if he played more often would score regularly.

Tries: J.Vaughan
Conv: C.Gordon
Pen: C.Gordon (2)

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