Druids v Usk (home) 13 Dec 2014

8-21 Loss

Druids defeated by Usk in Cup

The first round of the Rocyn Jones Cup saw the holders, Monmouth Druids, drawn at home against near rivals Usk. The Druids would have been optimistic as Usk’s record against the home side in recent seasons has been significantly bad. The last Usk victory was in December 2008.

The Druids squad saw further changes to previous week’s group causing selection headaches in the Monmouth committee. Centre Andrew Davies led the side played on Chippenham Mead played in front of small bands of club supporters. The Usk side were strengthened by the fact that their Ist team had no fixture. The rain in the week prior to the match made the playing surface soft and slippery.

The first half saw the Druids dominate the territory and the vast majority of play in the Usk half. This tested the visitors defence but they were up to the task. The Druids backs were not as sharp as they could be and missed a few chances that a settled team would take advantage of.

Usk only gained positions in the Druids half on relatively few occasions but punished the home side by kicking two penalty goals. Kris Gordon kicked a goal to reduce the arrears.

The first try came from Usk following a breakdown of a Druids attack. Possession was gained and two quick passes saw a visitors back in at the corner.
11-3 at the interval and the Druids would have thought this was not a fair reflection of play. The referee’s decisions was to say the least disappointing for the Druids as the penalty count mounted heavily in Usk’s favour.

After the interval Usk pressed and gained promising positions in the Druids half. A missed penalty from Usk was followed by another visitors try. Good forward play and an attacking maul saw the left wing squeeze over for a well worked unconverted try.

The Druids were forced into attacking from deep and Substitute Flanker Gareth Morgan was tackled after a 30 metre driving run. From a similar counter attacking play the Druids play was disrupted and Usk gained possession and scored their final try which was not improved.

To the Druids credit they showed they were not finished and they mounted pressure on the Usk try line. From a 5 metre penalty the ball was worked to the blind side where substitute back Andrew Childs dived over for yet another unconverted try.

For the Druids, Scrum Half Gareth Morgan tried vainly and Centre Dave Croudace kicked well out of hand. Wing Kes Mobbs-Morgan ran and tackled fiercely. The real weakness was in the scrum where Usk dominated and the Druids must improve on this aspect of play.

So a 21-8 home defeat for the Druids who will be looking forward to the league fixture against Usk on Boxing Day. What sides will Usk and the Druids field?

Tries: A.Childs
Pen: K.Gordon

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