1XV v Lantwit Major (home) 10 Dec 2016

12-10 Win

Cup Progress for Monmouth

Murky though the weather was, with increasingly poor visibility due to rain and the steam generated from soaking jerseys, the large crowd at last Saturday's cup match were kept entertained right until the final whistle as Monmouth held on tenaciously to a 12-10 lead to progress to the next stage in the National Bowl competition.

The first couple of scrums of the game set a marker with first solid and the second seeing Monmouth driving the Llantwit Major visitors back off their ball - superiority that only waited a little with necessary substitutions, but more particularly the lack of traction as the surface became more greasy.

The first quarter flew by as both sides tested each other with kicks deep into each other's territory and both back rows foraging well at the repeated breakdowns with only a penalty goal by the visitors to separate the very equally matched teams. Prominent though was flanker Rees, who led from the front as captain whenever it was needed but ably supported by all of the pack who were unafraid to carry and support the darts of scrum half, White.

Suddenly, a setback as the visitors, playing up the slope, spread the ball really wide and despite a good cover tackle by Nuove a supporting player went over unchecked on his inside for the first converted try of an apparently tight game.

Chances went abegging for Monmouth with a seemingly repetitive plan to kick ball away into their opponents 22, and a chance to narrow the gap with a slightly distant penalty before the half hour also went awry.

Both sides were giving as good as they got although with Llantwit doing so by keeping the ball in hand as opposed to Monmouth relying more on the boot. Such pressure, from time to time worked and saw them camped on the visitors' line following a sin-binning of a visiting forward for an offence at a defensive ruck but their defence held strong.

And it was the home team which was lucky not to go further behind when a loose ball was hacked through in their half, and again as a defender lost control whilst trying to drop on it. The further kick on, however, fortuitously went dead and both sides could take a breather albeit in the rain. Monmouth began the second half the more determined, but despite much pressure and moving of the ball wide from one side to the other, the Llantwit defence held good as they seemed to be set on defending their ten point lead rather than seeking more.

The local determination together with a line-out that was now functioning well proved fruitful though as penalties were more confidently used to work the touch-line. Entering the final quarter, one such set piece deep into the changing room corner brought a succession of rucks successfully recycled to provide prop Green with an opportunity to drive through several attempted tackles to narrow the gap to 5-10.

'Game on', as they say and so the final fifteen minutes were to prove. The visitors defences cracked as their line was again pounded in the left corner, but seemingly rebuffed, diminutive Dan White virtually danced his way between a group of pending tacklers to score and this time fly half Emanuelli was on the money to take the lead to 12-10.

The closing minutes saw a missed penalty kick by both sides which kept the crowd transfixed but as soon as time was up for certain it was gladly kicked to touch for a deserved hot shower following a fair outcome to a game played in poor conditions but good spirit. Oakdale are the visitors to the Sports Ground on Saturday (17th) which will be yet another tough game.

Tries: T.Green, D.White
Conv: P.Emanuelli

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