Monmouth RFC | 1st Team 0 - 38 Brecon RFC | 1st Team
Ryan James
1 Try
Dean Gunter
4 Conversion
Rhys Evans
2 Try
Jonathan James
1 Try
Owen Morgan
1 Try
Ryan Williams
1 Try

Match Report
03 November 2019 / Team News

Monmouth 0 - Brecon 38

For the fifth time this season Brecon hit the road as they headed towards Monmouth for the sixth round of league matches. Boasting a 100% record and with four bonus points in the bag Brecon were eager to rack up another victory. Having clinically disposed of opponents, Monmouth, in the one home league match they have played to date, anything less than a bonus point victory would be a disappointment. Conditions, however, were very different to the early season league match when the sun shone and the ground underfoot was firm. Rain over the previous days had left the ground soft and as the match started the persistent rain made handling more and more difficult. Brecon’s task was made even more difficult as the Monmouth team had re-grouped since the start of the season and their difficult introduction to life in Divison 1.

With the match having been re-arranged following postponement the previous week a number of regular players were unavailable and so the team welcomed back centre Eifion Jones after absence through work commitments and gave a first start to hooker Rhys Evans and prop Josh Hamilton. Josh in his first season out of youth rugby put in an impressive display, carrying well and out-scrummaging his much bulkier opponent. Rhys in his second season in senior rugby had some first team experience after taking the field from the bench in the majority of league games this season. In his previous outings he had made a good impression and he enhanced his reputation with a fine all round performance in which he scored the opening two tries. 

Those first two tries came in a similar fashion. Brecon started the game trying to maintain a high tempo in spite of unfavourable conditions. Lively scrum half Scott Gibson took a quick tap penalty to set up a good position deep in home territory. A penalty kicked to the corner led to a line out and a well-controlled driving maul which ended with Rhys grounding the ball for the opening try which Dean Gunter converted. 

Brecon looked to build on this bright opening and came close on at least three occasions after some great runs by Brecon’s back three, Jake Crockett, Owen Morgan and Ryan Price. However, some effective last ditch tackling from the determined home defence forced Brecon to work very hard for the next score. When it came it was almost a carbon copy of the first. Excellent lock Darren Witcomb won a turn-over and then a penalty led to another line out on 5 metres. For the second time Brecon’s driving maul proved to be a potent weapon and Rhys Evans gabbed his second try while Gunter again converted from wide out.

Before half time Brecon grabbed their third but this time the score relied far more on running rather than power. Flanker Alwyn Lee and young centre Tom Richards made good ground before Davey Herdman cut deep into the home 22, drew the defence and put wing Owen Morgan away into open space. His pace and finishing dive put him in at the corner to ensure that Brecon entered half time with a 19 point advantage.

By the time the second half started the ground was becoming very heavy and the ball was increasingly difficult to handle. Maintaining continuity was not easy as handling errors became more frequent. There were a number of cameos which lifted the game out of the tedious. Tom Richards and Ewan Williams made some good ground before Jonathan James set off on a powerful run which took him to the line near the posts. Gunter again converted.

Monmouth, to their credit, responded. They gained a great position deep in Brecon’s 22. Their preferred mode of attack came through a series of forward pick and drives. Brecon were forced to defend and they did it well as they held out through a numerous phases. Finally they broke the siege. Brecon took control of a scrum in their 22 and from there worked their way up field. 

In the closing quarter Brecon’s bench made a massive impact. Flanker Ioan Edwards made a turn over and carried the ball effectively. From a maul near the home line, replacement hooker Ryan Williams broke away and ran in for a try. The final act came when replacement flanker Ryan James collected the ball some 15 metres out. He broke back against the grain and his pace took him clean through the home defence to score under the posts and give Gunter the easiest of conversions.

The bonus point win elevated Brecon back to top spot in the league, overtaking Newbridge who they face next Saturday in their sixth away league match. That starts a challenging period in which they then travel to Bonymaen for a repeat of last season’s Plate Final before travelling away again to face Dowlais on 23rd November.