Fixture

Brecon RFC | 1st Team 30 - 28 Monmouth RFC | 1st Team
William Prosser
Try 1
Jake Newman
Conversion 1
Penalty 1
Jake Crockett
Penalty 1
Try 1
Ben Griffin
Try 2

Match Report
05 December 2021 / Team News

Brecon 30 - Monmouth 28

Needing to bounce back after their comprehensive defeat at Newbridge the previous week, Brecon would have wanted to start with a bang in their home game against Monmouth in order to boost confidence and return to winning ways. If that was the theme of the pre-match preparations then anything and everything that followed in the opening ten minutes completely undermined that plan. Unbelievably, by the time the match was just ten minutes old, Brecon had two players in the sin bin and were nine points down. Apart from one excellent counter attack featuring Ryan Price, Brecon had hardly touched the ball. In that time, they had conceded six penalties, three of which were kicked, and seen scrum half Scott Gibson and No 8 Will Prosser shown yellow cards. Nine points down and with thirteen men on the field was hardly the start coaches Wayne Morris and Matthew Lewis were looking for.

The penalties gave the Monmouth full back three opportunities to score from relatively difficult positions. He struck the ball beautifully and suddenly Monmouth were two scores ahead. However, if the penalties were frustrating then the Yellow cards were even more so. The first came after just 5 minutes. With Brecon already 3 points down. Former Brecon player, Geraint Powell, made a nuisance of himself at a maul and engaged with scrum half Scott Gibson who reacted. His reaction was deemed out of order by the referee and he was penalised and sent to the bin. Monmouth rubbed salt into the wound by kicking the penalty and extending their lead to six points. Minutes later, Brecon’s number 8 Will Prosser, seemed to have stolen the ball on the ground but he was penalised. He showed his frustration by throwing the ball away and was promptly sent to the bin to join Gibson and Monmouth moved up to a nine-point lead.

Brecon had to settle and deal with their lack of discipline regardless of what they thought of the referee’s interpretation of the rules. With such a young team it would have been easy for them to have lost their heads but to their credit the thirteen knuckled down while playing into a cold wind and gradually imposed themselves on the game. The backs looked dangerous whenever they managed to get the ball wide into space but it was the front five that really got to grips with the game. The second row pairing of Rowan Starkey and Archie Trevethan linked beautifully with their hooker Dewi Edwards at the line out and showed a great appetite to carry, tackle and be involved in everything across the field. Edwards himself produced a man of the match performance. In concert with his from row colleagues, Andy Nicholl and Iwan Dowling Jones, he provided the foundation for a dominant scrum even with a depleted pack. I addition the three of them, given the opportunity, consistently carried across the gain line.  

Now with plenty of possession Brecon imposed themselves in their opponents’ half and battled to reduce the deficit. They consistently looked threatening from driving mauls, scrums and when the ball went wide particularly as time went on and they were restored to the full fifteen. However, they were anything but clinical. Final passes went astray and there was a lack of patience and composure when mauls and scrums advanced towards the try line. Finally, however, after 30 minutes, Brecon opened their account with the first try of the game and when it came it was a beauty. It started with a line out drive on the Monmouth 22. At 5 metres the maul collapsed and Brecon moved the ball to midfield. Eifion Jones made a half break before being hauled down but with quick possession and great hands the overlap was created allowing Ben Griffin to use his pace on the outside and score.

In the last ten minutes of the half Brecon looked to finally overhaul their opponents but their lack of accuracy was again evident with the half finishing as a kick through from Scott Gibson ran over the dead ball line just before a chasing posse of Brecon players.

With the wind now at their backs Brecon started the second half in a far more positive fashion than they started the first. A wonderful Jake Newman kick from his own half gave Brecon a line out on the Monmouth 22. When the drive was held the ball was released and, with lots of running off the ball, Newman finally picked out Jake Crockett who cut back on a straight line to break clean through and score under the posts. Newman’s conversion gave Brecon the lead for the first time.

Within minutes Brecon extended their lead. Dafydd Edwards made a great counterattacking run from full back and earned a good position with a line out in the visitors 22. When the drive was brought down Brecon opted for a scrum on 5 metres and the eight drove over for Will Prosser to score.

With wind at their backs and now having scored seventeen points with no reply from their opponents the momentum was firmly with the home side. For the home support, at this point, it would have been hard to see anything other than a comfortable victory but momentum was to swing very quickly to the battling Monmouth team. From the kick off Brecon lost the ball and were penalised. The Monmouth scrum half took a quick tap and ran through the unprepared Brecon defence to score a try which was converted. Now the game was once again in the balance. Hooker Dewi Edwards made a great break and from the resulting penalty Jake Newman scored. Monmouth hit back almost straight away. When Brecon lost the ball in the visitors’ 22 they broke upfield. Brecon infringed and from the penalty Monmouth set up a drive off the line out. The maul was brought down and the referee awarded a penalty try for Monmouth to regain the lead. Brecon hit back immediately. Scott Gibson broke and linked expertly with Ben Griffin who ran in for his second try which Newman converted. From the kick off Brecon worked their way into the Monmouth half and earned a penalty on ten metres. Jake Crockett was successful with the long range penalty and Brecon led by seven points with minutes remaining. Brecon looked comfortable with a scrum on half way but the ball shot out and the lively Monmouth scrum half snaffled possession. With time running out Monmouth threw everything into attack. They went through phase after phase and finally scored. The game now rested on the conversion with the Monmouth full back already having been successful with all of his previous attempts. Unbelievably he pushed the kick wide to the huge relief of the Brecon team and support.

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