Monmouth 64 Cwmcarn 7
In the fourth round of the Swalec Bowl, Cwmcarn faced division 3a outfit Monmouth at their ground. This was never going to be an easy game, but after a run of good results & if we could put out a full strength team, then we were well capable of running Monmouth close. As is often the case with Carn & other smaller sides, it is a case of hope rather than expectation when it comes to having all your best players out on the pitch at the same time. Having said that, we had a full strength pack, but some of the more seasoned backs were unavailable.
There was no vibe in the changing room that we would be overawed by the opposition, even though they were pretty much at full strength. However, from the kick-off Monmouth showed their intent, skill & pace - Carn were not at the races in this department. Monmouth scored quickly; creating space & opportunities with worrying ease - Carn just could not cover the ground quick enough. After 20 minutes the signs were looking ominous & it would take some character & self-belief to prevent a potential cricket score. The cause wasn’t helped by losing top try scorer & whippet, Chris Dimbleby Leggy after about 20 minutes, to what looked like a nasty neck injury.
Carn’s pack, well led by Jabba ‘Jojones’ Hone, were stopping their opposite numbers from breaking the gain-line, which slowed down Monmouth’s progress & took them by surprise...don’t think they were expecting the minnows to show that sort of strength & commitment...but hey, they build ‘em rough & tough down in them thar valleys. Hoppy, Buss & Jabba were growing in confidence as the game went on & weren’t afraid of clattering into the opposition. This seemed to shake Monmouth’s confidence & they weren’t scoring with the ease they expected. That said, as soon as space was created for their backs, Carn were scrambling like Welshmen hoping to get tickets to see England at Twickers.
Carn started the second half how they ended the first & were thwarting Monmouth’s attempts to cross the whitewash, but were struggling to create anything themselves, apart from the one good try in the first half. Both backs & forwards were getting stuck in & with less than 15 to go, the score was a fairly respectable 40-something to 7. Sadly, a few lapses of concentration & with Monmouth putting the pedal to the metal, they scored 3 more tries in quick succession, putting a bit of a gloss on proceedings.
Overall, there were some real positives in the performance to take on into the rest of the season.
Reuben Duracell Hoare: A master class in tackling. If it was blue & moved he was all over it & never missed his target. If we had 3 more players who could tackle like him, we’d win the league...My excuse is I’m old, arthritic & can’t bend. What’s yours?
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