A seven-points-to-22 loss to Bream RFC in last Saturday's (20th August) trial match on Chippenham gave Monmouth players (and managers) much food for thought.

For much of the game, Monmouth gave as good as they got and there were some encouragingly combative performances by individuals such as fly-half Ricketts and hooker McCord, but it was Bream who lasted longest and took advantage of sudden weaknesses in defence by Monmouth which led to increased confidence and strong runs by the visitors.

True, it is early days and many regulars were absent but it is many a year since Monmouth has been comprehensively beaten at the trials stage.

Bream started the best, putting the Monmouth line under considerable pressure and it was as well that at this early stage their tackling was robust.

A converted penalty by Bream broke the stalemate and this lifted the visiting pack enough for them to show for the first time an impressive driving maul which brought them another seven points in the first quarter of an hour.

For full story see Beacon 24/08/11.