A Monmouth club team travelled to Bream RFC for a pre-season trial game which Bream kindly switched to their pitch as Monmouth's club house is in the last stages of some exciting renovations.

Monmouth RFC have benefited over the years from several Bream players coming down the hill.

The match was to be played in three periods to allow both teams to give all their squad members a run out but sadly the weather was to play a major part as fine rain caused slippery handling and under foot conditions.

Monmouth started in the ascendency but were penalised for offside at the ruck and went three-nil down from the resulting kick.

Monmouth, who were content on gaining field position from their opening penalties, were first to score a try when the ball was spun right by the ever lively scrum half Gareth Morgan.

The move was temporarily stifled in the centre but the ball was recycled and spun back left, and some good handling saw winger Sam Skipp trot over for his first try.

Matt King extended the score with a well-taken penalty for an offside a few minutes later.

Skipp's second try came from some poor passing on the half way line from the Bream centre and wing and the ball went to ground.

Skipp was able to pick the ball up and gallop towards the Bream line but the covering full back was well positioned to stop him but was not reckoning on the exceptional pace of the Monmouth winger once he gets in full stride.

Bream battled hard with a few new faces since last year's encounter and competed in all areas very well and looked quality at times at scrum and fly half.

They were rewarded with a try from a dubious forward pass and a dropped ball over the line from a bad Monmouth scrum.

Changes were made by both teams at regular intervals which led to the pattern of play by both teams becoming disjointed, but such is the nature of trial games and given the worsening weather conditions it was to be expected.

Bream got a push over try which the number 10, who was one of the two number 10 shirt numbers on the field, converted.

Hopefully, Monmouth's scrum can recover from the loss of the retired scrummaging expert Paul Stockley.

Both teams were putting in some good bone crunching tackles and trying to run the ball from deeper areas than normal. The referee was being lenient also to such a degree that some spectators thought that he had popped over to the nearby dog show for a 10-minute break.

The game ended drawn at 15-a-piece but with both squads having had a much-needed run out.

Captain Sam Harding can take plenty of positives from this early game, particularly with the performances of Mike Griffiths, Will Copley and Gareth Morgan.

Monmouth RFC would like to thank Bream RFC for the game and wish them all the best in their forthcoming league campaign.

Next is a pre-season friendly on Thursday evening at another Forest of Dean neighbour Berry Hill.