WRU East One
Brecon 51 Monmouth 15
DESPITE some hopes of running Brecon close as they had done previously, last Saturday Monmouth were taught a lesson in how to play a fast game as they lost away to Brecon by 51 points to 15, reports PETE WALTERS.
Brecon now have a famous coach in Dale McIntosh and would seem to have bought in and borrowed players to maintain their drive for promotion in the very fast and determined way they play.
The game started at a furious pace with Brecon looking to make maximum use of their wide pitch and urged on by their large crowd of supporters they nearly scored in the first few minutes but were bundled into touch.
Wing Matthew Tabb however had a chance to put Monmouth on the board first but missed his kick at goal, partly because of a strong and variable wind which was to plague the goal kickers throughout the game.
With 10 minutes gone, Brecon broke on the left hand side with some nifty inter-passing, and aided by some missed tackles, were the first to trouble the scoreboard with an unconverted try.
Play continued with deep punts into the opposing halves where the frantic nature of play at times generated spillages and scrums where the home team were noticeably the more dominant and from one such set-piece, Brecon drove the visitors back and around winning a penalty which they kicked.
Tempers were frayed at times with the referee issuing a warning to the Monmouth second row, but Brecon were equally temperamental and lost 10 yards at a penalty for dissent.
Most of the pressure though was coming from the home team and it took a good tackle by wing Kester Mobbs-Morgan in mid-field to momentarily frustrate their progress but when Brecon recycled the ball and went left they were tackled into touch.
The throw-in was crooked and Brecon were able to drive the resulting scrum over the line to increase their lead to 13-0 with ten minutes left to half-time.
Monmouth responded with a good break through the centre and were harshly penalised in return for not releasing the ball in a tackle when Brecon appeared to be lying all over the breakdown.
The penalty kick to touch saw Monmouth knock on in their bid to intercept the throw and from the scrum a Brecon centre made a stunning break to pass on to his right wing who ran in for a further try untouched but converted.
Monmouth retaliated with a penalty to the right corner but after 4 attempts to batter their way past a resolute defence they conceded a scrum and heard a welcoming whistle for the break.
After what seemed like ages the referee had to disturb Brecon from their tea break to get the game going again when Monmouth began in a quite reinvigorated way.
Following a break by scrum half Dan White, Brecon again lost ground for dissent which he capitalised upon with a quick penalty bamboozling the defence with his jinking run for Monmouth’s first score.
With the pressure back on them, fly half Harry Johnson put in a clearing kick which was fumbled by the catcher but knocked back. The recipient made the most of this surprise ‘pass’ and made a curving run in on the left to score untouched to re-establish Brecon’s 20 point lead.
In no time centre Dan Dunmore had clawed back five points with a try of his own but soon after flanker Will Korb was awarded a yellow card for too many penalties in defending by the Monmouth team. His absence was quickly exploited by yet another run carved through the centre for a converted try this time.
Monmouth regained ground but after wining some rucks they kicked a penalty to the corner but again a lost line-out which saw them 50 metres back down-field. The first driving maul was successfully resisted and with a scrum survived Johnson’s clearance kick led to a flowing move from Brecon with just a hint of a floated forward pass to take them 37-10 ahead.
With Brecon again managing to drive over from a line-out to increase the score line to 44-10. defence was to the fore for the visitors as they were able to hold up another maul over their line.
And as a team who have been said to ‘never give up’, White was again in the vanguard when after around 8 phases of attack near the Brecon line he was able to score again.
But Brecon were equally not giving up in their pursuit of 50 points and some nine minutes into overtime having had one attack rebuffed were able to use one more penalty kick to touch to drive over.
The kicker, this time redeemed himself with a fine kick to achieve the 51-15 result.
Obviously not what they had hoped for this week but perhaps a closer game this Saturday (April 15) at home to Dowlais to now anticipate (kick-off 2.30pm)?