Fixture

Monmouth RFC | 1st Team 8 - 21 Oakdale RFC | 1st Team
Morgan Rhys Wilson
1 Try
Scott Evans
1 Try
Simon Barber
1 Conversion
3 Penalty

Match Report
11 September 2015 / Team News

Boring Boring Evans

The decision sounded a popular one such was the applause his fellow team mates gave him when local legend, ladies man and Weightwatchers Dieter of the Summer , Scott Roly Evans was bestowed the mantle of Oakdale Rugby Club Captain for the 2015/2016 season. After watching Oakdale secure the victory out at Monmouth on Saturday though, some of the supporters were wondering if it was too ‘safe’ a choice what with his penchant for taking penalty attempts rather than the free running game the Dale supporters had become accustomed to.

With Cripper, Brett and Veally attending a Backstreet Boys fan convention and last year’s captain Super Gav out shopping for his wedding garter there were debuts abound for Sam Dixon, Matthew Davies, Morgan Wilson and that lad Cuff. Although, with a good pre-season behind them there was no disjointedness about the opening exchanges from the Dale in a game played on a fine late summer’s afternoon.

It only took two minutes for the Dale to record their first points of the season when the home side were penalised for going up in the first scrum of the day. A quick tap was taken and Roly and Dai Fortune were sent looking for yards. This took the Dale within sight of the line and when play was sent left good hands saw the ball reach debutant Morgan Wilson on the right wing. He managed in 120 seconds what Luke Lovell failed to do in 28 league and cup games in that position and he crossed the line to score in the corner. Octogenarian outside half, Simon Barber struck a great conversion from the touchline but the ball sailed just wide, the Dale moving into an early five point lead.

Monmouth did start to take the game to the Dale and enjoyed a prolonged spell of territorial advantage. Although, yardage was hard to come by due to some resolute Oakdale defending. They did though manage to get a shot of goal after their visitors were penalised for hands in the ruck. The penalty attempt was good and on thirteen minutes they closed the gap to 5-3.

On 23 minutes Oakdale were enjoying a good spell of possession and found themselves in the home side’s 22. A good break by Scott Winnell was held up by the Monmouth defence and they won a scrum by stifling the Oakdale onslaught. But seconds later they found themselves walking back 10 yards when they were penalised again for going up in the scrum. Many assumed that Oakdale would take the attacking scrum such was their dominance in that area but Captain Evans pointed to the posts for veteran number 10 Barber to stick his penalty attempt over and this took the Dale into an 8-3 lead.

With the last play of the half Monmouth were penalised when one of their backs was pulled up for being miles offside when trying to intercept a pass. Even before the ref finished his blast on the whistle Roly’s arm was pointing at the post like Arsenal’s Tony Adams asking for offside. Barber managed to cast his zimmer frame aside once again to send the ball through the posts and take Oakdale into a solid half time lead.


HALF TIME SCORE  - MONMOUTH RFC 03 V 11 OAKDALE RFC


The Dale came out of the blocks all guns blazing at the start of the second half in search of more points and they nearly added to their tally in the first couple of minutes. Unfortunately, Captain Evans, without his trusty glasses on, dived a bit too early for the line and ended up a foot short much to the delight of the supporters in the near corner. A penalty though was awarded and Barber managed to muster up the energy to put the ball into the corner (he did need some oxygen soon after). Oakdale gathered their own lineout and sent Dai Fortune looking for points. What he found though was two very determined defenders who gathered him up and took him back a full 10 yards. The Dale were penalised for not releasing and Monmouth cleared their lines.

With 50 minutes gone, Monmouth themselves were penalised for not releasing and that finger was stretched in the direction of the post once again by Evans. Barber, now struggling to stay on his feet, such was his level of fitness did his best to convert the penalty but it shaded the upright and went wide.

From the resulting drop out, Monmouth sent the ball up field only to find Barber. He glared at the lad who dropped out as he was hoping for a bit of a breather but also slipped the ball through the oncoming Monmouth team for Morgan Wilson to run through and collect the ball. He made good yards only to be tackled but had the awareness to feed Fortune who was sure to score. It all seemed inevitable but a last ditch tackle convinced the ref that he had put a foot in touch. Everyone looked around to see if the opposition linesman had agreed with him but he was 45 yards up field chatting to some friends. The decision stood and the score stood the same.

Three minutes later though Oakdale did get that second try when Captain Roly picked up from the base of a ruck. He broke the first tackle and got sight of the line. The opposition know they are in trouble when that happens and it was just like a scene from the RTB away game last year. Players ran alongside him and jumped on his back one by one but this didn’t dampen the Evans’s desire to get over the line. By the time he crossed it people said there were at least seven Monmouth players trying to take him down but without any success. Barber had to have help to take the conversion but it went over (just) and this extended the Dale’s lead to 18-3.

There was not much points action after that and it was with only two minutes left on the clock that Oakdale scored their next points when they were awarded a penalty just inside the Monmouth 10 metre line. Instead of cutting loose and sending the big men at the home side’s defence  Captain Evans used his finely honed technique of pointing towards the posts to indicate yet another penalty attempt. Every Oakdale player had to lend Barber a hand but the collective effort ensured the ball went through the posts for another three points to take the Dale into a 21-3 lead.

From the kick off Monmouth gathered their restart and sent a couple of good attacks in the direction of the Oakdale line. Some tired defending gave away too many yards and with the final play of the game the home side scored their first try of the day. They missed the conversion but managed to end the game on a positive note.


FULL TIME – MONMOUTH RFC 8 V 21 OAKDALE RFC


 

If he can managed to win 22 games without a bonus point then our new Captain will have amassed 88 points at the end of the season which should be enough to guarantee promotion. No-one would argue with the safe approach that was evident on Saturday as it was important to win our first league game of the season and the boy done well. There were good performances all through the side and Monmouth Sports Ground is not the ground it used to be with two wins in the last two seasons out there. Well done men, onto the Llan next week.

COST OF ENTRY TO THE GAME - £3.00 – It looked like we were going to pay a fortune without getting anything but a game of rugby in return but at the last moment a programme materialised out of nowhere which did cushion the blow of parting with so much money.

QUALITY OF MATCHDAY PROGRAMME – Uniquely printed for the game as it had our name on the front cover which impressed me. But it was only two pieces of A4 with two squads although it was glossy paper. I will reserve judgement as it is the first of a new season but a good effort and good quality.

QUALITY OF AFTERMATCH MEAL – We did contact our hosts earlier in the week to say that most of our side wouldn’t be returning back to the club as it was Super Gav’s stag night in Cardiff. Some of us though did go back to the club and went upstairs hoping for a repeat of last season’s Thai Green Curry and Rice. What we found is that they didn’t cook enough rice but they did have a good bowl of Chilli Con Carne on offer. It has a good proportion of meat in it and enough kick in the spices to leave a good taste in the mouth. They might not had enough rice but there was enough Chilli for a second bowl which was gladly accepted – Top Work Ladies.

PS - Thank you to all those people who had contacted the club to see if Barber had made it through the day. We are happy to tell you he is now sitting up and there is some feelingcoming back into his legs - bless him...............

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