Dowlais RFC | 1st Team 24 - 14 Monmouth RFC | 1st Team

Match Report
15 May 2023 / Team News

10/05/2023 Dowlais v Monmouth Admiral National League 1 EAST Match Report

Dowlais VS Monmouth 10/05/2023 Match Report


Dowlais: 24

Monmouth: 14

An excellent bonus point win at home this week for Dowlais against Monmouth.

After a close but great victory against the visitors around a month prior, hopes were high for Dowlais to get themselves another win for their penultimate game of the season. Looking at the score, it’s safe to say that they met those expectations.

In a rare occurrence, Dowlais actually remained on top and mostly in control for the vast majority of the game. This dominance could be seen as early as the opening minutes, with the home side taking an easy try to start off the game, touched down by Kamil Filarski and converted by Steve James, bringing the boys to an early 7-0 lead.

From there, Dowlais would manage to comfortably stay in control for the remainder of the first half. Most of this control would come from the defensive front. While Monmouth would have a few solid attempts at the Dowlais try line, Dowlais’ defence remained strong and denied them from getting even a single point in the first half.

Despite this, the attacking front wasn’t quite as strong. Dowlais had an abundance of opportunities throughout the half, but the majority were brought to premature and swift ends by any number of silly mistakes.

However, Dowlais wouldn’t leave the first half behind with their humble 7-point lead, as two of their further attempts over the first forty minutes would hit their mark. The first of these was scored by Sion Martin and the second by Kyle Prosser, with the former being converted once again by Steve James.

These additional scores brought Dowlais to a sizeable 19-0 lead going into the second half. While their attacking efforts hadn’t been perfect, their valiant defence had more than done the job of maintaining their lead, allowing them to reach half-time with a rarely comfortable lead.

Going into the second half, things felt quite calm amongst the Dowlais supporters. With a three-try lead and opposition that hadn’t had any luck breaking through all game, it seemed as though the rest of the game would be smooth sailing, with their hopes soon turning towards one last try for a bonus point.

For the most part, those expectations would turn out to be correct. For the majority of the second half, Dowlais remained in control, with Monmouth’s attacking efforts bearing no fruit.

But despite their lead, Dowlais’ efforts to score the last try they needed for the bonus point faced similar difficulties, with the opening stages of the half seeing many squandered efforts.

However, Dowlais would get that try in the end, thanks to an excellent run down the wing by Cameron Trowbridge, earning Dowlais their bonus point.

With the fourth try under their belt and a staggering 24-0 lead going into the last fifteen minutes, things began to feel very relaxed and safe for Dowlais, a rarity for late-game, with their opponents seeming comfortably out of reach.

However, it’s possible that that security brought about a level of complacency.

Shortly after what would be their fourth and final try, Dowlais were struck with a yellow card and brought down to fourteen men. Seeing this and the hole it poked through Dowlais’ defence, it was as though Monmouth hit their second wind.

Their attacks struck the Dowlais defence with renewed vigor, and perhaps after a second half that had offered little in terms of attacking threats so far for the home side, they seemed to be caught off guard.

This new wave of offense finally earned Monmouth their first points of the game, a converted try, bringing the score to 24-7 and thinning Dowlais’ lead to 17.

Straight from the kick-off, Monmouth ran with a new wind behind their backs, blindsiding the Dowlais defence once again and scoring a second converted try in concerningly easy fashion. 24-14, just ten points apart.

For a frightening moment, it almost looked as though Monmouth were on their way to a comeback, but those fears were assuaged when the referee announced that there was only a minute remaining on the clock.

Despite their odds of victory standing at next to none, Monmouth continued their assault following the final kick-off, seeking any points they could get to salvage a losing bonus point.

But after the rude awakening of the two sudden converted tries, Dowlais managed to regain control and put a stop to Monmouth’s runaway attack, bringing the game to a close with a bonus point victory for the home side and a score of 24-14.

Overall, Dowlais put in a solid performance for this mid-week bout, one that I’d argue was even better than their impressive previous match against the visitors. The defence remained sturdy and strong throughout the vast majority of the eighty minutes and undoubtedly played the greatest role in the win. While their attacking wasn’t quite as efficient, they managed to score where it really counted and managed to touch down just enough for the bonus point.

But while the performance was good overall, the boys did let things slip somewhat towards the end. While Monmouth’s second wind didn’t end in the nightmarish turnabout that it could have and didn’t even manage to net them a losing bonus point, it still stands out as a bit of a blemish on an otherwise very dominant performance. Dowlais were lucky on this occasion that they’d managed to work up such a vast lead, as in most other games, two late-game converted tries could easily lead to a last-minute loss.

But despite all of that, the boys still have a lot to be proud of from this performance and plenty of things that we hope they can take with them into their final match of the season on Saturday, at home against Pontypool United.

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