13 August 2017 / Club News

Cobwebs dusted in a decent workout against CIACS

CIACS 5 West Mon 24pts

After 98 days since the last game, West Mon travelled to the capital to play Cardiff Internationals RFC (also known as CICAC’s) for our 1st pre-season game. Taking a squad of 23 players which included 4 of our new signings, it provided the coaching group ample opportunity to view some of the new lads with our experienced players and a few in new positions (Gareth Moorcraft from centre to second row being one).

The first 40 mins was as expected for the first game in a long while, very rusty and error strewn. Although the new centre partnership for the day of Luke Royal and Mark Leighton gelled well and the backs were well controlled by flyhalf and captain Robbie Baldock. It was this trio’s combination that created the 1st try within 5 minutes for speedster wing Alex Willcox out wide, but for those that had their hopes up of free flowing rugby it was not to be as the rest of the half was a error and  penalty feast for both sides, although it must be said the defence of both teams was good which was highlighted by a great try saver from fullback Craig Buffin plus flanker Connor Witcombe hitting everything that moved (and sometimes when it didn’t) and with Beppe, Weaver and Chubba hitting hard at the ruck area to show our physicality which the players have worked hard on during pre-season the signs looked ominous for  the opposition. But credit to CIAC’s who did score a nice try towards the end of the half from a neat lineout move with their man mountain second row crashing over.

For the next 30 minute half (or 3rd lol), the coaches changed the complete front row with young props Jonny Coleman and Joe Watkins either side of the evergreen Duane Gardner and this had a big impact, when after 3 destroyed scrums CIACS deciding to go uncontested for the remainder of the game. Also for this half there was a debut for wing Owain Beard who showed up well with some nice runs and solid defence (which he’s been showing in training), but by now West were starting to impose their game plan onto the opposition and starting to punch holes and create gaps everywhere and after another fine passage of play and some fine passing by the backs, another debutant Jason Morgan finished off with a try in the corner, excellently converted from the touchline by Robbie. Time and time again West attacked and only some good defence by CIACs keeping them out, but only for a while and after more concerted pressure scrumhalf Dion Perry charged down a kick, re-gathered the ball and touched down for the 3rd try converted again by Robbie.

For the last 30 minute half West really started to up the tempo and play the style and game plan we want which CIACs struggled to cope with resorting to some niggling creeping in, which in turn turned into a yellow card for a player from each team. In seasons past this might have affected West but we are made of sterner stuff this season and being down to 14 men didn’t faze the team at and this was shown by a lovely run by Mark Leighton creating a second try for Jason Morgan (Not a bad debut) and flankers Dai Redwood and Sam Edwards (Normally a centre) continuing to tackle and disrupt every CIACs player.

All in all a pleasing start for everyone with the cobwebs blown away and the fact that although a scrappy stop/start game we was able to keep our composure and impose our game plan and come away with a comfortable win.

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