Monmouth made the long journey west to Stade de Libanus. The past fixtures between the two sides have been very entertaining with a display of good open rugby. It was a nice dry day and the crowd were again expecting to see some of the same.
The Stars kicked off playing down the slope. Nathan Hughes kick off was put high into the air giving his forwards a great platform to attack the receiver which they did with great intensity. From a line out a driving maul was formed and the Stars forwards pushed the Monmouth forwards 10 yards over their try line to score the first try. Ryan Hughes was at the bottom of a pile of players to claim the try. 5 nil to the Stars.
Monmouth responded well and after a sustained period of pressure they eventually managed to get their winger over the Stars try line. The Stars were then awarded a penalty in front of the posts which Nathan Hughes calmly slotted over. 8-5 to the Stars.
The Stars forwards continued to take the game to Monmouth and from another driving maul 2nd row Tom Rees flew through a gap and found himself in unknown territory running down the wing for 5 meters to score the Stars 2nd try. 13-5 to the Stars.
The Stars forwards dominated the line out and from a Monmouth line out captain Ross Martin stole the ball and sneaked over the Monmouth try line for another try 18-5 to the Stars at half time.
The Stars expected Monmouth to attack them going down the slope in the 2nd half and they did not disappoint but some magnificent defense from the Stars backs kept them out for the entire half and no points were scored. The Stars won the game 18-5.
This was a much improved performance Stars discipline was top draw. Matty Dix return gave the Stars forwards a bit more cohesion and together with captain Ross Martin they dominated the line out through out the game. In fact the Stars forwards dominated most facets of the game. Monmouth had useful backs but they were unable to get into the game as the majority of the ball they received was on the back foot and the Stars midfield tackled courageously during long periods of intensity. The Monmouth half backs were probably their best players but they were very well marshaled by the Stars half backs Nathan Hughes and Joel Davies together with the Stars back row.
The Stars tackle count was over 95% success rate and was probably the main reason why the Stars come away with a victory. The man of the match award was given to hooker Ryan Hughes for putting in a huge shift in. His throw ins at the line out was of an high quality hitting his line out jumpers on most occasions, he made a number of his renown chop tackles and also scored a try to cap a good day at the office.
The team now needs to take this attitude onto the next game at home against Llanhilleth on 29 October.
Stars family together stronger
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