Rear left to right Coaches David Turner, Mike Banfield and Paul Curnock Front left to right Players Edward Martin, Arthur Allen, Maximus Curnock, Huw Turner, James Hagerty and Ben McleodOnce we all arrived at Avonvale the Gazebo was put up (a godsend), the flag raised and the boys changed in to the Thrings away strip it was time to get them warmed up.
The squad who made the journey along with parents were:
Alby, Arthur, Ben M, Edward, Huw, James H, Jack D, Joseph, Max, Olly A, Olly D, Theo
The format would be 3 matches of 10 minutes each way with 2 minutes half time.
Our first match was against Walcot who over the years of us attending Avonvale festival we have not won against to date. The boys stared well and what with a sloping pitch, heavy and sustained rain showers managed to go in to half time with a 2-1 lead.
At the start of the second half Walcot made a couple of substitutions and immediately struck back however the boys responded well and secured good possession and with great defence kept Walcot pinned in their own half before going over to score another try.
The final result Walcot 2 – 3 MRFC
After a break while the next match took place we would be up against the hosts Avonvale. Not only did the boys have to contend with a sloping pitch and heavy rain showers but the very vocal and good natured home supporters. This was a cracking game and though the boys were behind on a couple of occasions they dug deep to find that little bit extra. The highlights were scoring from a maul and then a great period of sustained defence forcing Avonvale back to their own try line for the ball to go loose in the try area and then subsequently be pounced on by one of the boys to score a try.
The final result Avonvale 2 – 4 MRFC
Next up were Minety and the boys would have to play them straight after the match against Avonvale. The pitch was now cutting up, the rain coming down and the ball very wet. This was a great game of Rugby in that it was end to end, physical and both teams gave it their all. The ball was very slippery by now and there were a number of handling errors creeping in by both teams. Minety have really progressed since we played them last and were deserved winners of this match.
The final result Minety 1 – 0 MRFC
We were still unsure as to whether we had won so having waited for the final match to finish it was time to find out who had won.
MRFC were winners 2 wins and 1 loss and Minety were runners up with 2 draws and a win.
This was a great end to a difficult season for the boys with numerous fixtures and training sessions being cancelled. Well done boys and thank you to the parents for bringing you, supporting and helping with the Gazebo etc.
From the early stages Marlborough were looking to run the ball with an exciting set of backs on display. Waisale Navunidakua and centre partner Amori Nailago were enjoying the wide open pitch and making some excellent breaks with some typical Fijian rugby.
A run from Navunidakua beat the defence and he fed Laurence Baker to score the first try of the game wide out on the right. Top points scorer Nathan Morgan getting the conversion. Following this early score Avonvale applied some pressure and kicked a penalty to make the early score 7-3.
However, Marlborough attacked again and were soon back in Avonvale's 22. Tom Fleming took a quick penalty and ran hard into the defence. The ball was recycled and passed out to Jonny Mantle who then passed onto to skipper Jamie Pittams to turn and score. Morgan again converting. Soon after this another exciting break from the base of the scrum by number eight Mantle, led the ball reaching outside half Laurie Woolcott who went over for the try, again Morgan converting.
Avonvale did pressurise again and were near the Marlborough line, but a monster kick by Morgan using the wind as well led to a line out near the Avonvale line. A good line out win by Mantle was followed by a powerful run from Jack Lynd who put in Ben Beanland to get on the score sheet. A similar passage of play where a big kick out let to more Marlborough pressure, the clearance kick went to Adam Whatley who charged forward and passed to Morgan to get the try.
Half time score 31-3.
The second half saw Marlborough playing into a strong wind, but the good attacking play continued.
A strong scrum that featured great work in the front row by prop Matt Davies, set up the backs to run at Avonvale again. Scrum half Will Grant, who was always making sniping little runs and setting up his backs, passed to Nailago who made an impressive break with a great step and ran in to score. The free running of the backs continued with a break from wing Bruce Vuentatatoka. He was tackled well by the full back but the phases from Marlborough flowed and eventually Morgan went in for another try, yet again after good support from Whatley and Mantle.
Mantle himself was next to score as he finished off another good passing move from Navunidakua and Vuentatatoka. Vuentatatoka then finished off a move with a well deserved try. The final score of 58-3, meant a 100% league record and only 1 bonus point dropped.
The side now look forward to Dorset & Wilts North 1 and also hoping to have a 2nd XV next season.
Please note the club is always looking to welcome new players, please see our website.
Click any pic to enlarge
Waisale Navunidakua looking to set up Jack Lynd and Amori NailagoNavunidakua pointing way to the lineJonny Mantle supported by Will Grant breaking from the back of a scrumJack Lynd tackled