Marlborough Rugby: Unlucky to lose in big local derby on return to Southern Counties

Written by Mike Banfield.

Marlborough 10 - 17 Royal Wootton Basset

The 1st XV hosted Royal Wootton Bassett as they returned to Southern Counties South.  The initial phases were tight as Bassett looked to get Marlborough old boy Chris Patterson running hard.  Each time he looked to make a trade mark run he was tackled hard by Fijians Moree Nailago and Avenai Cakaunitavuki.  Both teams were giving everything and it was a highly competitive game.  The first score went to Waisale Navunidakua who burst through at a line out.  The conversion was missed.  Marlborough had played the first half down hill, possibly should have scored more than just the 5 point half time lead.

The second half saw Bassett camped in the Marlborough half.  Tries came for them via their line out and then a second with a tight call on the touch line.  Marlborough raised their game again and went on the offensive.  Nailago was unlucky not to score after a great run when he was tackled just short of the line.  The resulting ruck was spun out and a knock meant the chance to score was missed.  James Farrell, who had lost a tooth in the first half, powered over to score a try that brought the score back to 12-10. The try coming after some great passing in the backs. He was very unlucky with the conversion.

In the last minutes of the game, Marlborough tried to get the winning score.  The front row of Budgen, Kelly and Hamilton were having a great game and were unlucky to be penalised as they looked to push home their advantage.  Bassett got back into the Marlborough half and with some good passing of their own scored again in the corner to seal a 17-10 win.

Marlborough can take a lot of confidence from the game in that they feel unlucky to lose and gave a great performance.  The platform is there to build for a successful season.

The Alfreds Nomads played Swindon 3s and won 31-15.  It was great for the club to have both games going on together and a great atmosphere after the game.