Marlborough Rugby: Marlborough's lose narrowly in tough Cup battle with Trowbridge

Written by Mike Banfield.

Trowbridge 32 - 28 Marlborough

Marlborough lost a tough and competitve cup game against their league rivals Trowbridge.  Both teams had made winning starts to the season and Marlborough were looking at the game to give them selves a benchmark against the rest of the league and in particular the favourites to win the league.

As you would expect the early phases were physical with both teams eager to take control.  A clash of heads between Marlborough head coach and prop Chris Budgen and the Trowbridge hooker meant both men had cuts to the forehead that we patched up a number of times during the game.  Trowbridge missed an early penalty attempt but they kept the pressure on with some good phases of play on the visitors line. Eventually they dived over for a converted try.  Soon after Trowbridge kicked a penalty for a high tackle to take a 10-0 lead.  Marlborough were straight back at the home team and wing Ratu Vuira charged a clearance kick down and won the lose ball.  The ruck was won and James Farrell spun out a pass to Amori Nailago who went through a gap and in to score under the posts.  Garth Bari added the conversion.

Again Trowbridge came back at Marlborough and using the wind and slope were soon deep into the 22 and applying pressure.  They passed the ball out and for a moment it looked like Farrell had intercepted and was going to break out.  He was judged to be offside and the penalty was kicked for a 7-13 scoreline.  The home team were on top now and despite some excellent defence by all, in particular Jack Lynd who was leading his team by example, Trowbridge scored a converted try under the posts and a 20-7 lead.

As the half entered time added on for the blood injuries a further penalty to home team gave them a 23-7 lead.  Marlborough still had time to attack again and got some phases in the home team's 22.  After a number of rucks close to the line, Farrell passed out to Nailago and this time he span in the tackle to get over.  Bari converted and a 14-23 half time score.

Early in the second half the 2 teams exchanged penalties as the score moved onto 17-26.  Both sides were battling hard and the physical game continued. T he difference possibly being in the well drilled Trowbridge side against a rather more Barbarian style Marlborough team.  Both teams had penalties and the visitors closed the gap to 20-26.  A key moment in the game was when a late tackle by Nailago resulted in a yellow card.  Back chat by the other players then resulted in the ref advancing the penalty on and it was kicked.

A further penalty to the home team gave them a 32-23 lead and more than a score ahead.  Again Marlborough came back.  They had opportunities for break outs and Feiloaki Ngungutau was unlucky with a clever blind side break.  The Trowbridge defence was strong but as the game entered the last minutes a number of phases resulted in Lynd getting over, the conversion was missed and a score of 32-28.  Any hopes on a late score went as the final whistle went soon after the restart.

Any exciting and tough game. Good luck to Trowbridge in the semi final.

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