Marlborough Rugby: Marlborough triumph in close and entertaining match at home to Blandford

Written by Mike Banfield.

Marlborough 17 - 15 Blandford

Marlborough won a closely fought and entertaining game to maintain their unbeaten league run.  

The early phases saw the away team putting the pressure on, but a good break out by outside half James Farrell put his team on the attack.  He kicked ahead and the kick stopped just short of the line, the Blandford defender fumbled the ball and Russ Westcott pounced on the loose ball to score the try.  It was unconverted.

Blandford responded with a penalty.  The game was tight and both sides were defending well.  A number of handling errors by both teams were also causing breakdowns.  The half ended 5-3.

The second half saw the Blandford full back showing excellent kicking form to put over a further 3 penalties due to some quick decisions by the ref at rucks.  The visitors certainly had their tails up and were leading 12-5.

An altercation at a ruck meant both sides had players sin binned.  The influential Farrell for the home team looked to be the bigger loss.  

As the away team tried to launch another attack, a looping pass was intercepted by James Clancy who was able to run in 50 metres to score under the posts and convert his own try.  The scores were once again even.

Marlborough quickly went on the attack again and good handling skills by prop Feiloaki Ngungutau led to a break by Waisale Navunidakua, he burst through the defence and set up full back Garth Bari to score out wide.

Scores were now 17-12.  Blandford were not done though and attacked again, Marlborough captain Jack Lynd was sin binned for obstruction as Blandford looked to attack.  They took the penalty and scored, 17-15.

A tense few minutes were in store, as the game entered the final moments, First Marlborough had a penalty opportunity that was missed and then right at the end Blandford again won a penalty, but their kicker also missed and the game ended 17-15.

It was a tight game that could have gone either way and great credit to the visitors but a strong team performance from Marlborough to keep up their run.

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