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Rugby

Marlborough Rugby: Marlborough, masters of the mud bath pitch come unstuck on all-weather surface

Joe ViseiJoe ViseiOld Centralians  76  -  Marlborough 12

 

Last Saturday, the 1st XV went over the border into Gloucestershire to play the return leg of the league series against Old Centralians.  The game had to be played at Hartpury College due to Old Cents ground not being suitable due to the recent bad weather.

Last time both teams met was back in November on the Common where Marlborough won by just one point.  This game was to be played on a well used all weather pitch, very different conditions to those which Marlborough has become so successful on all throughout February – mud and more mud.

Old Cents gave the 1st XV a master class, they were just too good for the boys.  They played a very fast, aggressive, attacking rugby on a hard pitch.  Marlborough are certainly not known as soft team, but this time they came the worse off with three players having to visit A & E.   Just as the team was starting to get back together after a very long spell with numerous injuries, it looks like the run of good luck has been drawn to an abrupt end.

Though the final score was Old Cents 76 – Marlborough 1st XV 12, Marlborough did have some good phases of play, managed to turnover ball at times and executed two very nice tries, it just wasn’t enough.  The boys have a week off to give them a chance to get over the disappointment and to draw a line under the game and move on.  There are still four games left to play until the end of the season and aim is to win them but definitely no more injuries.

Daniel JonesDaniel JonesLewis MacdonaldLewis Macdonald

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Marlborough Rugby: Reshaped team perform strongly away to Beaconsfield

Todd Johnston breaking through the Beaconsfield defenceTodd Johnston breaking through the Beaconsfield defenceBeaconsfield 24  -  Marlborough 43

Last Saturday Marlborough travelled to Beaconsfield with more enforced changes from their previous week’s team who were victorious over Buckingham on the Common.  Two veteran players were called up to play for the 1st XV, Ben Saqaniavene and Bill Navesu and both of them were awesome – age is just a number!  

 

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Funding for development of youth and ladies rugby in Marlborough helped by new pitch side advertising boards

Marlborough Mayor, Mervyn Hall (r) and Rugby Club Secretary, Mark Thomas in front of the newly installed advertising hoardingsMarlborough Mayor, Mervyn Hall (r) and Rugby Club Secretary, Mark Thomas in front of the newly installed advertising hoardings"Another step forward in funding the development of rugby in Marlborough" said Marlborough Rugby Club chair, Gary Sharp as the advertising barriers were installed along one side of the main pitch on The Common.

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Marlborough Rugby: Inconsistency and lack of availability of key players takes its toll at Banbury

 

Will Grant scoring the tryWill Grant scoring the tryBanbury  38  -  19  Marlborough

On Saturday, Marlborough travelled over the border into Oxfordshire to play the return leg of this league fixture.  The sun was out, the air was fresh, and hopes were high of another good performance.  Unfortunately, this was not to be the case; in the warm up Will Grant gave the team a scare when there was concern as to whether he would be able to play due to a very painful shoulder but he did manage to complete the full eighty minutes.

 

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Marlborough Rugby: Winning ways return with convincing display against Wimborne

 

Kane Marafono helps keep the ball steady for Daniel Jones to kickKane Marafono helps keep the ball steady for Daniel Jones to kickMarlborough  29  -  8  Wimborne

On Saturday, the first home game of the New Year and Marlborough finally pulled it out of the bag and got a win.  This boost was vital for the team after not winning a game since the middle of November and where some lack lustre performances had been given, finally the tide had turned, and Marlborough came out and gave possibly their best display of the season.

 

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Marlborough Rugby: Narrow defeat to league leaders who maintain 100% record

One very happy Lemeki Moala scoring Marlborough's one and only tryOne very happy Lemeki Moala scoring Marlborough's one and only try

 Marlborough 13 - 17 Banbury

 

On Saturday, Marlborough hosted league leaders Banbury on the Common and the hope was that the home side could upset Banbury’s stranglehold on the league.  With the sounds of screams from the ride goers echoing up from the Mop on the High Street, the game began.

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Marlborough Rugby: Marlborough bounce back with emphatic victory over Trowbridge

Marlborough captain Jack Lynd goes over to score early in the matchMarlborough captain Jack Lynd goes over to score early in the match

 Marlborough 50 - 7 Trowbridge

 

On Saturday (21 September) Marlborough had a point to prove after the dismal result from the previous week when they had gone down to Sherborne and were given a rude awakening.  The weather was stunning on the Common as Summer was slowly giving way to Autumn.
 

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Marlborough Rugby: Seconds make history by being the first second team to gain promotion to D & W North 1

Marlborough II celebrate a very successful victory and seasonMarlborough II celebrate a very successful victory and season

 Marlborough II   63 - 15   Melksham

 

The league that Marlborough II will play in next season is the same that the First XV were playing four years ago.  Against Melksham Marlborough II’s scored a total of TEN tries on their way to making history for the Club last Saturday on the Common, emphatically defending their unbeaten home record by winning 63 points to 15 in their final league game of the 2018/19 season.

 

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Marlborough Rugby: Marlborough overcome both Storm Dennis and Chippenham on wet and windswept Common

 

Marlborough 27  -  8 Chippenham

 

Last Saturday (15 February), the playing conditions for Marlborough who were hosting Chippenham on the Common were just awful - heavy rain, gale force wind and a very sodden pitch, not the ideal conditions or so you would have thought.

The home side adapted really well to the playing conditions; as well as giving a first senior team start to 19-year-old scrum half Edi Moku.  The team also welcomed back from injury, 18-year-old Kuki Daunakamakma. along with Colt player Ben Wilmot, again making the first team squad and impressing when he came on.  

Marlborough’s scrum proved to be the dominant force due to the work done by forwards Coach Fa’ao Filise during training which is now really starting to pay off.   Due to the conditions the line outs were a bit of a lottery for both teams.

In the first half, Marlborough played up the slope, with the wind behind them, there was some excellent tactical kicking by Daniel Jones, Mac Lewis and Jake Kane which kept Chippenham under pressure.  Marlborough’s first try came from a patient build up by the forwards which ended up with the Captain, Insosi Leqekoro, scoring in the corner but the conversion missed, 5-0.

Chippenham tried to put pressure on Marlborough, but the home sides defence held.  The next try was scored by Tui Tuilovoni after a hard and direct run from Mac Lewis sucking in Chippenham’s defence, offloading to Ovini, who beat his marker to score, again the conversion was missed, 10-0.

Chippenham then kicked a penalty taking the scores to 10-3.  Ovini Tuitoga then went and got his second try following a nice move by the backs which showed excellent handling in the conditions, the conversion missed, 15-3.

Chippenham fought back with an unconverted try of their own as the Marlborough defence seemed to have switched off bringing the halftime scores to Marlborough 15 – Chippenham 8.

The conditions were going from bad to worse in the second half and the pitch was now cutting up very badly which was starting to negate Marlborough’s scrum.  Again, the kicking by the backs, even into the gale was pretty good. Inevitably handling errors from both sides increased as the ball felt as though it had been covered in soap in the second half.

 

Marlborough squandered a couple of chances just dropping the ball when the try line beckoned.  There was only one score in the second half with Ovini Tuitoga scoring his second hattrick in consecutive weeks, an excellent try under the posts but Daniel Jones converted this one – final score Marlborough 22 – Chippenham 8.

This was an excellent team performance by Marlborough who were superbly led by Insosi Laqekoro (Knoxy).  It is difficult to pick out any individual performance as the whole team stepped up but young Edi Moku, making his first team debut in those conditions and playing as well as he did, does deserve a mention.  Next week the 1st XV have a weekend off, hopefully this won’t cause the boys to go off the boil as the following week they are away to Windsor.  This will be first time Marlborough has been back to Windsor in nearly two years after the boys won the play offs stopping the Berkshire side from gaining promotion.  There will be a point to prove by the home side but that just adds to the anticipation, roll on the 28 February.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Marlborough Rugby: Welcome victory on The Common for much-changed side

Daniel Jones scoring a cheeky tryDaniel Jones scoring a cheeky tryMarlborough  31  -  24  Buckingham

A welcome return to winning ways for Marlborough 1st XV over Buckingham last Saturday (1 February).  Hopeful that luck was about to change but nothing was certain, Marlborough again had to field a different team due to the ever-growing injury list.  But this did give Willie Mataitini his first cap and again youngster Ben Wilmot was called up.

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Marlborough Rugby: Young first XV learn the hard way as injury depleted side suffers on the road

 

Macdonald Lewis hits the Old Patesians defence supported by colt player Ben WillmottMacdonald Lewis hits the Old Patesians defence supported by colt player Ben WillmottOld Patesians  24  -  17  Marlborough

On Saturday the first XV travelled over the border into Gloucestershire to play against Old Patesians.  This game was meant to have been played back in December, but it was cancelled due to a waterlogged pitch.  Again, it was a different side who turned up due to injuries;  Marlborough now has a complete team of injured players on the side-lines.  Young The slight bit of light at the end of the dark tunnel was that Colt player Ben Willmott made his debut for the firsts.

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First silverware for St John's rugby following coaching partnership with Marlborough RFC

A cheering St John’s Academy Year 9 rugby team, flanked by their supporting Marlborough RFC coaches, proudly show off their medals and the Swindon Schools Rugby CupA cheering St John’s Academy Year 9 rugby team, flanked by their supporting Marlborough RFC coaches, proudly show off their medals and the Swindon Schools Rugby CupJust before the end of the Christmas term pupils from St John’s Academy gathered to celebrate rugby success.  The Year 9 boys’ team, who were the first to benefit from Marlborough RFC coaching defeated Commonweal School in a floodlit fixture at Royal Wootton Bassett to win the Swindon Schools’ Rugby Cup final.  

 

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Marlborough Rugby: Another grey day on the Common, but the youngsters are a ray of sunshine

Taufa'ao Filise, Marlborough's Player Coach powers through the Oxford defenceTaufa'ao Filise, Marlborough's Player Coach powers through the Oxford defenceMarlborough 25  -  34 Oxford Old Harlequins

 

After a two-week break (should only have been one, but the weather wasn’t playing nicely) the first XV were back on the Common and the opposition was from over the border – Oxford Harlequins.  Sadly, it was a rather depleted Marlborough side that was put out due to the accumulation of injuries which have been sustained by the Marlborough squad.  Three of the lads managed to injure themselves at training – not very helpful.

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Marlborough Rugby juniors can now train later thanks to grant for new floodlights

New floodlights in action on The CommonNew floodlights in action on The CommonTraining outside on the pitch for the Juniors at Marlborough Rugby Football Club stops when it gets dark, or has done up until now.   Thanks to a generous Community Youth Grant from the Marlborough Area Board, the Club has been able to purchase portable floodlights to enable training to continue later during the dark winter months. 

 

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Marlborough Rugby: Close run and gritty victory over Wimborne helped by Marlborough players who have risen through the ranks

Successful Marlborough team before Saturday's match at WimborneSuccessful Marlborough team before Saturday's match at Wimborne

Wimborne 32 - 37 Marlborough

 

On Saturday, Marlborough made their way down to Wimborne on the back of a good win over Trowbridge the previous week and opened the scoring after the first five minutes of play with an impressive long-range penalty kick from Will Grant in testing conditions, 3-0.  Within three minutes Wimborne struck back with a converted try following some poor defending by the visitors.  The score was now 7 -3 to the home side.

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Marlborough Rugby Club's unused playing kit reaches Tonga, courtesy of head coach Elisi Vunipola

Tonga's young players kitted out courtesy of Marlborough Rugby ClubTonga's young players kitted out courtesy of Marlborough Rugby ClubElisi Vunipola, Marlborough Rugby Club's first team coach arrived back in his homeland, Tonga for a well-earned end of season break but had two other special reasons to be there.  One was to be at his nephew's wedding - Billy Vunipola, England and Saracens No8 is going back home to marry his partner, but the other was to hand out the 50Kg of Marlborough Rugby playing kit flown over to the island for Tonga's many talented young rugby players.

 

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Marlborough Rugby: Resounding victory over local rivals Swindon to close a very successful season at the new higher level

Semisi Rasivo going for his trySemisi Rasivo going for his try

 Marlborough  34 - 24  Swindon

 

On a rich vein of form with five wins from six, Head Coach Elisi Vunipola’s men faced a struggling Swindon side in their last game of the 2018/2019 campaign.  The supporters enjoyed a feast of rugby, with the Firsts kicking off at 2.30pm and the Seconds kicking off their crucial game at 3.00pm.  It was a great weekend for Marlborough Rugby as the Colts also triumphed, this time at neutral Frome where they beat Yeovil Colts to win the Dorset and Wiltshire Colts Plate final by 23-7.

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Marlborough Rugby: Colts complete a successful weekend for Marlborough Rugby Club with victory in the Dorset & Wiltshire Colts Plate final

Marlborough's winning Colts team, 23-7 victors in the final against Yeovil ColtsMarlborough's winning Colts team, 23-7 victors in the final against Yeovil Colts

 Marlborough Colts   23 - 7   Yeovil Colts

 

On a chilly April Sunday afternoon (14 April) in neutral Frome Marlborough Colts triumphed 23-7 against a strong Yeovil Colts team to win the Dorset and Wiltshire Colts Plate final.  

 

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