Marlborough Rugby: Reshaped team perform strongly away to Beaconsfield
Beaconsfield 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!
There was also a first call up for Jasper Leadbeater, from the 2nd XV to play out on the wing as well as a very welcome return from injury for Henry Webster in the second row. Viliame Naivalu was the fifth call up, he started on the bench, but came on to give a very impressive display in the second half. There was also another run out for our outstanding Colt, Ben Wilmot.
Marlborough started quickly with a very well finished try within eight minutes from Fly-Half Daniel Jones, the move started with an outstanding break from Ovini Tuitoga and Daniel went on to convert his own try, 0-7.
Marlborough started to show dominance with an excellent set piece, but in open play Beaconsfield were dangerous. Marlborough’s defence started to look a little fragile, Marlborough’s back three, having never played together before and after fifteen minutes Beaconsfield drew level with a converted try, 7-7.
Marlborough set piece started to becomw more dominant and it was getting extremely difficult for home side to deal with. On twenty-two minutes, Ovini Tuitoga ran in Marlborough’s second try showing some outstanding speed and agility and without much opposition, but the conversion was missed, 7-12
A short while later, Daniel Jones scored an outstanding individual second try, stepping inside his marker and running in under the posts from the twenty-two and then he goes onto convert his own try, 7-19. In the thirty-fifth minute Marlborough scored a push over try via Marlborough’s Captain, James Farrell, touching down from the base of the scrum and Daniel kicked the conversion from the corner, 7-26.
Marlborough took their eye off the ball briefly giving away a very soft penalty from the restart. Beaconsfield put the kick right into the corner, Marlborough’s defence from the line out was very weak allowing Beaconsfield to score a converted try just before halftime. The halftime score was Beaconsfield 17 – Marlborough 26.
The second half started with Beaconsfield very much on the front foot and within five minutes into the half, and the home side scored a converted try, bring the scores to 24-26 it was very much game on. The pressure was on for Marlborough and to their credit there was no panic.
Playing up the slope and into an ever-increasing wind, kicking out of defence was no longer really an option so everything had to go through the hands. The forwards dominance, clever foot work and ball handling by the Marlborough’s backs was now coming into their own.
After fifty-five minutes, Ovini Tuitoga scored his second try of the day but the conversion was missed, 24-31. Viliame Naivalu ran in a try almost from the restart showing great pace but again the conversion was missed, 24-36. Ten minutes from time and Ovini Tuitoga scored his hat trick with a great individual try which was started outside the 22, beating numerous opposition players to score under the posts and Daniel duly converted, 24 – 43.
To their credit Beaconsfield put pressure on Marlborough in the final ten minutes, chasing a bonus point of their own, but Marlborough’s defence held out. The final score was Beaconsfield 24 – Marlborough 43.
Unfortunately, the Marlborough injury jinx appears to have struck again with James Farrell having to leave the field half way through the second half with what appears to be a serious ankle injury, having only just returned from an injury that kept him side-lined for the last 18 months. Overall this was a very impressive performance from Marlborough.
The team spirit within the Club seems to be better than it has ever been, the large injury list seems to have created a siege mentality and has brought the players together. It has also unearthed some outstanding new talent that the Club has come through from the junior ranks such as back row player James Marshall, having come through the juniors started this season as a young 2nd XV player and is now one of the first names on Head Coach, Elisi Vunipola’s team sheet every week. Tommy Elbrow, until his concussion, has been outstanding and 18-year-old Ben Wilmot has also stood up to be counted.
Next week both teams are on the Common, the 1st XV will be hosting Chippenham and the 2nd XV will be up against Avonvale. Both teams will be hungry for wins especially when there will be a number of the old guard having their annual social, there to support and to enjoy some great rugby.