Marlborough Rugby: Marlborough bought down to earth by top Wootton Bassett side
Marlborough 5 - 38 Wootton Bassett
On the back of a good team performance and win at Oxford Harlequins last week, Marlborough faced a Royal Wootton Bassett side in top form. On a seven-game win streak, Bassett sat second in the table, two points above Marlborough. The gloomy, grey and bitter weather was no problem for the crowd, who came out in numbers for the eagerly anticipated fixture and local derby. Marlborough kicked off the first-half and were attacking the Town End.
Bassett came out of the blocks fast and from the first whistle showed an array of neat passing to sustain some early pressure in the Marlborough half. Within three minutes they had scored the first try of the game. The rapid number 9 broke through Marlborough’s defence and passed wide to the right for the try. It was a good try which caught Marlborough napping early on. The conversion skimmed the bar as it went over. 0-7.
Marlborough have reacted well to conceding tries in recent weeks, but Bassett defended the pressure resolutely. On thirteen minutes they intercepted a stray Marlborough pass twenty metres from their try line and broke quickly with some lightning quick off-loading and running to score again. Elye Darraghwith the try, which was not converted - 0-12.
Then the game began to get fiery. The referee was on hand to cool a couple of the players down after some hard tackles were flying in. Shortly after, Marlborough won a lineout ten metres from the Bassett try line. Marlborough put men in the maul and drove over the line with Semisi Rasivo touching the ball down. Will Grant kicked wide to leave the score at 5-12.
The game continued to be fought hard. Marlborough were marginally on top for the remainder of the half, but were unable to convert territory into points. Despite their number 12 being sin-binned, Bassett made one last attack before half-time. They won a line-out ten metres from the Marlborough line and spread the ball across the line quickly to score down the left. There was nothing Marlborough could do to stop that try, which was not converted, so the half-time score was 5-17.
The second half started as the first had finished, on fifty one minutes the situation got worse for Marlborough. Some poor play gave the ball away to the Bassett player who showed some tidy football skills to kick the ball to the line and score. The try was converted, and the game was getting away from Marlborough, 5-24.
Feiloaki Ngungutau, who came on to replace Joe Visei, was sin-binned on fifty six minutes for a high tackle. The game was starting to get a little feisty once again, which played into the hands of Bassett who were happy for the game to slow down. The match continued to be hard fought but there were no scores until the seventy fifth minute, when Bassett scored another slick try off the back of a line-out. The try was converted very well as the light began to quickly fade, 5-31.
Two minutes later and with virtually the last play of the game, Bassett scored once more. The number 10 Thomas Fieldsend, who had caused trouble for Marlborough all through the match, played a key part in setting up another good try which was converted, rubbing salt in the wounds of the weary Marlborough players. The full-time score was Marlborough 5-38 Royal Wootton Bassett.