Marlborough 101 – 3 Reading
Last Saturday saw Marlborough play on the Common for the penultimate time this season. It was a cold and rather blustery day, but it remained dry for the duration of the game, much to the delight of the supporters on the touchline.
Marlborough Rugby are calling out to all rugby fans in the area to come up to The Common on Saturday afternoon for the final home match of the campaign, and against local rivals – Devizes. Kick-off at 2.30pm. After last Saturday Marlborough are twenty four points ahead of second place Stow, with three matches to go.
Back to last Saturday…… This season’s main goal for Marlborough was complete; the league was won, but there was still the task of going unbeaten for the next four games to finish the year in style. Again, the team was largely unchanged for this fixture. Oscar Tamani returned to the fold for the first time after a few months away, and Dom Rokomaqisa made his debut for the first team at No. 7.
The majority of apparent changes were made in the Reading ranks. Unfortunately, they were without several of their regular first team players, and the team was made up of young debutants and a couple of old hands. Not enough can be made of the heart and determination these boys put into their club and their badge. Each and every one of them stepped up to the plate, putting their bodies on the line for their teammates. Despite the score and the obvious dominance from a well-drilled and in-form Marlborough side, the Reading players kept coming back time and time again. Marlborough Rugby would like to thank the Reading boys for allowing the game to go ahead when other teams may have simply called it off. They should be very proud of the way they conducted themselves throughout the game; they represented the true spirit of rugby.
The highlights from the first forty minutes were a 15-minute hat trick for Weir Filikitonga, who has been in fine form for Marlborough this year, playing in most positions across the backline. Oscar, a returning second row player whose power and pace hadn’t quite left him after his time away from the rugby field, also scored a hat trick in the first half. Ash Horner made some of his trademark bullocking runs and scored a try thanks to a nice line and a late pass from Will Reeve. Ben Fulton and Will Reeve joined the try fest party. All in all, the first half held ten tries for Marlborough, which gave Will Reeve and James Clancy some good kicking practice from the tee in some rather unfriendly conditions; both managed to slot some decent kicks. Despite this, the kick of the half went to Reading’s No. 10, who managed to knock a penalty kick over from the Marlborough 10-meter line, keeping it low through the gusting breeze to notch Reading’s only points from the game.
Halftime score: Marlborough 60 – Reading 3
The second half saw some Marlborough substitutions and seven more tries for those in black and amber. Joe Pittams scored in the first minute of the half after Akariuva Seruvatu (Aka) collected a dropped ball from the kick-off and passed it out to Joe, who beat his man and dotted down in the corner. Solomone Aniseko (Seko) showcased his immense power to score a brace of tries in the half. Aka, the one-man highlight reel, claimed his third hat-trick in as many games (he is now joint fourth in the country for tries scored). There were also further tries for Ash and Will Reeve to round off a successful, if somewhat bittersweet, victory against a tough but ultimately outgunned Reading team.
Final Score: Marlborough 101 – 3 Reading