Fairford 12 – 55 Marlborough
Another convincing win for Marlborough, but also more yellow cards.
The game started really well for the away team with a catch, set up and then some good passing. This led to a good break by prop Paul Roberts. Once again the ball was moved out and Joe Mitchell powered in to score. Full back Nathan Morgan kick the conversion for an early 7-0 lead.
The next score came after a great win at a ruck by Mitchell, that led to centre Amori Nailago, in his first start of the season, making a break to score under the posts. Morgan converting.
The powerful rucking was winning Marlborough good ball, this time Adam Whatley forcing the home side to hold on at the ruck. Scrum half Liam Macdonald took a quick penalty to feed Laurence Baker to break down his wing. The ball was then spun out and Nailago made another break and with a stylish Fijian inside flick pass inside for Jamie Cresswell to score. Conversion again by Morgan for 21-0. To the credit of the home side they didn’t stop and scored a good try of their own with some good passing and working an overlap for 21-5 score.
Marlborough’s ill-discipline then surfaced with first Tom Fleming for a push after reacting to a trip and then centre Waisale Navunidakua for a tackle without using his arms, both getting sin binned. The team do need to learn to cut this out.
Although making it difficult for themselves and down to 13 men, the team didn’t concede. Fleming returned just before the end of the half and in fact the away side added to their points after a quick throw in by Baker set up Mitchell again. He was stopped just short of the line, but Cresswell followed in, picked and up and drove in to score. Half time 26 – 5
The second half saw an early try again with Number 8 and captain Alex Roper picking up at the base of a ruck to run in and score for a 31-5 lead. The next score came just 5 minutes later with more pressure at a ruck and a good charge down by Jonny Mantle, back in the back row for the second half. Mantle then followed in and as the ball bounced over the try line he dived on it to score. The next try came after some good passing including a pass through the legs from Mitchell that set up Navunidakua to score. Outside half Russ Westcott then go in on the scoring with a strong run to go past 2 players and score under the posts. Westcott also converted his try.
Again the home side were still battling and won the ball in the Marlborough half and broke down the line, an off the ball tackle resulted in a penalty try and what could have been a 3rd yellow card.
The final score of the game came after the Fijian centres once again combined so that Navunidakua went on a superb line to burst through and score. Westcott added the final conversion for a 55-12 win.