Marlborough 38 - 22 Wimborne
On a gloriously sunny Spring afternoon Marlborough beat this season’s Southern Counties South champions with a memorable win in a hugely entertaining game.
Whilst the initial phases saw the home side putting on the pressure in a fast and exciting start, the final pass or a misplaced kick meaning there was no early score. Wimborne were also looking to attack and were dangerous on the counter attack.
It was the home side who eventually broke the deadlock after 30 minutes when an over thrown Wimborne line out saw Inosi Laqekoro run after the ball, grab it and start another powerful run. He passed to Amori Nailago who made a good break and moved the ball onto Leo Tuliva. Tuliva made a half break and had Jack Lynd in support. Lynd then took the ball and charged at the defence as he looked to off load, Russ Westcott came through in support and went over to score. Jake Williams converted for 7-0.
The next score came 6 minutes later and was similar with Laqekoro making another powerful break and with the support of Tuliva and also Garth Bari, the ball again went out to Westcott and he scored, Williams again converting for 14-0. The scoring for the half was not done and this time a powerful run down the middle by Tuliva put him through and as he looked to beat the full back, he was tackled but quick ruck ball saw the team power towards the line. Williams tried to dive over and was stopped short but Laqekoro picked up from the ruck and there was no stopping him as he dived over. Williams again converting.
There was still time remaining for Wimborne to attack and when Wilden Robanakadavu was sin binned, the penalty resulted in pressure on the Marlborough line and eventually Wimborne got over for a try which was converted for a half time score of 21-7. The second half saw the home side continue to play with terrific pace and power. Looking to pass the ball with speed and accuracy.
The tempo was set and good hard runs, followed by quick ruck ball. Nailago and Tuliva then setting up the rest of the team. Just 3 minutes into the second half a flowing move saw the ball moved out and eventually Tuliva ran in the try in the corner and had time to run around under the posts.
Wimborne then showed why they are champions as they raised their game and looked to stage a fight back. They scored two tries within 5 minutes of each other and with one converted, the score was now 26-17. The progress of the home side in recent times was then shown as the team raised themselves and got back to their game. From a quick ball from the base of the scrum Williams made a break, passed to Nailago and he set up Jimione Ranatora to score, Williams converted.
During the game the pace of Ratu Vuira, who has recently been included in the County set up, and Maika Qiolevu had been a constant threat. They got their rewards when another break from a scrum resulted in Qiolevu running in to score.
Wimborne did once again fight back and got a try to finish the scoring at 38-22.