Trowbridge 31 - 24 Marlborough
Last Saturday, the firsts were away to Trowbridge for their first game of 2020, but it was not a performance many of the players would care to remember.
Trowbridge scored first with a penalty after five minutes and the scrum was unusually weak for Marlborough which is usually something which can usually be relied on even when other areas of their game are not so good. There were also a high number of missed tackles and a slow defensive line speed – Marlborough was making life hard for themselves. Fortunately, Will Grant managed to kick a penalty over the posts to even up the scores, (3-3) after ten minutes.
Almost straight from the restart, Kane Marafono scored a well worked try in the corner which Will kindly converted (3-10). This was almost Will’s last contribution to the game as he then had to leave the field with a shoulder injury. This was shortly followed by a yellow card for prop Ben Saqa for repeat scrum penalties.
Trowbridge then scored a converted try (10-10) following yet another period of poor Marlborough defending. Just before half time, Ovini Tuitoga scored a break away try that was converted by Marlborough’s new fly-half Daniel Jones. The half Time score was Trowbridge 10 – Marlborough 17.
The second half started well for Marlborough with Daniel Jones scoring a very good individual try beating two Trowbridge defenders to score under the posts which he then went onto convert (10-24).
Marlborough’s defence and decision making deteriorated quickly but to Trowbridge’s credit they showed great determination and character by fighting back to score three converted second half tries.
Marlborough had managed to turn a 10-24 lead into a 31-24 defeat as well as having three more players injured. The season so far has been one where the first team has been plagued by injuries which has caused players to be pulled out position and players making the step up from the seconds to a much higher level of rugby. It is hard to maintain consistency, but though life may be hard at the moment, the younger players are getting experience and gaining confidence which can only benefit the firsts in the future but may be not so much in the here and now.
On Saturday the firsts are home to Wimborne, hopefully the squad can pull something out of the bag and reverse their fortunes – here’s hoping.