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Marlborough 48 - Wootton Bassett 2XV 7
After a very difficult match the previous Saturday for Marlborough, Wootton Bassett II – an experienced team with tough big forwards - were potentially a huge banana skin.
True to form, the match started with both packs of forwards feeling each other out and honours being shared in the early exchanges. Marlborough having lost the toss and playing against the crosswind struggled to have any continuity, while Wotton Bassett II played short and close to the breakdown and struggled to make significant territorial gains.
Quarter of the way through the first half, Marlborough had a huge scrum, cleared the ball quickly and exploited the blind side. With some quick passing and clearing the ball rapidly from the breakdown, the overlap was used well and Lawrence Baker touched down close to the uprights for the first score of the match. Nathan Moon converted and Marlborough were 7 – 0 up.
Marlborough started to dominate the scrum and exert pressure of the Wootton Bassett forwards, however Marlborough were unable to convert this pressure into points as Bassett defended grimly and held Marlborough players up when over the Bassett try line – three times in a 15 minute spell. Shortly before halftime, Marlborough’s Nathan Moon converted a penalty from close in and the first half ended 10 – 0 to Marlborough.
The second half started brightly for Bassett with the forwards driving well from the kickoff and then creating quick ball for the fly half to crash over close to the Marlborough posts, with the kick converted Marlborough were 10 -7 up and the upset looked on for Bassett.
At this point Marlborough seemed to wake from a slumber and quickly skipped through the gears, with excellent rucking, driving mauls and quick ball being shipped wide to the backline. Marlborough also started to dominate the lineout with man-of –the-match, Mark Adams, a colossus at two and in the scrum, firing on all cylinders. With Marlborough securing most of the ball from set phases and the back row at their devastating and marauding best it came as no surprise that the Marlborough continuity improved.

This improvement was very clear as the Marlborough team started to run and support from deep and Wootton Bassett II were almost instantly stretched. As the Wootton Bassett cover defence was forced to make more and more tackles, the holes gaped and Marlborough punished the struggling defence with quality tries from Dave Lemon x 2, Joe Mitchell x 2, John Crowe and a first score for the club by Richard (Billy)Travaskis. Nathan Moon converted three of the tries for the extra points and Alex Cox converted a further two.
At the final whistle Marlborough were 48 – 7 up and well deserved winners against a plucky and committed Wootton Bassett II. This game was perhaps even a bigger test for Marlborough than the win over Devizes the week before, this was a test of maturity and mental resilience. It is often so easy to let the next game slip when everything was given the week before, however Marlborough rose to the challenge, despite a below par first half.

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