U12 Newbury 10 - 25 Marlborough
Steely performance brings a well earned result
This was the under 12's first visit to Newbury and the visitors knew from one previous encounter, at a festival, that they would be facing stiff opposition.
Marlborough fielded one squad of 15 and the larger Newbury squad split into two, each playing one half.
Marlborough started very well, and their 'basics' focus worked to their advantage winning solid ball at the breakdown and finding width with good passing. Bringing Harry from deep, at pace, allowed us to break the Newbury line and the first try came early. Marlborough defended well with Henry, James L and Freddie making brave tackles against some big players. Marlborough continued to get over the gain line, with strong runs, esp from Jack, OJ and Freddie, keeping the blues on the back foot. Quick recycling from a ruck 10 metres out allowed Charlie to pass to Henry on the wing and go over for his first of two tries in the half. Newbury started to apply pressure on Marlborough and some brave defending on their line kept the hosts out, twice Marlborough held the ball up. Marlborough also used the boot intelligently in the first half, notably James L with a delightful, torpedo clearance kick that bounced a few metres short of the Newbury line, allowing Harry to score his second of the day. At half time Marlborough were deserved leaders with a four try to nil margin.
For the second half, Marlborough faced a new Newbury squad who looked sharper than the first. They put great pressure on Marlborough who defended valiantly to hold the hosts up. The pressure began to show as passes became desperate and loose kicking added more stress to a difficult situation. Newbury's playmaker scrum half sucked in players which exposed our flanks. Newbury finally broke through with a fine try out wide. Marlborough needed to settle but started to struggle at the ruck and maul where we stopped being so effective. Newbury found their gear and opened up Marlborough for their second try of the day. Added to this, we lost Harry to a foot injury. The last few minutes were tense as Marlborough, keen to get a second half score, put pressure back onto the Newbury defense. During the final play, Marlborough earned a penalty when the blues were found to be coming into the ruck from an offside position. A quick tap penalty allowed Archie B to exploit space (and a sleepy defence) for a walk in try. Final whistle ended the game with a disappointing second half, but a good final result for Marlborough
Arche B (1), Ben, Charlie C, Charlie K, Freddie, Harry (2), Henry (2), James F, James L , Jacob J, Jack, Jake J, MC, Ollie H, Ollie LB.