Fresh from the previous week's bonus point win, Marines started as favourites in their home game against bottom of the table team Revolution RFC. The boys struggled to find their rhythm at the start of the match played under floodlights on a cold wintry evening at So Kon Po. Some early complacency and absence of key players allowed the speedy Revolution backs to gain the upper hand in the first quarter. A defensive lapse and some poor tackling allowed the visitors to take a 7-0 lead in the opening minutes. That served as a wake-up call for the Marines who then quickly built momentum into their game with some good aggressive running and great offloads. Full back Majj Tso broke through Revolution's dogged defence and dotted down for the opening try. Speedy winger Joseph Wong doubled the try count with an angular run that opened up the defence. Just when it looked like the hosts were starting to get on top, the opposition struck again with another converted try to go ahead 14-10 at half time. Some soul searching and an inspiring speech by skipper Darren Long during the break gave the Marines impetus going into the second half. Newly paired centres Raymond Lo and Nathan Pither had an exceptional day at the office wreaking havoc with their trademark powerful runs. A brace of tries from the duo saw the Marines tally pile up. It was not just the backs - dominance was also displayed by the Marines' forward pack which trampled the hapless opposition. Front rowers Paul Hollings, Raymond Shum, Mark Hall, Alex Chung and Harvey Gilbert sent the visitors backwards at every scrum. The onslaught continued relentlessly into the last quarter. Wave after wave of attacks created an overlap for Tim "Trucker" Haywood, who thundered across the chalk to take the lead to 27-14. Revolution struck back with a solo run that looked like a certain try and a losing bonus in the bag for the visitors with minutes remaining. But the Marines were not done yet - a spectacular tackle by Thomas Leung metres from the try line denied the Revolution team any consolation points. The bonus point win propelled the Marines to the top of the table. The men in pink now face Comvita City to decide which side has the bragging rights as this season’s league winners.
Words by Umesh Desai.