U12 Minety 20 – 20 Marlborough
By Will Maskell
Great all round performance against strong and determined opposition
It felt like Marlborough had unfinished business today as they visited a very well organised and physical Minety outfit. This, their third encounter, would be deemed a ‘decider’ following a convincing cup win at the start of the season and a defeat, at home a few weeks ago.
Storm Freya did its best to disrupt the fixture but thankfully it didn’t spoil a very entertaining game. Early on it was cat and mouse, both teams cancelled each other out with good, rush defence. Minety had the upper hand at the breakdown and Marlborough looked more dangerous in the loose. Marlborough broke the deadlock with a solo try from Archie, who broke through at least three tackles to score at the end of the first quarter. Minety responded to even the score only for Marlborough to nudge in front with a second from Archie. Freddie came close but was bundled into touch.
Marlborough immediately put pressure on the Minety line, after half time, but couldn’t convert it into points. Despite this we soon lost our lead with a Minety breakaway against the flow of play. Marlborough responded with more pressure, forcing Minety to clear their lines. However, each time the ball came into the grasp of Harry and from deep he cut through their defence with his speed and lines. He seemed home and dry for a try at one stage, only to be denied in the corner with a great tackle from the hosts. Later Freddie sniped a try from the base of the ruck, restoring the lead and Ollie added the fourth, giving us some breathing space. In the dying minutes though, Marlborough seemed to relax allowing Minety to pull one back, making for a nail-biting finish. Marlborough then kicked and chased from the final scrum only to lose possession. Minety took their chance and exploited a gap that had opened to level the score, at the death.
Despite a tinge of disappointment with the draw, everyone recognised it was a very good performance from Marlborough. They linked well and looked to move the ball wide and played some very attractive rugby. There were many solid individual performances today too. Freddie’s trademark bulldozing gained valuable metres with JJ, , and Charlie K also contributing well in this department. James L orchestrated the back line with some beautifully timed passes. Guy, Jacob J, Harry and Henry had their chances to push the gas pedal. Everyone defended well with standout performances from Ed, James and Max here. Jack and Henry nicked some valuable turnover too.
Occasionally we were guilty of taking the ball into a narrow, contact channel. This was playing into Minety’s strengths. At times we also forgot to play a scrum half having over committed players at the breakdown. Nevertheless, great positives to take out of this game and continue to build towards the latter part of this season
One special mention for Charlie A-S. Welcome to the squad! We hope you enjoyed today and look forward to lots more rugby in the future.
Archie B (2)