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Marlin XV - Match centre

Streatham and Croydon
Purley John Fisher Rugby
Sat 27 Jan 14:30 - League Full time

Mighty Marlins make amends

PJRFC forwards dominate

Marlins had much to prove on this return fixture. The teams were missing key individuals, though with both teams in the top 4, there was much to prove. The teams were reduced to 13 a side, and PJRFC started with a man down, though got off to a fantastic start, starting off where they left off last week. PJFRFC Marlins capitalized on a poor start by Streatham, who couldn’t find 10 yards from kick off. The ensuing scrum was won comfortably, and the ball spun out wide, by Tom Parker at Fly half. Will Walters and Reem in midfield did well to use the width of the pitch, and keep the ball alive, in order for Reem to cut in and make a darting run through the Streatham defence, and score under the post, though Will was unable to convert, and PJFRFC led 5-0. PJFRFC forwards were quick at the restart, and competed well in open play. Tony Mawer competing at breakdowns and Jules knocking on those knee caps, aided by a tried and tested front row, comprising of Tom White, Dave Mole and Simon Mander making the hard yards. PJFRFC also dominated the ensuing line outs, with Mander returning at hooker, and tiny Tony jumping at 2,4 and 6! Streatham were caught off guard. PJFRFC did what they do best, consolidating loose ball and getting through a couple of phases through the forwards, before letting loose their formidable midfield. This time Reem utilized space out wide, to score his second, and Will to convert, and lead 12-0. Streatham & Croydon 2’s are a formidable opponent, and they sprung into action, they utilized their young runners well, aided by poor discipline on PJFRFC’s part. PJFRFC did well to remain competitive, though the pressure began to tell, as Streatham & Croydon encamped in the PJFRFC 22 for the next 20 minutes. PJFRFC defence was formidable, and Martin Cripps at full back, was called on to defend the line on a couple of occasions, making good use of his veteran strategic defensive knowledge. However, Streatham & Croydon persevered and scored twice in quick succession, and converted both tries, and lead 14-12. PJFRFC dug deep, and aided by some excellent scrummaging by the front row, and defensive display in mid-field by Will Walters, Reem and Del Boy, kept the score card at bay. However, Streatham & Croydon, utilized their young guns well to make in roads, through several phases of play and score through their Number 8, and lead 19-12. PJFRFC were dominating the set piece’s, winning several scrum’s against the head, and putting pressure on Streatham’s scrum half fly half combination, from the base of the scrum, and on one such occasion Reem, intercepted the ensuing pass from the scrum half to score under the post, and narrow the margin to 19-17, at half time.

The game evenly balanced, and with both sides keen to stamp their authority on the game, it was played with much intensity and physicality. PJFRFC did well to compete against a young side, counting many veterans in their pack, so much so that the average age (almost as high as the weight) was over 45. However, the front five continued to dominate scrums, with Tim Wood and Jules in second row, aiding Tom White, Simon Mander and Dave Mole up front. The second half was dominated by the PJFRFC forwards, who kept ball in hand, through several phases of play and forced Streatham and Croydon into school boy errors. PJFRFC failed to convert this pressure into points, and allowed Streatham and Croydon back into the game. Streatham did well to counter attack from spilled ball, forcing PJFRFC to defend on their line, and Del Boy was unlucky to face the sin bin, for cajoling the defence, and not withdrawing 10 yards quickly enough. Streatham utilized this to their advantage and score out wide, and did well to convert it , and lead 26-17. PJFRFC forwards, again dominated the last few minutes of the game, with one man back row, Tiny Tony, scoring, having scrummaged 25 yards, from just outside the Streatham 22, to peg back the score 26-22. PJFRFC camped in the Streatham 22, though were again unable to convert this in to points, both Will Walters and Tom Parker tried their magic, but it just was not to be, and it closed 4 tries a piece, with Streatham ahead by 2 conversions.

Marlins are placed third in the league, and entertain Merton at home next week.

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