Mighty Marlins prove a match for the Mighty Warl
A spirited fight to the end
Old Reigatians had obviously heard of Marlins recent exploits, and stayed well away, instead they travelled to Warlingham to re-enact that age old local Derby.
Warlingham seconds are unbeaten this season with good reason. The mighty Warl, had a squad of 21, and Marlins were depleted at 13, but out to prove a point. Though Warlingham did even out numbers to make it an even competition.
Warlingham started strong and utilized their strong forwards to keep the ball through phases, and run off the rucks. This early pressure paid off, when missed tackles saw the Warlingham back row score their first try under the post and convert to lead 7-0. This did spur PJFRFC Marlins into action, and their defensive display in open play was marshaled well by Stand in Captain- Dan Wright and Marauding Mawer. However, Marlins eager to defend kept falling foul of the offside rule, and Warlingham utilized the run of penalties and their superior height advantage against Towering Tony, to make in roads into PJFRFC territory, though were made to work hard for each yard, thanks to some excellent ankle grabbing tackles by Jules and wrap up tackles in mid-field by Norm Collier, Aden Pearn, Jamie Velderman and Kareem Mackenzie. Though Warlingham kept up the pressure by utilizing width, again and again, scoring out wide through their forwards again, and lead 12-0. PJFRFC Marlins have shown determination, when up against the wall, and yet again this determination came through, and Marlins began to keep ball in hand, and run with determination and panache. The motley crew making up the front five; Dave Mole, Tom White, Jules and Tim Wood provided a solid platform, from which to exploit the opposition, and Jamie Velderman was the first to do so, with a carving run through midfield, making 40 yards to score under the post, and convert to narrow the margin 12-7. A re-invigorated PJFRFC now took the fight to Warlingham, and the game was evenly poised, with PJFRFC Marlins, utilizing the set pieces to put their Backline into action. Norm remained unpredictable and with Jamie and Reem in good form, winger Josh Stone made a few runs into Warlingham territory, though PJFRFC were unlucky to lose possession in contact, and in turn Warlingham, again used their numbers out wide to score a try, and convert, to lead 19-7, against the run of play. Warlingham exploited the lack of cover at the back, and with the wind on their back, punished PJFRFC for poor discipline in loose play, and a rolling maul from a 5 meter line out, led to the final score of the first half, with a converted try and Warlingham leading 26-7.
There were a few determined voices at half time, and a determined Dan, enthusing everyone to keep fighting. The second half saw a few Warlingham substitutions, and Warlingham evening out numbers again to make this a competitive fixture. PJFRFC kept to their game plan, and did well not to lose ball in contact, and thus recycle from forwards, and backs. This impetus proved difficult to defend, and the backs, did well to utilize their speed in midfield and out wide, to make darting runs into Warlingham territory. The defensive midfield of Norm Jamie and Kareem forced errors, and the forwards pounced on spilt ball, to set up attacking positions, to let loose Josh Stone to score and pull back the score line 26-12. PJFRFC kept up the pressure, through the forwards, with Big Tank- Tom and Marauding Mawer competing at breakdowns and forcing errors, and then distributing ball out wide, and on this occasion for Reem to zipper past several players and score under the post, for a converted try, 26-19 to Warlingham. PJFRFC now had their tails up, and began to play with panache. The forwards provided a steady platform from which to attack, though Marlins were unlucky with the execution, and had a ball intercepted in midfield, unable to mount a defence, Warlingham scored to lead 33–19. Marlins kept up their spirited display and looked to use their speed out wide. Norm’s weighted kick, bounced off Reem, and into a Warlingham player, for another counter attack, and try to lead 38-19. Marlins were not about to give up, and kept up the competitive rugby, though faced another set back when poor discipline by Jules, led to a yellow card. Warlingham utilized their strength in the line out to make good ground, though PJFRFC continued to defend well, and were able to secure ball against the run of play, however another missed pass led to a counter attack and a try, 43-19 to Warlingham. Though PJFRFC Marlins kept up the fight to the end, and were rewarded, when PJFRFC won a scrum , and put Josh Stone in space, who again made an excellent run down the blind side to score under the post, and reduce the deficit to 43-26. Marlins will feel hard done, to lose in such a manner, though will take much heart from their performance. They remain third in the league, with two points between second placed Old Caterhamians and PJFRFC Marlins.