Marlow Get Revenge Over Stow
By Tim Platt
A comfortable win to avenge the loss when Stow visited us earlier in the season.
Having lost to Stow earlier in the season, at Riverwoods, we were keen to exact revenge. Stow used all the usual pre-match excuses about player availability etc, but they had done that when they came to us and ran out winners, so we weren’t going to fall for that again. They have done well this season with a string of good results.
The conditions were not conducive to free-flowing running rugby. It was cold and there was a persistent drizzle, which made the pitch very slippery under foot.
Nick Carvey played at No. 10, as he did against Slough, although I believe this is not his preferred position his excellent kicking from hand proved pivotal in the match, and allowed us to exploit the Stow Left Wing, who found it difficult to deal with any high balls, and kicks that went behind. He appeared very vulnerable whenever he did get his hands on the ball.
It was an entertaining match to watch. Both sides played with the right attitude, for the most part, and the Referee played his part as well, allowing the match to flow wherever possible. He was clearly enjoying the match as well, as he had a smile on his face. This seemed to rub off on the players.
We started the match on the front foot and with only 2 minutes gone had our first opportunity for points when Stow were penalised for being offside. However, Nick’s kick was left of the posts.
For the first 7 minutes of the game we kept Stow pinned back into their own half, but when they did make ground, we unfortunately gave them an opportunity to score, by not going through the gate at the ruck. Luckily for us, their Inside Centre, was unable to take advantage.
Nick had tried to exploit the space down the Stow left wing. Eventually this bore fruit. On 15 minutes a ball kicked by Nick over the head of the Stow Left Wing was chased by Nick Gorham, who forced their Full Back into touch, giving us an excellent attacking platform. A solid throw in followed by a well worked maul forced Stow into giving away a penalty. However, we used the free play to go through the hands out to our left wing, and Hugo Jafari, who had moved forward to join the attacking line, forced his way over for the first Try. Nick Carvey was unable to make the Conversion, from a difficult angle. 0-5
Our next opportunity came on 22 minutes when Stow were penalised for holding on 10m inside their own half. Nick Carvey stepped up and kicked the ball cleanly to add three points. 0-8
At this point we looked quite comfortable keeping Stow at bay, but as has happened a number of times this season, we switched off and a kick over the top from Stow was well chased by two of their Backs – where were we? – who outpaced Hugo Jafari to the loose ball, picked up and ran unopposed under the posts. From nowhere we were suddenly only a single point ahead.
Fortunately, our forwards came to the rescue. Stow incurred a penalty and Nick Carvey kicked it into touch. Another clean catch at the lineout and the resulting maul had Stow back peddling fast and sucking in players desperately trying to stop our forward motion. Now with an overlap on the right wing the ball was released. Hugo Jafari looked like he would be the scorer, but he passed to Nick Gorham, who scored in the corner. Unfortunately, the conversion was just wide of the uprights. 7-13
In the dash for the line Hugo Jafari pulled a muscle, so he was replaced by George Buckle, who went to left wing.
We now had our tails up, and Stow were starting to struggle with our attack. This led to a yellow card for their large talisman forward, who was penalised for a high tackle.
A massive kick from Nick Carvey into touch – all of 50m - gave our forwards another great attacking platform. Yet another clean catch and maul, but this time rather than releasing the backs, the forwards retained the ball and powered over the line, with Ian Thomson being credited with the Try. Nick Carvey finally found his aim and scored the Conversion. 7-20
Half Time Stow 7 – Marlow 20
The second half was pretty much all Marlow, as Stow started to fade and unforced errors crept into their game.
Initially we went hunting for the bonus point. 7 minutes into the half Stow provided us with the opportunity by holding on at the ruck. Nick Carvey found touch for a throw in, and our forwards did the rest. Once the ball had been caught cleanly, there was no way Stow were going to stop our pack from 5m out. This time Curran McMillan was at the bottom of the pile of bodies with his hands on the ball. Nick Carvey narrowly missed the kick. 7 – 25
Stow were now back up to 15 men, and it signalled a change for us with Eddy Smyth being replaced by Bruno Renucci in the pack.
To Stows credit, they never gave up the fight, but our defensive skills started to dominate. At one-point Stow had procession of the ball within our 25m zone, but we drove them back every time the ball came out of the ruck, so by the time the game was stopped for the next set play they were back to the halfway line. Special mention needs to go to Bruno Renucci who timed his tackle on the largest Stow forward to perfection – someone at least twice his size. Every Marlow supporter I talked to after the match mentioned that ‘tackle’ as a highlight of the game.
Jack Goss replaced Ian Thomson for the last quarter of the match.
We still had time for two more scores. Nick Carvey took the penalty when Stow were offside. 7-28 and, in the last play of the match, George Buckle found himself with space on the left 25 m out, held off the attentions of two Stow players, managed to stay in touch and scored right in the left-hand corner. The last act of the match was Nick Carvey’s beautiful Conversion kick from right on the left touch line which dissected the posts and took the final score to:
Stow 7 – Marlow 35
Tries: Hugo Jafari, Nick Gorham, Ian Thomson, Curran McMillan, George Buckle
Conversions: Nick Carvey (2)
Penalties: Nick Carvey (2)
1 Chris Clarke 2 Curran McMillan 3 Eddy Smyth 4 Ben Smith 5 Jack Henderson 6 Ian Thomson 7 Max Roberts 8 Will Reynolds 9 Cameron Denton 10 Nick Carvey 11 Nick Gorham 12 Miles Noble 13 Marcus Mercer 14 Stuart MacKay 15 Hugo Jafari.
16 Jack Goss 17 Bruno Renucci 18 George Buckle