Match Report
Sherborne School Boys-U18B vs  Marlborough College
On: Saturday, 28 Sep 2019
Venue: Away

Won: 40-5

The 2nd XV produced an excellent display at Marlborough on Saturday, running in six tries in a dominant performance of powerful, inventive and skillful rugby.

Despite the tribulations of an awful journey and an almost non-existent warm-up, the team started brilliantly with a try inside the first five minutes as Frey Hopkinson benefitted from a perfectly-executed move from the blindside of the scrum. Another try followed in quick succession as the backs linked stylishly and Henry Marriage finished beautifully. Raef O'Brien added the conversion for a 12 point lead, and this margin stayed the same until half time - despite a couple of further good opportunities being created and the loss of the captain, Toby Jones, to the sin bin.

The interval focused on the need to be a bit more clinical in attack and on sustaining the excellent effort in defence and at the breakdown. O'Brien was clearly listening as he went over shortly after the break for a lovely individual score (which he also converted) as the score moved out to 19-0. To Marlborough's credit, they mounted a mini-revival to get themselves on the scoreboard but a second series of attacks was then repulsed under the posts, with Hugo Longrigg, Will Austen, Jamie Jones and Alex Norton very much to the fore. What happened next, though, was simply brilliant to see as, stung by the Marlborough threat, the team went up through the gears to produce a scintillating final quarter in which they scored three tries and 21 unanswered points. First, Jonno Post showed his pace to capitalize on a probing kick from Sam Usher, then Max Fraser scored from close range after an excellent series of attacks in which Marcus Prest was hugely prominent, before Charlie Wills finished off a tremendous afternoon's work in the centre with a try and a second success from the kicking tee.

All in all, then, this was a super performance - certainly the side's best of the season so far. The physicality of the pack - in both attack and defence - gave the backs a really good platform, which they were able to utilize with a lovely mixture of smooth handling, dancing footwork and genuine ambition. At the heart of it all was an outstanding effort from the half-backs, Austen and O'Brien, who controlled and varied the play superbly. A tough away trip to Abingdon beckons next Saturday, but this team will travel in very good heart.

Man of the Match: Raef O'Brien - a superb all-round display from the fly-half.

Tries (6): Hopkinson, Marriage, O'Brien, Post, Fraser, Wills

Conversons (5): O'Brien (3), Wills (2)