Marr mauled at The Greenyards
By Gregor Ness
10 tries for the league leaders as Melrose prove they are too good
Marr Rugby’s 1st XV’s visit to the Greenyards will have lasting memories and mixed feelings for many.
At the end of the match Melrose remained unbeaten runaway leaders with the home support savouring the fact that their side had finally delivered what they had been threatening all season and the performance will send alarm bells ringing for other clubs yet to visit the birthplace of the 7s game. Unfortunately Marr found themselves on the receiving end as Melrose delivered an All Blacks performance in clinical play, doing all the simple things well and with pace and precision. Marr worked hard and never gave up but they struggled to make any inroads against a defensive line that was solid and that kept its shape for most of the match. At the tackle situation Melrose players were always working towards stripping the ball and from a Marr perspective too often this was achieved.
When Marr got into the Melrose 22 it seemed that the defence doubled in numbers and the intensity of their tackling.
Gaining possession Melrose always posed a threat and fast and hard running forwards and backs with great support play brought a barrow load of tries. Even when Marr managed to protect their line play had been forced to the other half of the pitch.
For the first quarter Marr held their own and opened the scoring in five minutes when Craig Kolarik slotted a penalty. Melrose immediately replied with a converted try from fast open running that sent an early sign of what was to follow. Just before the quarter ended Melrose were given a lengthy lecture and warning about their repeated failure to release the tackled player. This had been an effective tactic in slowing down Marr. In the following play Marr’s James Malcolm put in a fantastic chop tackle which the French referee bizarrely deemed dangerous and James was given a 10 minutes rest. Marr’s added penalty was the loss of three tries in quick order as Melrose fully exploited the extra man advantage. Returning to a full side Marr managed to contain Melrose for the remainder of the first half.
In the second half Melrose further extended their lead; including some scores coming from devastating counter attacks. Marr never gave up but too often lost possession in contact or as they tried to force a pass. Towards the end their efforts were rewarded with a consolation try. This came from a quick tap and go by James Malcolm who bulldozed his way through from 10 metres after Melrose conceded another penalty in the red zone.
Marr ended the match battered and bloodied and with the full squad exhausted from the effort they had put in. The players, coaches and supporters reflected on the Melrose performance as being the standard Marr aspire to. The feeling was that there was little doubt the Greenyards juggernaut has now reached a momentum that will be unstoppable and reinforces their position as firm favourites for league title.
Marr’s squad now have to recover quickly as they face the significant challenge of high flying Currie, who are in second place in the league, for what is going to be another significant test.
Marr Rugby 1st XV man of the match: Greg Peterson
Marr Rugby 1st XV scorers
Try: James Malcolm
Conversion: Craig Kolarik
Penalty: Craig Kolarik