12:00PM, Thursday 12 December 2019
Marlow RFC were keen to bounce back from their disappointing home display against Didcot, and did so with an impressive 25-20 away win at High Wycombe.
Jack Henderson and Alex Spicer returned to the forward pack with Harry Yeomans coming into the side at scrum half, as Rory Greenslade-Jones shuffled his pack to try and stimulate a response from his squad. There was also a return to the bench for Jack Rider.
Marlow were pegged back in their own half through good tactical kicking from the home side in the first half, but, when they had the ball in hand they looked dangerous, especially Hugo Jafari who made several telling line breaks. Unfortunately a poor scrum handed Wycombe a platform from which they put the first points on the board with a penalty converted by the Wycombe fly half.
Good pressure from Marlow yielded a penalty from which Freddie Lewis levelled the score with ease. Wycombe then slotted a drop goal to restore their three point lead.
However, Marlow were soon in the ascendancy with Rider coming on to replace the injured Yeomans. From a driving maul the visitors pushed close to the line. And, when play was pulled back for a penalty, the quick thinking of Stuart Sylvester saw him catch the Wycombe defence off guard to get in under the posts.
The topsy-turvy nature of the first half continued as Wycombe responded with a try of their own after several phases of attack and dogged defence from Marlow. Marlow hit back through a Lewis penalty but the game appeared to take a significant swing on the stroke of half-time when the hosts created an overlap to go in under the posts. The extras were added to make it 20-11 at the break.
Toby Yate came into the front row at half-time and immediately made his presence felt. Marlow retained the ball through several phases before George Jafari crashed through the Wycombe line to score, with Lewis converting (20-18).
A few big hits from the Marlow side then turned the game in their favour. Skipper Hugo Jafari led from the front with Bruno Renucci a destructive presence in the forward pack. Lewis missed the chance to restore Marlow’s lead with a penalty that slid agonisingly wide of the posts, but, after Wycombe attempted an audacious drop goal in the final minutes, Marlow regained possession.
The resulting drop out was caught by Rider who threw a long pass to George Jafari. He broke the line and rounded the full-back to touch down for an outstanding individual try. Lewis added the conversion to give Marlow a 25-20 lead, and some crunching late tackles ensured that’s the way it remained at the final whistle.
Marlow will now look to take this performance into their final game before the Christmas break, at home to Shipston-on-Stour this Saturday, 2.30pm kick-off.
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