We were pleased to welcome SMK Kangkar Pulai for the first time on MCM soil this weekend and, having brought both an U14 team and and U16 team, they proved stiff opposition. Below is a report from the Captain, Tim Wu-Murphy and Dash Baldwin, both of whom played key parts in the U16 victory.
Mr L W G Walters
Master ic Rugby
On the dewy morning of Marlborough’s Open-Day, the starting U16A XV were honoured to play the visiting guests SMK Kangkar Pulai & Bandar Baru, also known as the Raiders. After warming up and moments before kick-off, Mr Walters presented the team with the new set of match jerseys. The team was delighted and was excited to play with a new strip.
Not long after kick off, the home team was pressed up against their own try line. In desperation, the hosts made relentless tackles in the hope of a turn of events. The opposition was called for holding on, and with a quick tap from Kenny-Tipton the ball found its way through the hands and onto the wing to Al. After a storming run down the wing, a simple offload to Wu-Murphy allowed him to accelerate over the try line and dive for the ground underneath the ‘H’. A scrum was awarded shortly after the kick-off to the guests, and again, the home team found themselves under pressure. A silly, yet fortunate error in the ruck, allowed Wu-Murphy to quickly tap the ball and he sent it singing out to Holle, who had a superb game, and then to Hewison who, in mid-tackle, placed the ball down. A controversial call from the referee meant that the conversion wasn’t awarded, as the ball sailed just over the left post. In the final minutes of the first third, Buddell made an amazing break and ran down the wing, gaining masses of ground and allowing Chughtai to go in for a ‘feet first-BOD style’ try.
The second third allowed both teams to play a game of XVs. A mixture of tight Bandar Baru Kangkar Pulai defence and MCM errors meant the play was rarely within the guests’ 22 before the referee awarded a scrum to them. After great driving and amazing strength from the pack, a penalty was awarded to the Blues. Wu-Murphy tapped and made a dangerous break, gave the ball to Tan who, with quick feet, skipped over the line and touched it down. Again, MCM found themselves in their own 22, after not releasing in the tackle. A lineout, 5 metres out, gave the guests an opportunity to score their first try. The call was made for the last play of this third, and the pack was in a defensive scrum, after an unfortunate knock-on in the wet conditions. Miraculously, the ball was turned over in a ruck and ‘green ball’ was called. The forwards knew what to do and dropped behind the two centres, where soon after Tan sent the ball towards Wu-Murphy. Moments after receiving it a gap opened up behind the defense and a simple chip over their heads allowed McNamara to receive it and place the ball down. It was an impressive way to finish the third!
The final third offered not much except a lot of heat. Both teams were exhausted but it didn’t stop them from playing. A hospital pass allowed McNamara to smash his opposite number in his exposed chest, shortly followed by a big hit from Wright, having an excellent game at flanker, to send his man flying. Moments later the guests’ scrum stood up under pressure and allowed a perfectly executed set move between the scrum half and fly half, supported by the inside centre. Tan offloaded neatly to Wu-Murphy who ran down the blind side, handing off the winger and breaking the fly-half’s tackle, finally giving a simple pass to Igwe to run and score the try under the posts, leaving the final score at 32-5.
Tim Wu-Murphy & Dash Baldwin MH Hu