MARLINS SHOW BITE
Reigning premiers move into top four
WITH two wins in a row, the MNC Rugby premiership defence of the SCU Marlins is back on track.
After a slow start to the year, the Marlins have moved into the top four courtesy of a 47-28 win over Kempsey on Saturday.
It wasn’t all plain sailing, though.
The Marlins led 26-7 at half time before Kempsey piled on three quick tries after the resumption to take a two-point lead.
SCU coach Dwayne Vignes said it was a momentary lapse he’d prefer didn’t happen but there’s always reasons for these things.
“Kempsey play a very scrappy game. I’m not saying that as a bad thing. They’ve got some great individual players and they were really a thrown-together side against us,” Vignes said.
“We just went off our game plan a bit and didn’t put the foot down when we had to. We had them on the ropes and we didn’t continue on.”
The maturity of the Marlins’ leaders shone through as they helped to steer the young playing group to victory.
Tries to Damion Dumas, Josh Rayner and Jarryd Frank ensured the win and Vignes said he was in charge of a good group when it came to their attitude after they had fallen behind on the scoreboard.
“There’s still some senior players in there that know what they’re doing and it’s a matter of just calming everybody down and getting back on track,” he said.
“We’ve got the capability of doing that. Even in last year’s grand final we were down 21-0.
“We always know we can score points. It’s a matter of us playing the way we want to play and not worrying about the opposition so much.”
With a long list of regular first grade players missing, there were several inexperienced players who were promoted into the first grade side.
Vignes said promoting young players was almost a mantra of the Marlins.
“That’s what the club has been about since before I was here, it is about giving these young kids a go,” he said.
“The structures we’ve got in place with our junior program is obviously working well so a player comes through and can step up into first grade.
“That’s the beauty of the club. That’s what they pride themselves on and that’s what we’ll continue doing.”
There were times when it appeared SCU was inviting Kempsey back into the contest with dropped ball in poor field positions.
Vignes said the backline was dangerous and “when it does go it is great” but he said there was room for improvement.
FORWARD THINKING: SCU Marlins hooker Matthew Potts takes on the Kempsey defensive line.