McSorley's Match Report - Marauders 08/12/2018
By Lewis Fraser
Fire and Fury Under the Saturday Night Lights
With fire and fury, the Marauders overcame the physically tough Causeway Bay under Saturday night lights.
After a week marred by controversy in the Raiders whatsapp group it looked as if the social sides of Sandy Bay were being held together by mere threads. The only real way to bring together some semblance of dignity was for a big win by the Marauders under the lights.
At the start of the week the Marauders numbers were looking thin, recruitment for the match hit a low point when the Marauders were dubbed “the side-line support squad” by one of the less astute members of the Raider's team. Amongst the controversy, the bat signal was raised, and the Marauders were inundated with available players. By the time the flood lights were lit ‘the side-line support team’ had support that would make even the surliest Raider proud.
The Marauders coaching staff led by JB, our calm and collected leader, emphasised that unlike previous weeks the Marauders must fire off the blocks and set the pace of the game. This was the case, on receiving kick off the Marauders pushed against the hard tackles of Causeway Bay and marched the ball to the top corner of the pitch. Where by a pick and go, the self-described doctor of the club, Lewis Fraser put Marauders a try up. The Marauders marched up the pitch again and hammered on Causeway Bay’s try line for what must have been 20+ phases of rugby. Though this time the ball was eventually lost. Causeway Bay took line out within their own 22. It was quick off the top and shuttled through their back line and delivered to an unstoppable speedster on the wing. Against the run of play Causeway Bay were now equal on points at 5-5. The Marauders responded with force but again lacking cohesion in front of the try line. Causeway Bay eventually nabbed the ball ran through several missed tackles and scored another run away try. 5 -10. The half time whistle blew, and we had to process the disappointing score line.
The Marauders went out in the second half only to concede another run away try. 5- 15. Anxiety was growing on the pitch and the side-line. This was going against the script. We were staring down the barrel and needed some serious on pitch leadership to overcome this deficit. Leadership which was embodied by our ‘Crying Bear’ Neil Taylor in the final game of his distinguished career. Clearly, he had been watching Braveheart the night prior, channelling William Wallace he stormed out into the second half handing off players and smashing through gaps. Although Causeway Bay had valiantly defended their try line throughout the match the attrition had taken its toll and following continual penalties the referee was forced to award the Marauders a penalty try. 12-15. Boosted by their confidence the tight-5 then attempted to join the back line and help whip the ball back up the pitch. They were quickly reminded of reality after throwing a forward pass which would have better suited a game of American Football. Having reeled their necks in, the Marauders regained possession and again brought it into the Causeway Bay 22. This set the stage for another the front row to drive the ball over the try line. 17 – 15. Knowing a bonus point was up for grabs the Marauders refused to slow down. They drove again into the red zone where Prop Matt Whitmell side stepped through the Causeway Bay defensive line and put the Marauders 22-15 up. With a successful conversion the Marauders were given a comfortable nine-point cushion. The game was then confidently seen out, and although there were no more scores the Marauders had overcome their anxiety and won the match with confidence.