Marlins upset over Vikings one for the ages
A HERCULEAN defensive effort in the last 10 minutes has seen the SCU Marlins pull off probably the biggest MNC Rugby upset in a decade.
Hastings Valley Vikings, an almost unstoppable force in recent years and undefeated for two years, were beaten by the Marlins in a stunning win.
Trailing 21-5, the young Marlins players could’ve been forgiven for thinking the Vikings’ winning run was simply going to continue but the group showed it’s made of sterner stuff.
Three unanswered tries saw the Marlins unbelievably take a 24-21 with a quarter of an hour still to play.
From that point on, the SCU boys defended as if their life depended on it as the Vikings constantly attacked, looking to regain the lead.
Hastings set up camp in the Marlins 22 for the last 10 minutes, declining to take the shot at goal to level the scores on several occasions, backing their big men to get the job done.
But the home side wouldn’t budge and recorded a famous victory as their reward.
Vikings prop David Tunstead was full of praise for the young Marlins team members.
“Well played to the Marlins, they took their opportunities and defended so well,” Tunstead said.
Marlins’ coach Brett Davis was full of pride after the contest, in particular the improvement his team showed in the space of seven days.
“We had a few things to try and fix up. We had to try and reduce our errors and we had to try and reduce the number of penalties we were giving away and I think we did both, but probably the main thing it was down to was the guys dug in and put in a second half performance, a defensive effort which kept them out and kept them scoreless in the second half,” Davis said.
This was the second time in as many weeks that the Marlins had come from behind to record a win and Davis said it’s an aspect of the club he was keen to introduce.
Meanwhile Coffs Rugby coach Rob Waddy knows his team should’ve beaten Grafton on Saturday but he offers no excuse for the surprise 13-10 loss.
“We were just out enthused,” Waddy said.
After scoring first through Koen Mieni, the Snappers didn’t pay too many visits inside the opposition 22, often giving up possession in an error riddled performance.
While Cameron Sweeney was shining for the home team at No.8, there were few others offering their full support.
Trailing 13-5, the Snappers gave themselves a chance of victory when Mieni scored a second try but the Redmen defence proved too strong.
Waddy said the performance of the teenaged Mieni was a highlight.
“He’s got plenty of speed and made the most of his opportunities,” he said.
SCU Marlins bt Hastings Valley 24-21
Grafton bt Coffs Rugby 13-10
Kempsey bt Port Pirates 20-15