RUGBY: Marlborough 24 Devizes 2nd 0

MARLBOROUGH continued their fine league form with a bonus point win over their local rivals in Dorset & Wilts One North.

The Common side have won 11 of their 13 league games so far and, but for the hefty points deduction at the start of the campaign because of administrative errors, would be sitting second in the table.

Devizes were minus several backs, Jake Richardson playingin the centres and Archie Heaton-Renshaw in the unfamiliar position of full-back.

In freezing conditions and rain, they made a solid start but Devizes’ defence held up well and enjoyed extended spells of territory themselves, keeping it tight with good carries from Gavin Curnow, Tom Moon, Seb Hutchings, Tim Alchin and Seth Robinson.

The first score arrived as the ball squirted out of the back of a Devizes scrum and home flanker Tauyavu Bativagone seized on it to crash over for the only score of the first half.

Strong words from coach Cain Price at the break boosted the Marlborough effort after the break and, despite being reduced to 14 men by a sin-binning, they went on the attack.

Centre Russ Westcott offloaded smartly to Laurence Baker to cross, the full-back starting his first match since a bad injury in 2011.

Excellent pressure from Matty Holloran, Tom Scott-Kelly and Richardson nearly brough a try for the visitors, but the ball was knocked on.

Marlborough crossed twice more to grab the bonus point, secnd row Taniela Delamaitana going over following a rolling maul.

Finally Tom Regan crossed in the corner after a flowing move from the back line, both tries being converted.

FOR MORE RUGBY NEWS, REPORTS & PICTURES SEE THURSDAY'S GAZETTE & HERALD AND FOLLOW US ON TWITTER @gazsport

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