Henley Vikings 69-5 Marlow III's
Henley Vikings continued their impressive start to the season with a resounding 69 - 5 win over Marlow at Dry Leas on Saturday to put them top of Berks/Bucks & Oxon 2 South.
Despite the scoreline this felt like the Vikings first real test of the season. Lock Adrian Smith got the scoreboard rolling; combining with brother Nick at a quick lineout after some good Ollie Cassells defence in the Marlow 22. The lead was extended after a fine break from centre Toby Stevens, weaving in from halfway to make it 14-0. Stevens did manage to injure his shoulder in the act of scoring and was forced off shortly after. Resolute Marlow defence and the ball not quite going to hand meant the score stayed 14-0 until 2 tries shortly before half time put the Vikings in firm control. Fly-half Gordon Kerrins and no.8 Chris Norton scoring to make it 26-0 at half-time.
The returning sidestep king Ollie Jones and crowd favourite Brian Pyle combined to open the 2nd half account; Jones beating 6 defenders from deep before Pyle's dancing feet put him over in the corner. The Vikings then conceded their first and only points of the season as Marlow scored after a period of sustained pressure close to the line. The rest of the 2nd half saw a festival of attacking rugby at a sunny Dry Leas; scores from Adrian Smith, a Luke Brewin chip and chase double, Sam Quelch and Dan Folley finishing things off. A comprehensive win characterised by real ambition and the full squad buying into some all court rugby. Final score 69 - 5.
The Vikings have a weekend off now before a crucial clash with Bracknell 3s next weekend, one of the Vikings main rivals this season.