RUGBY: Don’t think about it

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Marlborough’s players celebrate after clinching the Southern Counties Junior Vase with their victory over Abingdon last Saturday Marlborough’s players celebrate after clinching the Southern Counties Junior Vase with their victory over Abingdon last Saturday

SKIPPER Jamie Pittams wants Marlborough to put the carrot of an illustrious Twickenham outing to the back of their minds as they chase National Junior Vase glory.

Marlborough lifted the Southern Counties Junior Vase with a 17-0 victory over Abingdon last weekend, setting up a South West final clash at Gloucestershire outfit Longlevens on February 22.

That showdown also doubles as a quarter-final for the National Vase and after seeing his side knocked out of the last of the national Senior Vase at the last eight-stage by Drybrook last season, Pittams is hoping his team can keep their discipline and not get sucked in by the allure of a Twickenham finale.

“We were in a higher division last season and got to the same stage but I think that everybody got caught up in thinking ‘we’re X amount of games away from Twickenham,” he said.

“We were really disappointed to lose (against Drybrook) – we didn’t think we were going to go up in the league at the time and we didn’t think we were going to go down either so that was our season over after that.

“Going to Twickenham is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and our target is definitely to get there but the message is to keep concentrating on the next game and keep our heads down.

“We’ve got a big game in the league this weekend (at home to Royal Wootton Bassett 2nd in Dorset & Wilts Two North) and I’m sure that the coaches will be telling us to forget about the cup for a few weeks as we concentrate on that.

Marlborough boast a perfect league record so far this season and Pittams added: “Going straight back up is definitely another target that we had this season.

“We didn’t concede a try in the first four matches and our defence have been brilliant.

“We’ve already won two cups this year too. We beat Dorset Dockers to win the Dorset & Wilts Plate and we won the Pewsey Tens last summer, which we were really happy with.”

“It was a really tough game last weekend and we didn’t help ourselves with some of our discipline but we kept a clean sheet, which was what we were looking to do.”

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