Goode backs his players despite the late setback

Banbury Bulls' Ken Key takes on Marlborough's Amori Nailago at the DCS Stadium. Photo: Simon Grieve
Banbury Bulls' Ken Key takes on Marlborough's Amori Nailago at the DCS Stadium. Photo: Simon Grieve

Player-coach Matt Goode could barely hide his disappointment after seeing his side’s eight-match winning run ended by Marlborough.

Banbury Bulls looked set for a crucial Wadworth 6X South West One East victory over Marlborough until three late tries, when Goode’s side were down to 14 players, turned the tide for the Wiltshire outfit.

Fair play to Marlborough they played well, saw where we were short and exploited it

Bulls’ player-coach Matt Goode

Following Saturday’s 32-29 defeat at the DCS Stadium, Bulls slipped down to fifth but it was close. Bulls had led midway through the second half until those three tries changed the game.

Goode said: “I’m gutted, and gutted for the boys. I asked for the heart and the want that we didn’t have last week.

“We brought that on Saturday but it wasn’t enough. I think our skill level and decision making in the final third just wasn’t quite there on Saturday. We were missing some crucial players who had some crucial skills in key areas.”

Three of Marlborough’s tries came when Bulls were down to 14 players after Ed Phillips was sent to the sin-bin for ten minutes and Sam Stoop had gone off injured. Goode knew that was the big turning point in the contest.

He said: “To lose your nine and your ten when Marlborough are playing great rugby is less than ideal. Fair play to Marlborough they played well, saw where we were short and exploited it.”

The late try from Ed Berridge secured two bonus points for Bulls and those couple of points could be vital at the end of the season, given how tight the race for second place is.

Goode added: “It’s always good to get bonus points, it showed the desire and the fight at the end. You can’t coach those mental attitudes, we’ve just got to make sure we train hard and iron out a few mistakes.”