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Salisbury down to the bare bones
INJURY hit Salisbury Rugby Club fell to a heavy defeat against promotion favourites Oxford Harlequins last weekend.
Coach Bugden handed full debuts to James Martin and Genghis Miller, a patched up Johnny Kay returned to the fray and Andy Herriott moved to inside centre.
Oxford Harlequins on the other hand, having spent the past nine years plying their trade in National Division 3, have retained and recruited well and are set on promotion this season.
The home side were first into their stride and, following some crisp movement and support, James Kaminski dived over for the opening score, converted by Rory Davis.
Quins rallied but Salisbury scrabbled hard in defence and were able to keep them out until a forced error led to a penalty and the visitors were on the board.
Quins looked to dominate, hitting hard in the tackle and running some very well rehearsed moves, and it was no surprise when they took the lead with a score following a light-footed break from their outside half Zac Norris.
Salisbury were still at the races, Dave Salomon showing well in defence and Martin, dishing some of their own medicine out to the visitors, with a huge hit in midfield, but Quins gradually pulled away with two more tries before the break.
Salisbury were forced to reshuffle as the attrition took its toll, Martin and Bobby Saunders were forced from the field, and the Castle Road crowd were treated to the unexpected sight of George Morgan playing on the left wing.
Sadly the second half produced more of the same with gallant home defence from a fast tiring side but Quins’ class showing as they ran in five further tries, Norris finishing with a personal haul of 27 points in a 57-7 victory.
Salisbury continued to probe through the impressive Kaminski, pictured left, whose running and intelligent kicking posed a number of problems for the visitors.
Kay turned in a forceful performance in defence and carried well when the opportunity arose, Herriott tackled superbly and Phill Carr looked to run strongly back whenever he had the ball.
Overall though, the home side were well short and nothing can be taken away from the Quins performance.
Coaches Mark Bugden and Marcus Olsen are trying hard to rebuild the side but the injury list has reduced the number of blocks at their disposal.
It looks as if it will be a long season but the only way is up and, as players return to the squad, that is the direction they will be heading.