If the 12-try bonanza in this game at Riverside – which changed dramatically in the second half – is what this season’s Premiership is all about then the naysayers may just have got their predictions of a diluted competition a tad wrong.
The half-time and full-time scorelines told the tale of enterprise and then destruction for Jed as Marr exerted enormous pressure in the set-piece after the break. Jed led 21-3 five minutes before the interval but even the most diehard home fan must still have feared that their good fortune was unsustainable.
As Marr coach Craig Redpath acknowledged, Jed went into this match somewhat handicapped.
“They have a number of good players missing. I know that and our team knows that. Once Jed get these players back it will be a different proposition,” said Redpath with a warning to his team that they should not read too much into their sizeable win.
Nevertheless this was a strong performance from a Marr side that has a good balance between a strong pack, in which New Zealander Benedict Grant at No 8 was impressively powerful, and a backline that, after a shaky start, looked potent, particularly in the ten and 12 channels.
For Jed, who were forced to recall several veterans to their pack, there was the satisfaction of scoring four tries to claim the bonus point. But the rather one-sided forward contest meant that the final result was as predictable as the denouement of a Greek tragedy. All the same it was worth sticking around for the first half to watch truly scintillating back play from the home side.
A penalty goal by Marr stand-off Colin Sturgeon opened the scoring but thereafter Jed took control, their attacking defence forcing numerous turnovers and the brilliant handling that has made the Riverside club such a potent force in sevens rugby generating three tries for wing Callum Young and centres Robbie Yourston and Rory Marshall, all converted by Callum Young.
Just before the interval Marr used the power of their forwards to create a try for Conor Bickerstaff, pictured inset, converted by Sturgeon. A second try for Callum Young and the conversion by Yourston gave Jed a 28-10 lead.
But then came Jed’s forward implosion and with it tries for Marr by Conor Bickerstaff (3), Scott Bickerstaff, Jack Preston, Ioseso Uraga and Sturgeon, who added a further six conversions.