Guernsey beaten at home for the first time this season
Won by excellent defence, 3 line-out drives and an interception, making up for the last minute loss at Barnes in the reverse fixture
The visitors returned Guernsey's high kick-off with an up-and-under; the home team regained the ball comfortably then immediately broke blind and chipped through flat to the line. Centre Armstrong got to the ball first to touch down at the corner inside the first minute. The conversion was wide.
Two kicks followed the restart; Guernsey kept the ball and advanced with 5 mostly close phases to just past halfway where they were penalised at the next breakdown. The visitors kicked to touch just outside the 22 and got another penalty soon after the line-out. The next line-out was 14 metres out and from that their pack drove to 3 metres out then the Ref. signalled a penalty try after 4 minutes and showed a yellow-card.
The visitors returned the high restart with an up-and-under; Guernsey soon went wide and caught the opposition offside near halfway. They kicked for a line-out inside the 22 and from their line-out used eight close phases before kicking over the defence and getting the ball back again. They recycled once close then once wider to get a penalty 13 metres out in front of the posts and fly-half Thomas kicked the points at 8 minutes.
The visitors' restart went directly into touch giving the opposition a scrum back. From that they went blind then kicked to touch only 7 metres ahead. From the line-out the visitors soon went wide and the outside centre broke though the line of the opposition. After 3 recycles they got a scrum put-in 26 metres from Guernsey's line. From that they went wide and lost possession; Guernsey soon cleared to touch then their opponents took a quick line-out and recycled close twice to get a penalty 17 metres into the opposition half. This was put into touch 18 metres out and Guernsey were restored to 15 men. The drive for the line was joined by a couple of backs and got over not far from the posts. The fly-half converted.
Guernsey regained their restart but were penalised 26 metres from the visitors' line. The touch kick took Barnes to 6 metres from halfway; the line-out was thrown too long but directly regained before Guernsey immediately forced a turnover. They next used wider ball 4 times to get a penalty at the opposition 10 metre line. This was kicked for a line-out a little more than 5 metres out. Barnes held the drive to the line and it went down; the ball was recycled twice tight to get another penalty 5 metres out. They chose to have a scrum from which the ball was recycled close to no. 8 Horrocks who got over half way from the posts to the touch line at the start of the second quarter. Thomas converted to make the scores 15 - 14.
Guernsey cleared the long restart to touch 4 metres from halfway. From their line-out the visitors kept the ball for 5 mixed phases, but under pressure. Three kicks followed, with advantage to the home team, then Guernsey put together 10 good mixed phases deep in the opposition half before chipping through the defence to not far from Barnes' line. The visitors secured the ball and recycled twice close before clearing to touch 26 metres out. From the line-out Guernsey went wide then were penalised for crossing 20 metres out. The kick took the visitors to their line-out 14 metres from halfway. From that they made ground, first breaking blind then recycling 3 times before being penalised for not releasing at halfway. The kick took Guernsey to 17 metres out; their pack drove for the line a bit loosely but got to 4 metres out before going down. The ball was recycled tight 4 times before being released wider. Next a runner was put through a hole clear to the posts, but having been given a short forward pass. The Ref. went back to a previously signalled penalty 5 metres out. Guernsey chose a scrum and after it was held by the defence they recycled tight 6 times before chipping through. The Ref. went back for another penalty 5 metres out and gave a defender a 10 minute rest. Again the home team chose to have a scrum; soon after this was seen to wheel the Ref. awarded a penalty try to make the score 22 - 14 at 32 minutes.
Guernsey ran the ball wide twice from the high restart advancing to get a penalty for a high tackle just before their 10 metre line. The touch kick gained them almost 26 metres then from their line-out they first went wide before putting together 6 mixed phases then chipping ahead. The ball went into touch off an opposition player 17 metres out. From this line-out Guernsey were forced back then recycled tight 3 times before recycling blind and chipping to touch 14 metres out. The visitors soon used an up-and-under from the line-out; Guernsey got the ball and went wide before being penalised 28 metres out. Barnes kicked for another line-out 11 metres past halfway. From that they started a three-quarter attack then recycled once close before being turned over. Guernsey went wide then recycled and kicked for territory. The visitors had the ball for a few moments before the halftime whistle.
Guernsey secured the second half kick-off and recycled the ball three times to get a penalty for not rolling away. They kicked for a line-out 3 metres past halfway. From that they released to centre where they were penalised for crossing. The visitors kicked for their line-out just outside the opposition 22. From that they kept the ball in then it was ripped by an opposition player. Guernsey started a good passing attack breaking out and away deep into the other half then recycled 3 times before play was stopped for an injury. It was restarted with a scrum put-in for the visitors 21 metres from their line. From that they attacked going wide then keeping possession for a couple of phases before having a kick charged down then recovering from that. After recycling twice they had another kick charged down; this time Guernsey got the ball. They went wide and advanced well then recycled 4 times, first blind then close, then blind, then close before the Ref. went back to a previously signalled penalty 16 metres out near centre field. The kick for the points missed.
The visitors kicked the 22 drop-out long to the other half; after recycling once Guernsey were penalised at halfway. The kick took Barnes to a line-out just outside the 22. The forward drive soon went down; the ball was recycled 5 times, mostly close, then the Ref. went back to a previously signalled penalty 19 metres out. This was kicked for a line-out 7 metres out from which the pack drove over at 9 minutes fairly wide out. The fly-half added to reduce the deficit to 1 point.
The visitors replied to the high restart with an up-and-under; Guernsey got the ball and ran it strongly, soon going wide then putting together 8 mixed phases to get a penalty 8 metres into their opponents' half. They kicked for a line-out 14 metres out. Barnes initially offered no defence to the drive for the line; soon they forced it down. Guernsey recycled tight 7 times then once close then tight 4 more times. Next they went wide, recycled close once then they were turned over. The opposition fly-half cleared well to touch 3 minutes from halfway. The visitors stole the line-out and used an up-and-under after recycling 3 times. Guernsey got the ball back at their 22 and kept the ball; after 7 mixed phases and not advancing much they chipped over and were awarded a penalty where the ball landed 14 metres inside their half. The kick for a line-out gained them 22 metres then from the line-out they put together their best set of phases, 24 altogether, mostly close. Then they were forced into touch 25 metres from the opposition line.
The visitors soon used an up-and-under; Guernsey got the ball near halfway then they too used an up-and-under after 3 recycles, then recovering from an error and recycling again once. Barnes got the ball and were awarded a penalty 30 metres out after one recycle. The kick took them to the other 10 metre line; from the line-out they had the ball for 4 phases before Guernsey forced an error to get a put-in 12 metres inside their half. From that they soon attacked blind making ground then recycled 3 times, the last one wide where the ball was dropped giving the opposition a scrum at their 10 metre line. They went blind from that then kicked out on the full giving Guernsey a line-out 15 metres into the visitors' half. From that the home team used 6 varied phases without advancing to get a scrum 4 metres back. From that they released to their three-quarters; Barnes outside centre, possibly having changed position, intercepted and ran straight ahead to the posts at 25 minutes. The fly-half added.
Barnes cleared the long restart to touch less than 2 metres from halfway. From the line-out Guernsey kept the ball for 7 mixed phases before being turned over. The visitors soon kicked for territory; Guernsey ran the ball wider twice and were awarded a penalty after another recycle close. This was 13 metres inside their half and their kick gained them 22 metres. They kept the ball for 11 mixed phases, including recovering from an error, then were turned over. The visitors broke out of their half and kicked to touch 15 metres from their opponents' line. Guernsey kept the ball in from the line-out and got a penalty that they kicked for another line-out 9 metres from halfway. Soon after this one they advanced to get another one at halfway. Again they kicked for a line-out and went long, not finding touch; Barnes cleared to touch 3 metres past halfway.
From their fourth line-out in a row the home team tried wider ball for most of 8 phases before being forced into touch at the opposition 10 metre line. The visitors kept the ball close for 3 phases until penalised 2 metres from halfway. Guernsey kicked for another line-out, this time 19 metres out, then had that stolen. Barnes struggled to set up a clearing platform with a couple of close phases then cleared to only 16 metres out. From the line-out Guernsey used 5 mixed phases to get a penalty and a man advantage for a couple of minutes. They chose to have a scrum put-in 13 metres out in centre field; following that and 5 close phases their error preceded the final whistle.
The RFU provided two experienced referees to act as assistants to the game’s Ref. and they were essential to the management of a difficult game.
Cool, overcast, not much wind; a wide pitch mostly in good condition.