Oxford University Greyhounds 10 - 19 Barnes 2's
A Heroic Win!
The visitors secured the ball from the high kick-off then an error gave the Greyhounds the first scrum put-in deep in their opponents' half. Barnes were awarded a free-kick at that and ran the ball. After recycling 3 times the opposition forced an error to get another scrum just inside the Barnes' half. Under a bit of pressure at that the Greyhounds got the ball away then were forced further back, recycling once before the visitors were penalised 14 metres inside Oxford's half. The touch kick gained 21 metres then from their line-out the Greyhounds put together 5 varied phases, hardly advancing, to get another penalty. This kick took them to 10 metres out and from the line-out their pack set for a drive. After this went down, having made a couple of metres, Barnes were penalised for the 3rd time. The next line-out was 5 metres out; the drive was held then Oxford recycled 6 times close to get another penalty just outside the 5 metre line near the posts and their fly-half kicked the points at 9 minutes.
Oxford secured the restart at their 22 and soon went wide and their elusive left wing had a run before chipping over into the opposition 22. Barnes kicked for territory then forced an error after the opposition recycled once. This got them their first scrum, 16 metres inside their half, at which their opponents got a free-kick for a crooked feed. The forwards ran the ball but after one recycle the defence forced an error to get another put-in a bit further back. After a no.8 pick-up the visitors were penalised at the first breakdown. This was kicked for a line-out 19 metres out; it was stolen but then the greyhounds won a turnover and advanced to the line. There Barnes forced a turnover keeping ball tight made a dozen metres. Next at 17 minutes and a breakdown the visitors received their first yellow card at the 6th penalty. This was awarded to someone who is an expert on how to play at the breakdown and could lecture on it.
The kick took the Greyhounds back to 5 metres out; the drive from the line-out was held then the ball was recycled 3 times to get another penalty 6 metres out. This time their forwards ran the ball and got over the line after recycling twice. They were held up and got a five metre scrum. They got the ball away under pressure; again they recycled close, this time 6 phases before the defence forced an error to get a scrum 8 metres out. After it Barnes soon kicked for territory. Oxford ran the ball wide and got a put-in at the second breakdown 11 metres into the visitors half. This scrum went down and the visitors were penalised. The kick didn't find touch; next Barnes had a kick charged down and the Greyhounds put together some wider phases before passing forward at their opponents' 10 metre line. They had created an overlap and might have been a costly mistake. Behind the scrum the visitors' no.9 was caught and this resulted in the 9th penalty that was kicked for a line-out 9 metres out. The drive broke up; the ball was recycled to a forward who got close to the line then was recycled wider before a Barnes' three-quarter got a 10 minute rest for a deliberate knock-down and the Ref. awarded a penalty try at 28 minutes. This was converted by their fly-half.
The Greyhounds secured the restart and ran the ball; after 2 recycles an error gave the visitors a put-in at the opposition 10 metre line. Another free-kick for feeding was awarded. Oxford launched and regained an up-and-under then recycled twice to send their fullback breaking through and the defence was penalised 16 metres out. The following line-out was 5 metres out; after it and two recycles the defence won a turnover. Kicks were exchanged then Barnes recycled twice before clearing to touch 6 metres inside their half. The line-out was stolen but after one recycle the visitors were penalised at the second breakdown. The kick towards touch gained the Greyhounds another penalty 14 metres out. This gave them another line-out not much further ahead and from that one they went wider to get another penalty 20 metres out. The next line-out was 10 metres out. After that they were soon forced into touch just inside Barnes' 22. The visitors' pack started a drive that made yards before a forward broke off. After one recycle centre Davies broke through almost all the way. After one recycle flanker Malaney got over near the posts at 34 minutes. Davies' conversion was charged down; the score 10 - 5.
Oxford's restart went wrong giving the visitors a scrum back. From that Barnes went wider with 3 phases before being turned over. The Greyhounds recycled 6 times in all, twice wider, until they were penalised for the first time in the game (this after 14 penalties against their opposition) near halfway. The kick took Barnes to their line-out 30 metres out; the Greyhounds stole this and went wide before kicking ahead. Wing Foster ran and sent centre Wilde further; the ball was recycled not far out 3 times before the visitors were awarded their third yellow card just before halftime. The penalty count was 15 - 1 against the visitors.
The second half restart resulted in a scrum for Oxford 12 metres inside their half. They were turned over soon after it; three kicks followed then the Greyhounds went wide before being penalised for crossing near halfway. The touch kick didn't go far then from the line-out Barnes kept the ball close and advanced before an error gave their opponents a put-in 20 metres inside their half. After the scrum Barnes were penalised; the Greyhounds ran the ball and broke out strongly to the other 22 before recycling and kicking over. Someone offside gave the visitors a penalty just outside their 22. They kicked, not far, for a line-out that was stolen. Oxford went wide to get another penalty 18 metres into the opposition half. The following line-out was 16 metres out; the pack set for a drive but were soon turned over. Barnes ran out well and put together their best attack with 10 phases, mostly close, that was finished by Foster at 8 minutes. Davies added.
The visitors soon kicked back the restart; the Greyhounds ran wide then recycled wide again before breaking blind. They appeared to lose the ball but got the next put-in at halfway. The scrum was wheeled by Barnes and resulted in another for Oxford at which they were awarded a penalty. They kick took them to 27 metres out and they went wide from the line-out before they were penalised 24 metres out. The kick took them to 6 metres from halfway then soon after the line-out thy lost possession. The Greyhounds' fullback ran off to the opposition 22, where Barnes regained possession then recycled 4 times before kicking to touch from outside their 22. Oxford's line-out 29 metres out was followed by another a dozen metres ahead following a problem with tapped ball. From this second one the Greyhounds were forced backwards but got a penalty 14 metres into the visitors' half. This one they ran and put together 4 phases with their fullback breaking through until a poor pass gave the defence a scrum 8 metres out. Oxford got a free-kick at the scrum and chose to have another scrum. From that they advanced to the line where they were penalised. The kick took Barnes to the 22 and after the line-out they kept the ball in just before the opposition were awarded a scrum for an error. Pressure at this one got Barnes a penalty; this was kicked to touch still 15 metres inside their half. After a couple of recycles the visitors were turned over; the Greyhounds then put together 13 good phases but having been forced backwards to halfway and an opposition put-in. An error by the visitors soon gave Oxford another put-in again near halfway. Scrums from then on were now uncontested. From that they went wide then were penalised having recycled once. The kick took Barnes to 12 metres into their opponents' half. From this they released to centre and replacement Johnson backed himself to go to the posts at 25 minutes. Davies added.
After the restart a forward pass gave Oxford a scrum 20 metres into the opposition half. Errors soon gave Barnes one some metres ahead then Oxford another 10 metres back. This was followed by a visitors' line-out a few metres nearer halfway. From this replacement Cornish, first time out since injury, made 30+ metres before an error gave the Greyhounds another scrum 27 metres from their line. From this they advanced out wide then recycled twice before Barnes were awarded their 4th yellow card for a low tackle that wasn't dangerous but did result in an opponent going off his feet. The kick took the home team to just inside the visitors' 22. The line-out resulted in their scrum at the 22, from which they advanced to another 13 metres out. From this one they broke to go over near the corner; it was clearly a try as acknowledged by the nearby players of both teams and close spectators, but the Ref. said he hadn't seen it and couldn't award it.
This was at 35 minutes; he gave a 5 metre scrum to the home team. The visitors were penalised at this and another put-in was chosen. From it the Greyhounds went wide then recycled close 3 times before chipping through. Barnes kicked for territory; Oxford ran back and kicked into the 22 after recycling twice. This was marked but the Ref. went back to a previously signalled penalty 16 metres out. They Greyhounds ran this; after one recycle Barnes hacked ahead a loose ball then again to the opposition 22. Oxford got the ball and put together the final sequence of 8 good phases before the whistle. The second half penalty count was 6 - 5 against the visitors.
Damp, overcast some drizzle and some wind on the perfect pitch.
1) When I walked down into the ground from Iffley Road the first person that I met was the Greyhounds' coach Dr. Jonathan Fennell, who was a very successful 1st team fly-half for Barnes 2007-9.
2) When this scribbler first played for this club under its previous cognomen of Harrodian RFC we had a regular fixture against St Edmunds Hall, the Oxford University college famed in those days for its prejudice favouring sporting ability. In those days the team coach, provided by Harrods, left Oxford when the pubs closed. We always drank in a pub called the Turf Tavern near the pitch we played on. For many years the changing rooms back at the Harrodian club were adorned with a pub sign liberated from the Turf.
3) Years later when this scribbler had been promoted to Barnes' Vets the Harrodian 1st team established a particular rapport with the St Edmunds' team such that when they graduated and came to London to work several came to play for us, including Barnes' "Goldminer" Robbie Orr, a hooker.