Refreshing changes ...
produce a comfortable win after two defeats.
Before reporting on this game, just a couple of words about the 2nd team league fixture against Richmond the night before down the road at Rosslyn Park. Although well beaten, Barnes gave everything possible in defence and threw the ball about well in attack.
As regards the 1st team, Barnes responded to last week's result by replacing half their team. This week 7 of the previous starting 15 were retained to which the 3 from the bench were added. After a difficult time earlier in the season Towcester had looked stronger in their last two matches.
The visitors started with possession in their half after the opposition kick-off. They recovered from having a kick charged down then were turned over before Barnes were penalised for not releasing. The kick didn't find touch and Barnes ran the ball back with 9 mixed phases to score in the corner before 3 minutes.
After the restart Barnes were penalised twice in between Towcester making mistakes. Barnes, from their 22, made some ground to get their first penalty and kicked for a line-out past halfway. From that with 6 phases then a chip through by the try earlier scorer they got over wide out at 13 minutes.
A turnover and a penalty helped the visitors make ground after the restart before a stolen line-out set Barnes attacking again. Errors stopped that then we had a penalty for each team while attacking. From a line-out 17 metres from the opposition line, Barnes put together 5 mostly close phases to score at the posts after 22 minutes.
There was little continuity after the restart then 3 penalties in succession, the later 2 of which were run sent a forward over wide-out for the 4th try after 28 minutes. An excellent conversion from the fullback made the score 24 - 0.
Barnes kicked back the restart and Towcester started their best attack thus far. A couple of breaks got them to 7 metres out then after 10 phases they got a penalty further back that they ran to get close to the line. After 7 more phases the defence forced an error to get a scrum near their 22 then a penalty in the scrum. The kick got them into the other half; from the line-out Barnes went wide then the fullback kicked the ball directly into the hands of an opposition player who ran more than half the pitch to score at 36 minutes. This was converted
The early minutes of the 2nd period were played in the visitors half then Towcester broke through in the centre to the other half. Barnes regained possession with a turnover then got a penalty that they kicked to touch 13 metres out and their pack drove over before 10 minutes.
After the restart was kicked back Towcester started a very good attack; 3 recycles got them a penalty that they ran from halfway. With their fullback in the line and 8 phases they advanced to another penalty 5 metres out. They chose to have a scrum and after it recycled 10 times almost all close before being turned over. Barnes cleared to touch almost to halfway then the line-out was thrown not-straight. From the scrum Barnes' fly-half and fullback sent the previously scoring wing to the line where he forced himself over at the corner at 18 minutes. The conversion kick missed.
Barnes kicked back the restart; the visitors had the ball for 6 phases before being dispossessed. Barnes ran the ball and broke through to the 22 then one recycle sent a forward to the corner a little more than 3 minutes after the preceding try. An excellent conversion followed.
The restart resulted in a scrum for Towcester almost 15 metres ahead; From that they attacked strongly in the centre then recycled 3 times before the defence forced an error to get a scrum 9 metres out. The home team used an up-and-under; the visitors got the ball and kept it for 5 phases to get a penalty at halfway that they ran. After 2 more phases they were penalised for not releasing and Barnes ran that. After one recycle Towcester intercepted but that was said to be from offside. The kick took the home team from 15 metres into the opposition half to less than 9 metres out. From the line-out their pack drove to the line and over before losing possession.
Towcester got the ball and soon kicked ahead then an opposition error gave them a scrum 17 metres from halfway. That was under pressure and resulted in another for their opponents 6 metres back. From that Barnes chipped through; Towcester got the ball soon cleared to touch at their 22; from the line-out the ball was sent to the corner for a hat trick at 32 minutes. Another excellent conversion followed.
Barnes broke through from the restart to score with 9 phases near the posts in 3 minutes,
Again from the restart they got their last within 2 minutes. A fairly easy conversion hit a post and stayed out.
Bright & dry, no wind, cold in the 2nd 1/2; the pitch soft.