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"Ambush" they cried - but onwards still we ran into the Guernsey machine gun fire

By Michael Whitfield

Barnes faced Guernsey Raiders at Barn Elms last Saturday and in a scrappy game with lots of injury time lost 21-26

“A gutting one to lose but what doesn't kill us makes us stronger! ” Michael "Rhino"Whitfield

A disappointing result for the 1’s and 2’s at the weekend, the 1’s going down at Barn Elms 21-26 to a shrewd Guernsey team, whilst the 2’s lost away to Bishop Stortford 2’s 36-14.

There was some sunshine provided by the Occies, who beat Old Cranleighans 7- 49, and our Ladies 1st XV, who were on fire beating Millwall Ladies 74-0 on Sunday at Barn Elms.
For their male counterparts in the 1st XV, it was a case of “Well that was another fine mess we got ourselves into Stanley”. We contrived to lose 21-26 to Guernsey Raiders.

It certainly didn’t look like that result after the first five minutes, by which time our backs had combined twice beautifully, allowing the mercurial Matt Cornish to touch down on both sorties as we raced into a 14-0 lead.

Maybe that was the problem, maybe we sat back on our haunches and thought “job done”. Whatever the reason, we allowed Guernsey to settle, after that initial Barnes onslaught, allowing them to control the pace. They happily admitted all they wanted to do was to come and spoil the Barnes running rugby party, get under our skin and make sure we couldn’t play the game we wanted to play. If they could have taken one losing bonus point from the game then they would have been happy, but we handed them all five!

As the game progressed the Islanders smothered our creativity, slowed down the ball and, set piece by set piece, took control of the game, achieving total dominance up front and driving us back in the scrums and mauls.

As I watched this tragedy unfold in front of my eyes, it seemed inevitable that Guernsey would score, catch us up and then overtake us. And they did just that. We seemed hypnotised by them, and unable to change gears, or switch to a Plan B. We were like moths being drawn inexorably towards the ultra-violet light!

In the midst of all this was an absolutely horrific leg injury to the Guernsey tight-head prop, Charlie Currie. Fortunately, with our Doctor, and an array of physios, present, the leg was isolated quickly but the considerable delay meant we had to move to another pitch to play out the rest of the half. We wish Charlie all the best on his road to recovery.

Back to the game and the result. To just see it as us being poor would be an insult to Guernsey who, with a raft of injuries, came with a limited plan, which they executed perfectly. We weren’t great, but Guernsey were much street-smarter and got their just rewards Jordan, their coach, set a big trap and we fell into it, simple as that. In the last minute we scored a consolation final try to rescue a losing bonus point to reduce the deficit at full time to 21-26. The facts are that we scored three converted tries inside ten minutes of total game time, in between which was sandwiched 70 minutes of attritional rugby. It is not the way Barnes play, and I would certainly prefer to forget it!

Let’s just say it was not our finest hour. The boys were clearly incredibly gutted afterwards, and the Barnes faithful were equally gutted. The Guernsey lads were almost embarrassed to have won, but were nonetheless very jubilant at successfully having ambushing us. It felt like a wake, but no one had died thankfully.

But the good news is that we are a very resilient lot at Barnes, and they say what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.

We have to put it down to experience, take it on the chin, pick ourselves up, dust ourselves down, and move on to this week’s game against the Rampant Rams (the club previously known as Redingensians).

We lost our last two games against them in the 16/17 season 33-12 at their place, 22-36 at Barn Elms, and they are top of the league this season. I know that in adversity this band of Barnow brothers have a history of digging deep and pulling the unexpected odd rabbit out of the hat. This weekend we look forward to seeing an array of magic tricks to achieve the upset of the week!

Cumon Barnow!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Here is the full list of fixtures this weekend. Our lovely fixture secretary pointed out to me that we are putting out six adult sides for the first time ever this weekend, how bleeding wonderful is that?

Saturday 6th October
• Barnes 1st xv vs Rams 1st XV - 3.00pm KO
• Barnes 2nd xv vs Rams 2nd XV- 2.30pm KO
• Occies vs Reeds Weybridge - 2.00pm KO
• Harrodian Vets vs 5th XV -
Sunday 7th October
• Streatham & Croydon Ladies XV vs Barnes Ladies 1st XV - 2.30pm KO
• Barnes Ladies 2nd XV - Reading Abbey Ladies XV - 2.30pm KO

Onwards and upwards Barnow, and here is to a wonderful weekend at Barnes RFC!

Michael “Rhino” Whitfield - Chairman Barnes RFC

Updated 09:10 - 7 Nov 2018 by Michael Whitfield

Where next?

Barnes go close to upsetting the league leaders, but not close enough. In driving cold rain Barnes took on Rams Rugby at Barn Elms and lost 19-26 in a brutal encounter
For the third week running Barnes nearly take the win but just fall short of the winning post to Bury St Edmunds Barnes travelled to Bury last week and went down fighting 22-12 - they will be looking for a better result as we welcome Guernsey to Barn Elms


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