“We owed Westcliff after losing at their place so this felt very good”
Michael "Rhino" Whitfield
Barnes Rugby Club, as a whole, continues a bit of a purple patch with wins at every level on 3rd February weekend from the 1st XV to the Under 13’s, and all stops in between.
The 1st XV overcame a feisty encounter with the muscle boys from Westcliff, to win comfortably in the end at Barn Elms 35-7, whilst the 2’s travelled to play Coventry 2’s, again winning impressively against a much bigger team 26-29. The Occies steam-rolled Old Cranleighians and won 62-0 at a full gallop.
On Sunday 4th February the Under 13’s and 14’s won, the Under 13’s winning well away to Old Guildfordians 10-45 whilst the Under 14’s won 10-17 in a mud-fest, and gale force winds, at Chipstead. The Ladies were less fortunate, coming up against an always strong Sutton and Epsom Ladies XV and losing 58-5 in the end.
Barnes 1st XV vs Westcliff 1st XV
On 3rd February, on another cold, wet and windy day Barnes and Westcliff met in the mud of Barn Elms for the return leg after we travelled there last year and lost 13-12. That day we squandered several chances and let Westcliff bully us, but that was then and now is now!
Barnes took the early initiative and camped on Westcliff’s line but the Essex side resolutely defended until the pressure told and, after Matt Cornish broke through and was held up just short of the line, Danny Ruddock touched down on the ten-minute mark, with Charlie Wicks slotting the extras to make it 7-0. Almost all of the rest of the first half Westcliff pressed and Barnes had to defend valiantly to hold out the visitors.
Westcliff missed a couple of penalties and Robbie Martey was yellow carded for a deliberate knock-on, but we held strong and right on half-time we broke out of defence and won a line-out on their 22. From this lineout Charlie Wicks put in a great cross kick and the ball was gathered by Max Murray who scored for Barnes to suddenly double their lead to 14-0 with Charlie Wick’s successful conversion. It was a heart-breaking, and energy-sapping, score for Westcliff to concede after half an hour of concerted pressure, but it was also outstanding defence, turned into attack, from Barnow in the blink of an eye!
At the start of the second half, the ref awarded a penalty try against Westcliff for dropping the scrum which took the score to 21-0 to Barnes and that was really the end of the contest. Further tries were added by the excellent Alex Hind, his seventh in the last three matches, and it came after a 20 metre lineout rumble, and also Frank the Tank Macarthur bulldozed over. As with his other two attempts, Charlie Wicks rounded off an excellent return to the 1st XV with slotting both of the conversions to give him a 100% record on the day. Westcliff did score a consolation try, but it was too little, too late, for the Essex boys.
Barnes duly won the game 35-7 and retain their second place in London and South East Premier league. It is interesting to note that Barnes meagre defence has yielded only one try in each of the last three games, a testament to the discipline of the boys.
Another good win and, with a rest weekend last weekend, the boys will be raring to go at Guildford this Saturday.
Coventry 2’s vs Barnes 2nd XV
Barnes travelled to play Coventry at Broadstreet Rugby Club, but the impressive Wasps training facility did not extend to the back pitches, where recent weather has transformed the playing surfaces on the back pitches into a very muddy bog!
Pitch aside, both sides tried to play open rugby with Coventry storming to a 12-0 lead but Barnes, scored a try of their own, and slotted a couple of penalties to make the half-time score 19-11 to Coventry. The 20 minute period after halftime was Barnes’s best spell of the game, scoring three tries, with Conor Harbison featuring in them all. With 20 minutes to go Barnes led 19-29. Coventry are a quality side, and Barnes had to defend heroically to hold on to the lead, but hold on they did, and won in the end 29-26. The final scrum arguably won the game for Barnes, with Chris Moncur and Yaya Ahmed conceding approx 20kg each to the men in front of them. But what these two warriors lacked in size, they made up for in heart, shunting the Coventry pack back right at the death. It wasn't the only huge defence in the game by Barnow, but it was certainly one of the most significant examples of it. Barnes tries were scored by Dave Riley, Conor Harbison, Elliott Liebermann and Dan Idundun.
With this result Barnes move to 5th in Zoo Shield 1, a very credible position amongst a host of elite clubs who’s 1st XV’s all play in either the Championship, National 1 or National 2. We are very proud of these boys
This weekend at Barnes RFC
With the rest weekend behind us, there is a full weekend of games for Barnes this weekend.
Saturday 17th February
KCS Old Boys 2's vs Occies - 2.30pm KO
Sunday 18th February
- Guildford vs Barnes 1st XV - 2.30pm KO
- Jersey Athletic 2nd XV vs Barnes 2nd XV - KO tbc
- Reading Abbey Ladies v Barnes Ladies - KO tbc
Here's to a brilliant weekend of Barnow rugby, played in the original spirit, and hopefully big wins for all of the teams!
Onwards and Upwards!
Michael “Rhino” Whitfield
Chairman – Barnes RFC
Updated 14:08 - 12 Feb 2018 by Michael Whitfield