“Beating Dorking at their place where they have only lost once before this season is a good result and keeps us in the chase”
Michael "Rhino" Whitfield
A BIG Barnes Rugby welcome will be extended this Saturday to all our guests from Southend as the 1st XV entertain Southend Saxons, and also a big welcome to all our normal supporters but especially to all of the old Barnes players and friends who will be attending today to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Barnes Vets lunch, so expertly organised as ever by that illustrious Jock, Mr Angus Graham. It is a serious labour of love getting old mckers together for this event so we owe Gus a massive debt of gratitude for taking on the mantle again of organising the rabble for the 10th time! Thanks mate, very much, from all of us!
Saturday is a brilliant chance for us to get together to talk sh*t for from 11am to 11pm, and reminisce with our old mates about what we did together on the field of play in years gone by, some true, some made up and some physically impossible!
I also want to remind you that we started this Vets Lunch tradition in honour of the late Neil Bruce-Copp, an illustrious past President, who sadly died over 10 years back now, and we decided to hold a lunch in his honour, That first lunch was a very long one, as the pitches were frozen, so we entered the clubhouse at 11am, left it only when the beer ran dry to go to the Red Lion, and then stayed there until closing time, well most did, I was barred for abusing the landlady and Marty was barred for dancing behind the bar with a Cossack hat on, goose-stepping to every optic and filling his glass gleefully, but of course illegally!
Fun times, as every of these lunch has been since, but let’s take a moment on Satuday to think of Neil, and other rugby friends who are no longer with us, we will keep their spirit alive on Saturday by sinking a few spirits ourselves no doubt!
Before we look ahead to Saturday's important game against Southend, I want to reflect briefly on our game last weekend, when we went to Dorking. This was on the back of a good home win against Hertford, but Dorking were smarting from the spanking we gave them at Barn Elms at the start of the season (we won 64-21 at Barn Elms ) and were ready for us, having conceded only one loss at home so far this campaign. But we were ready for them too :-)
We played good, patient rugby in the first half, and had control of the game throughout, a try after 10 minutes made it 0-5 to Barnow but Dorking scored almost immediately to make it 7-5. Barnes then turned the screw and after multiple phases Tom O’Toole danced through the Dorking defence to make it 7-10 followed by a Russell Nimmo try to make it 7-17 and a try right on half time by Will Symonds that silenced the Dorking crowd with Barnes leading at half time Banres lead comfortably 7-22. Barnes scored again pretty quickly early in the 2nd half, and we looked home and hosed at 7-27, but then with 30 minutes of the game left Fraser Carlisle saw yellow, Robbie Martey took a bash in his eye and Jack Franklin damaged his already sore shoulder and we had a 20 minute period where Dorking clawed themselves back into the game with two tries (one from and interception) to reduce the deficit to 8 points, and a scoreline of Dorking 19 Barnes 27 with 10 minutes to go. A final try calmed things down for Barnes and the final score was 19-32 to Barnes.
A good win in the end agaisnt a side difficult to beat at their place but we silenced the Dorking massive on this occasion!
Last week the 2's faced a very tough battle against Richmond Saxons, essentially Richmond 3rd XV, but who sit at 3rd place behind the Richmond 2nd XV in Zoo Shield 1, and indeed who beat their older brothers in a league game earlier this seasno, something that has so rarely happenned over the last 5 years. But despute losing 29 - 40 the 2's put up a sterling display, in game that saw some amazing trys and the return from long-term injury of Barnes 1st XV regulars Ciaran Smyth and Rupert Crossland - bloody good to have those two back in the green and gold colours of Barnes RFC.
Also last weekend, the mighty Occies won 39 - 22 against Old Tiffs 2's , a great result, as was the spanking of Harlequins Amateurs by Barnes Vets 61-10 -a massvie reversal of the game we were narrowly beaten by them earlier in the season. On Sunday the Ladues were less lucky, going down at Old Elthamians 0-46.
So this Saturday we take on Southend Saxons. Their lowly league position does not reflect the improving team they are so we need to be on our mettle to take on, and beat, this determined Essex team. The Barnes players that played in the game last year said it was one of our worst performances of the season form Barnes, despite winning 15-37, and they will very much be looking to put that right on Saturday and deliver in front of one one our biggest crowds of the season.
And finally, a reminder of the Barnes games this weekend again:
Saturday 20th January
• Barnes 1st XV vs Southend Saxons - 2pm KO
• Cinderford 2nd XV vs Barnes 2nd XV - 2:30pm KO
• Barnes Ladies vs Hackney Ladies - 12 noon KO
Here's to a brilliant weekend of rugby for Barnow, a fantastic Barnes Annual Vets Day and a big win for the 1st XV against Southend!
Onwards the Green Army!
Michael “Rhino” Whitfield
Updated 12:50 - 17 Jan 2018 by Michael Whitfield
Chairman – Barnes RFC