“That really hurt, taking nothing away from Birmingham and Solihull who were valiant throughout, but that really hurt”
Michael "Rhino" Whitfield
This weekend Barnes travel to face top three side Canterbury after a disappointing run of three losses, with last weekend’s loss 10-15 at Barn Elms game against Birmingham and Solihull still gnawing away at the lads.
So what happened? On a cold windy day at Barn Elms, Birmingham and Solihull overturned the form book, and secured their second win of the season against Barnes, winning 15-10 in the end. The game started brightly for Barnes, who were on the offensive from the start, Jack Franklin charged down the ball and scored after only seven minutes. With the conversion missed, Barnes led 5-0.
Barnes error count was far too high throughout the first half and, to compound matters, Robbie Martey was yellow carded for a high tackle early on, causing a further loss of momentum. Birmingham and Solihull used the extra man to their advantage and, from a move that started inside the Barnes half, their backs handled slickly, creating the overlap for Luke Smith to score, levelling the game at 5-5 after 18 minutes.
Barnes continued to rack up penalties, clearly frustrated by their lack of ball, and Jack Jolly slotted one of them to give the Midlanders a well-deserved half-time lead of 8-5. Starved of possession, Barnes were unusually flat throughout the first period and looked confused by their lack of cohesion.
Barnes started the second half much as they had the first, no doubt having benefitted from the break. They attacked at pace and were rewarded with a try scored by Robbie Martey after only two minutes of the restart and retook the lead to go 10-8 in front. But the resurgence was short-lived, as again the Birmingham and Solihull backs broke free for Keanan Cooper to score in the forty-eighth minute and take a 15-10 lead that they would never lose.
Despite Barnes having the vast majority of possession for the remainder of the game, the visitors' defence just would not yield. Whilst Barnes’s penalty count dropped significantly, their lineout failed to click and countless attacking positions were therefore lost.
As the game drew to a close, Barnes threw the kitchen sink at Birmingham and Solihull but they held firm and deservedly won, their joyous celebrations at the end showed them how important this win was to them.
Barnes 2nd XV 12 Esher 2nd XV 26
On Friday night the 2nd X took on Esher under the lights at Rosslyn Park and, like the 1st XV game that followed, it too was frustrating to say the least as we lost 12-26. Barnes looked fantastithe c with ball in hand but struggled to keep the ball for multiple phases due to forced errors and turnovers, which Esher excelled at, reacting quicker than Barnes at the breakdown. This pressure yielded three tries in the space of seventeen minutes in the first half with a try scored by Liam Jordan from a lineout being the only reply. At half time, we were looking down the barrel 5-26 down.
In the second half, we started to hold onto the ball better, and plug the holes in our defensive line. Esher didn’t score again and in the 55th minute, the wonderfully named Storm Fauchx finished a great team breakaway to score the only points of the half. Moving on, we will lick our wounds and look forward to taking on the formidable Richmond Vikings next week at Barn Elms.
A historic win! Barnes Under 14’s A 29 - 26 Richmond Under 14’s A
As our Under 14’s gear up for the waterfall cup, our lads were looking for tough opposition, and none comes tougher than Richmond. Though many of the coaches, as ex-players, are very aware of the rivalry, the kids needed reminding that this is the oldest rugby fixture in history, and our most important local derby.
In the first five minutes, Barnes were slow to start the game and we found ourselves 0 - 14 down. After a back row reshuffle, Barnes started to dominate the breakdown. Scores from Owen Nash and Simon Raine gave us parity at the break. With both teams playing open rugby in the second half, the Richmond scored twice, leaving Barnes needing three tries to win. With ten minutes to go, the odds were not stacked in our favour. Turning great defence into attack, Simon Raine scored twice and, with two minutes to go, we scored our fifth try, again creating turnover ball following aggressive defence, that gave us our three-point lead. Just when we thought it was game over, Richmond roared back with the Richmond full back collecting the ball and heading for the corner at pace, it looked like a certain try. But nothing in rugby is certain, and a heroic last-ditch tackle by Henry Koe, who flew in like Josh Lewsey in his prime, saved the day and the game.
That last tackle, and the teams never say die attitude, epitomises the character of this young Barnes team that plays in the original spirit that we are so proud of at Barnes RFC.
An historic day, and the first time we have beaten Richmond Under 14’s at A team standard, the future is bright, the future is Barnow!
The Occies, Vets and Ladies
Last weekend also saw Occies go down 38-0 to Battersea Ironsides, whilst the Vets overcame their often nemesis side Guildford at Barn Elms, winning 23-5 in the end. On Sunday, the Ladies returned to winning way, overcoming Cuffley Ladies 25-47.
This Weekend’s Rugby
This weekend, we have another full set of games.
After our third loss in a row, Barnes 1st XV will have to regroup very quickly and work out a winning formula for our trip to Canterbury. I know the lads were extremely annoyed after last week’s loss, and that is taking nothing at all away from Birmingham and Solihull, who defended with their lives. I am sure the Barnes lad will reflect well, train hard this week, and bring home the bacon from Kent!
Here is a full list of the upcoming fixtures:
Saturday 15th December
• Canterbury 1st XV vs Barnes 1st XV - 2.00pm KO
• Barnes 2nd XV vs Richmond Vikings - 2.00pm KO
• Occies vs KCS Old Boys -2.00pm KO
(This is double-header, being both a league and cup game)
• London Irish Vets vs Barnes Vets - 4.00pm KO
Here’s to an amazing weekend of Barnes Rugby, best of luck to all teams, and let’s play in the original spirit of rugby that we hold so dear at Barnes RFC.
Onwards the green and Gold! Onwards Barnow!
Michael Rhino Whitfield - Chairman Barnes RFC
Updated 06:37 - 16 Jan 2019 by Michael Whitfield