“It says a lot about our lads when they run out 31-39 winners and still are critical of their performance”
Michael " Rhino"Whitfield
Having won our last four games, Barnes travelled to the seaside with confidence to play a side that have often been our banana skin side. This time, despite several changes to the team through injuries and absences, Barnes remained in touch throughout the game, and scored six tries to win 31-39 in the end.
This weekend we entertain the tough warriors from Redruth at Barn Elms and before we look back at the Worthing game, and ahead to Redruth let’s have a quick look at what else went on last week.
Friday Floodlit Tag Rugby Festival and 2nd XV vs Richmond Saxons
The Minis hosted a record 24 teams from local schools at our tag festival last week, comprising girls and boys from Year 3 & 4. Over 300 kids took part and a similar number of parents who enjoyed a perfect Friday night out!
It was not quite so perfect for the 2’s, who played under the lights after the Tag Rugby Festival, against their old nemesis, Richmond Saxons. The result was a pretty emphatic win for Richmond 3-31 but Barnes battled throughout against a very very good side.
Both Barnes Ladies teams were in action last week, and both come unstuck, unfortunately.
The 2’s unbeaten streak has come to an end, losing 5-48 at the hands of very large, physical and experienced team Rams Sirens. With copious amount of injuries, we still managed to get 38 Ladies out to represent our two sides. Andy Pickering was there and said, “I can’t fault the effort or persistence of our very new 2nd XV, and I am sure the taste of their first defeat will spur them on for their next game”.
The Ladies 1’s will feel less happy though, losing 38 -17 to Hackney Ladies, having been totally dominant in the first half. With ten scoring opportunities in the Hackney 22, we only managed to cross the line twice due to poor decision-making and unforced handling errors. In the second half Hackney definitely upped their game to win convincingly in the end but it was a case of what might have been if we had made less errors and executed well in the first half. Despite the score, there were several outstanding performances and we know the Ladies will work very hard this week to get back to winning ways next time out.
The Occies entertained Bec Old Boys 2’s on Saturday; nothing quite like a game against our noisy neighbours from Earlsfield! The oppo informed us 30 mins kick-offick off that they didn’t have a front row and so we went uncontested in the scrums; however (unlike some other teams) we didn’t ask them to play with 14 as the rules state, and so we had a 15 a side game. The uncontested scrums and strong wind in the first half put them at an advantage and they led 14-19 at halftime, however, we knew with the wind advantage in the second half it would be roles reversed! In the second half, our defence was a lot more aggressive and physical, causing more mistakes and indiscipline from Bec Old Boys, resulting in the Occies scoring three and winning 34-22 in the end. Special mention to King Vet Skipper Rich Fenech for helping us out in the front row (#oneclub). So far this season, the Occies have played 6, won 5, lost 1, and are looking to finish 2018 strongly.
On Sunday Barnes hosted Old Cranleighians at home and 34 of our boys played in two mixed teams against them, then drew 5 - 5 when we fielded our A-team in a third match, an excellent performance across the whole age group.
Worthing 1st XV 31 Barnes 1st XV 39
It was a bright sunny, and dry, Autumn day in Worthing on Saturday, with over 500 folk gathered in eager anticipation of a great game. They didn’t have long to wait. In a high tempo game, there were tries aplenty, 13 in all, the lead moved back and forth throughout the game with Worthing taking the lead 5-0 after only three minutes. Three minutes later, the excellent Ryan Seabright evened up the score. In a hectic opening quarter of an hour, as Barnes were attacking the Worthing line, the home side intercepted, ran 80 metres to score and retake the lead to go 12-5 up. They held this lead up to the 27th minute when Nick van Buuren finished off the move. Both sides were clearly committed to play open, running rugby, and no sooner had Barnes levelled the score at 12 - 12 than Worthing scored again under the posts to take a 19 -12.
With half-time looming, Barnes went into overdrive and scored twice on 37 minutes, through the impish Matt Cornish, and then two minutes later, Robbie Martey scored the first of his two tries of the afternoon. Tom O’Toole slotted both conversions to make the half time score 19-26 to Barnes.
The second half started with Worthing pinning us on our line, but we defended calmly and effectively to repel the Raiders. 14 minutes into the half, Johan van der Poel was given a yellow card, following which Worthing scored. With the conversion missed, they narrowed the deficit to 24-26. But this Barnes team just doesn’t lie down, no sir, and immediately from the kick-off the magician, that is Danny Holmes, cast his spell over the Worthing players, and with an “Abracadabra” and a swish of his rugby wand, he was over the line and Barnes lead 24-31 with 20 minutes of this exciting, if not error-strewn, contest left.
A final flourish by Robbie Martey, whom the Rugby Paper called Mighty Martey, garnished with a penalty from Tom O’Toole, put Barnes in a winning position that they were never going to surrender, although a Worthing try on the final whistle made the score a more respectable 31-39 for the home team.
Reading comments by Worthing supporters after the game, it looks like they were surprised by the Barnes performance, and previously saw us as a banker home and away win material. Well not this side chaps, they are resilient, committed and talented and they are loving their rugby at the moment.
This weekend,Redruth travel to Barn Elms. It is another battle for Barnes, playing a side immediately above them at 7th place in National 2 South. Both teams are on 31 points so far, and both have won 6 games so this is going to be a real test again for the green and gold. Last time we played Redruth in the 2016/17 season we were beaten away 26-22 and thrashed at our place 0-33 so I know the boys will be highly motivated to right that wrong.
Bring on Saturday, I just can’t wait!
Barnes Rugby This Weekend
This weekend, the Barnes Rugby fun kicks off on Friday night under lights at Cobham, as the mighty Vets take on Cobham with a 7:45pm kick off, what more of an excuse do you need to have a few beers with your mates?
On Saturday at 2pm, the 1st XV are in action at Barn Elms against Redruth in a crucial National League 2 South game, whilst on Sunday the Ladies 1st XV look to get back to winning ways, away to East London Ladies. Both the kick-offs on Saturday are at 2pm. The 2nd XV and Occies are resting this weekend .
Here's to an amazing weekend of Barnes Rugby, all played in the original spirit that we love at Barnes, and fingers crossed for another 1st XV win against Redruth!
Onwards and Upwards!
Michael "Rhino" Whitfield - Chairman Barnes RFC
Updated 14:54 - 21 Jan 2019 by Scribbler