“A really close one last week - it is encouraging to know we still are far from our best and still learning!”
So a case of close but no ceeegarr last Saturday, as the 1st XV travelled to Henley and went down fighting 26-24
The 2nd XV game was less close, losing at Barn Elms to Cambridge 2nd XV 14-44, whilst the Occies started their season in fine style, romping to a home win against Kings Cross Steelers 70-5.
On Sunday we had the exciting debut of the Ladies 2nd XV, who thrashed Marlow Ladies 82-0, haven’t Barnes Ladies come on since they were founded only a few years ago.
This Saturday the 1st XV have their third league game of the Nation 2 South league season against Old Albanians. Before looking ahead to this game a quick reflection on last weekend, which I have to say I wasn’t at due to it being my 60th birthday weekend! However, I have spoken to several who were there, including Head Coach Joe Gray at 2am on my party night, so who knows if any of this is in anyway accurate!
Barnes came out of the blocks fast and played some great open rugby and scored a penalty, courtesy of Charlie Wicks, to be 0-3 up after only 5 minutes. Despite lots of ball, we had a series of poor lineouts, which set a disappointing standard for us all game, at least 10 were messy, and this is clearly something we have to massively improve on to avoid future errors and heartbreak! A further Barnes penalty opportunity was missed by Wicksy and, after 25 minutes, we lost another attacking lineout, from which we were pegged back by 70 metres, and ultimately we conceded another score, with Henley scoring a converted try to make the score 7-3. Right on the break Henley went through a move straight from the training ground, executed it well and lead 14-3 at half-time.
Barnes would go on to rue their first half mistakes, further compounding their position in the game by immediately conceded a try just after half-time, which made the score 19-5 to the home team. It left a big mountain for Barnes to climb.
It left a big mountain for Barnes to climb.
But the team donned their crampons, picked up their ice picks, and started their ascent of the mountain, helped by the first of two Henley yellow cards. We certainly are a resilient mob!
It was as if the lights had suddenly gone on and Barnow sprang to life, scoring their first try with Johan van de Poel going over, converted by Charlie Wicks after 20 minutes of the second period making the score 19-10 to Henley. The second yellow card reduced Henley to thirteen men, and Barnes took full advantage, with new boy James Morgan scoring our second try. With 15 minutes of the game left, we were two points behind Henley at 19-17.
At this stage, Barnes were definitely in the ascendency, but we let Henley back in to score a further 7 pointer, with 10 minutes to go. This took the wind out of our sails, with the home team now leading 26-17.
Still the resilient Barnes horde surged forward, onwards upwards the mountain they climbed, and, two minutes later, the Barnes crowd-pleaser, Danny Holmes, scored our third try, which was again converted by Charlie Wicks. Again we were back to a two-point deficit but Henley still lead 26-24, with only a few minutes left.
And that was the final score alas. The consensus amongst the Barnes
faithful was that given a few more minutes we would have scored again.
In these early weeks of the season, we will need to learn quickly from our errors, to ensure that we turn potential wins into actual wins. I have no doubt at all that this will be a key point made by the coaching team this week as we prepare for Old Albanians visit to Barn Elms on Saturday.
We have not played OA’s since we were both in National 2 together in the 2015-2016 season, when we lost both our games against them. Since then they have enjoyed the heady heights of National 1, whilst we dropped into the London and South East Premier league last season.
OA’s will come at us on Saturday off the back of a good win against Bury last week, and will be looking to back that up with another good performance this week. Barnes will be coming at the game off the back of that narrow loss to Henley, we will be out to return to winning ways. It should be an absolutely cracking game, and one which will surely reveal how much Barnes have learnt from our first two games of the season.
So only the two adult games this weekend for Barnes RFC:
Saturday 15th September
• Barnes 1st XV vs Old Albanians 1st XV - 3pm KO
Sunday 16th September
• Barnes Ladies 1's v Cuffley Ladies - 2pm KO
See you at Barn Elms on both Saturday and Sunday to support both the 1st XV and the Ladies!
Onward and Upwards Barnow! Here's to two brilliant games on Saturday and Sunday, with the game played in the original spirit we embrace at Barnes RFC.
Michael "Rhino" Whitfield
Chairman Barnes RFC
Updated 00:12 - 12 Sep 2018 by Michael Whitfield