32 degrees, hot rugby from East Grinstead to start but Barnes finished like an inferno!
Barnes took 40 players to East Grinstead for their second warm up game. At least 20 players were unavailable...we are blessed with numbers and talent. Selection is going to be tough.
East Grinstead or G force ! have high aspirations. Justin Bishop from London Irish is now heading up their coaching team and it is a really impressive set up.
We had arranged 3 x 30 min sessions, and East Grinstead's statement of intent was evident from the start. Very physical and direct. Barnes struggled to get first phase possession and build momentum. Being dominated physically at set piece and the breakdown we were forced to try and attack with the limited possession we had. This at times put us under more pressure as we had isolated runners going into contact and gave EG easy turn over ball or penalties. With them taking every penalty kick and conversion opportunity they moved 4 tries ahead.
But this is what preseason games is all about, learning about the players you have and how to adapt to situations. A re focus and and a more determined Barnes started to get a foothold in the last 15 mins of the second 30mins. They players were more more physical i attack and defence and that all important go forward was being achieved. We were building momentum and phases. Barnes missed a clear cut 2 v 1 to score which would have been deserved for the teams effort.
Final 30 mins ... total dominance from Barnes, the patterns, the shape and the execution now there. 4 tries scored with the opportunities to score 2 more. Many valuable lessons learnt and we now look forward to 2 weeks good training until the first league game v Westcombe Park
Here is a link to the East Grinstead RFC website with some photo's of the game: http://www.wallpatches.co.uk/barnes_pre-season