Excellent workout for both teams
Battering Rams withstood in an exciting contest that could have gone the other way.
As you can read in the opposition report Barnes' forwards had the advantage in the line-outs and the Rams in the set scrums. The Rams kicked off and soon got the first put-in; from that they showed their intentions, keeping the ball tight. The visitors forced a turnover and kicked ahead; The Reds ran this back wide then broke through at centre to get the first penalty that took them to the first line-out 5 metres out. This resulted in another two penalties with scrums chosen. They failed to control the ball that came out at the open side and Barnes cleared it to touch. Next the Rams tried kicks to keep the opposition in their 22. Barnes regained from the 22 drop-out after the third kick. Then centre Jones and wing Riley opened up the defence to send centre Lewis along the touchline and he just evaded valiant attempts to go in under the posts at 10 minutes, with Hupfield adding the extras.
Soon after the restart the visitors were on the attack again and two penalties took them to their line-out 7 metres out. The Rams defended this well and the next several attempts from the visitors. The siege was lifted by a penalty that was kicked to touch; the opposition stole the line-out. For the next period the Reds had the advantage as both teams varied their plays, mostly in the visitors' half. From one of their line-outs in their own half they levelled the scores; after first keeping ball tight then opening up, they broke through going blind from a ruck then a kick into space by no. 8 Davies was regained by flanker Vooght who went to the line early in the second quarter; a good conversion from Brooks followed.
The Rams lost a man soon after the restart which they had regained and recycled well. The Ref. judged that Barnes had run then kicked the penalty to touch giving the opposition the throw-in. The Rams kicked to touch for territory then came away from that line-out advancing into the visitors' 22. Another penalty was kicked for a line-out 5 metres out. After 4 recycles a chip through was tried that Barnes dealt with to get 22 drop-out. The Reds again tried a chip over and this was comfortably cleared well to touch. Next the visitors stole another line-out and centre Jones after a step set a good three-quarter move going. The defence just held before the half-time whistle.
An error fielding an up-and-under set the Rams attacking after the restart then another error gave Barnes a line-out at their 22 and from that they were forced to clear bad ball to touch just 17 metres from their line. The Reds now put together a strong set of phases that got them a penalty 7 metres out. They chose a scrum and drove the opposition pack back to get their second try and the lead with Davies on the ball after 5 minutes. Brooks added.
The Rams kicked back the restart to touch and soon after the line-out got the first put-in of the second half. Another up-and-under got them another scrum still inside their half. They drove from this to get a penalty and kicked for a line-out 7 metres from the opposition line. Barnes stole this and kept the ball tight to get a penalty that took them up to halfway. They tried wide ball before kicking; the Reds ran it back but were penalised at the breakdown. Now the Rams stole a defensive line-out at their 22 and cleared to touch but not far. From this line-out Barnes sent quick ball wide and after a couple of recycles got a penalty 31 metres out in centre field (the Ref. spoke to the defence). The visitors kicked for a line-out 5 metres out then their pack went for the line and over infield with flanker Stanton on the ball at the end of the third quarter. Hupfield added
The visitors secured the restart then partially recovered from an error to give the attacking opposition a put-in. The Rams got a penalty at the scrum and immediately chose to run it. After a couple of recycles the defence won a penalty and kicked to touch. Barnes got the ball to centre after the line-out then recycled twice with an offload in between before kicking into the 22. The Reds kicked back and not to touch. Now the visitors caused havoc running the ball before an error gave the defence a scrum 17 metres out. They got a penalty at the put-in and the Ref. spoke to Barnes' props. The Rams ran this penalty but passed forward in their own half. The visitors' backs ran the ball from the scrum, switching play before an isolated man was turned over. The ball was kicked to touch then an error gave the Reds another scrum. From that they tried wider ball but their man was held-up in the tackle for Barnes to get a put-in near halfway. Scrambling for a loose ball sent the visitors back to their own line and then gave their opponents an attacking 5 metre scrum. A penalty followed and Barnes' player was spoken to. The Rams lost possession after a second scrum had gone forward and the defence were awarded a penalty.
That and the line-out set the visitors back attacking through their three-quarters to get another penalty that took them to another line-out 5 metres out and a man advantage for 10 minutes. The defence held to get put-in, 5 metres out, this with the scrums now uncontested. The Rams cleared to touch 18 metres out and the visitors' pack drove from the line-out, recovering after being loose earlier, then released close and recycled 3 times more to get the ball to Lewis who scored his second for Barnes to take the lead again. Hupfield converted; less than 10 minutes left. Smyth for Barnes secured the restart again then an up-and-under was regained before fly-half Hupfield kicked to touch into the opposition 22. Both teams now tried up-and-unders; the Rams kicked again and fullback Wilde ran this back to put Stanton clear for his second at the posts with a few minutes left. Hupfield added. Smyth secured the restart before the visitors recovered from an error and cleared to touch at their 10 metres line. They stole the line-out, sent the ball wide then kicked into the 22. The Reds launched an up-and-under and regained then got the next uncontested put-in. After a couple of recycles and a breakthrough they were turned over not long before the end.
The last tries came as Barnes' three-quarters created much confusion in the opposition defence in the final quarter. Previously Redingensians' pack had created several opportunities that the team was unable convert into points.
Conditions perfect, not too warm, little wind on a good pitch.