A game with very little continuity
7 tries to 3; Southend fought to the end
The visitors kicked off and Southend kicked back; there were some short exchanges and errors from both teams. Next a Southend error after a long kick by the visitors gave the latter a line-out well outside the opposition 22 from which their pack drove over wide out with hooker Kopra on the ball at 7 minutes. The conversion missed.
After a few more shared errors as before, the visitors got a scrum 11 metres into the other half from which they advanced to get a penalty against Southend 16 metres out in centre field. Barnes choose to have a scrum at which they got another penalty and in that their forwards drove over the line and the Ref. awarded a penalty try at 12 minutes.
The visitors returned the restart with an up-and-under. Southend got the ball and advanced with 7 varied phases to get a penalty 15 metres into the opposition half. They ran this to the 22 then after 2 more phases, the first wide then the other close their flanker Morrison made a good break and the ball was recycled to send fullback O'Brien over not far from the posts at 16 minutes. A not-difficult conversion missed.
After a few more errors the game settled into a more regular pattern with Southend losing line-outs and under pressure in scrums and Barnes having the better of territory but possession about even. Later a Barnes' error gave Southend a penalty at halfway and a very good kick took them to their line-out 6 metres out. Their drive was held and after the ball was released and recycled twice they got another penalty 18 metres out not far from the posts and fly-half Ramsey kicked the points at 32 minutes to reduce the deficit to 4 points.
The restart failed; Southend kicked long after the scrum leading to a 22 drop-out; Southend soon kicked again. Barnes ran the ball before several kicks were exchanged with little retention in between. Next Barnes kept the ball for a few phases to get a penalty 19 metres out and kicked for a line-out 8 metres out. Their pack drove over with Kopra again on the ball at 38 minutes. The conversion missed.
The visitors soon kicked back the second half restart; Southend kept the ball and ran wide; a half-break then a pass was followed by a very good break. Two wide recycles then another close preceded a kick into the 22. Barnes cleared to touch at the halfway then two kicks followed the line-out. Next Southend went wide after recycling twice then chipped into the 22 where an error gave them a put-in 12 metres out. Barnes' advantage in the scrum gained them a penalty that took them back to halfway. After the line-out kicks were exchanged then the visitors kept the ball for six mixed phases before the defence forced an error to get another scrum. Southend got the ball away then kicks were exchanged before another line-out at halfway, this time for the home team. This was stolen and flanker Scott ran off with the ball before he passed to no. 8 Hind who touched down wide-out at 10 minutes. The conversion was unsuccessful.
The restart resulted in a penalty for the visitors at their 22. From the line-out just past halfway they released to centre then kicked almost to the opposition line. Southend recycled close 3 times before clearing to touch 20 metres out. From this line-out the ball was recycled once close; Kopra made yards before the ball was recycled to inside centre Butler who fed fly-half O'Toole. His long pass sent wing Scott over, again wide-out at 14 minutes. The conversion missed.
The restart resulted in a Barnes' put-in at their 22. Here Southend had an advantage in the scrum and the visitors had to clear to touch 12 metres from halfway where the line-out was thrown not-straight. Barnes got the ball away and soon kicked too long giving the home team another scrum 15 metres into the visitors' half. At this one the visitors were penalised and the kick took them to 7 metres out. The line-out was stolen and the ball kicked ahead to the other half; Southend kept the ball in hand for 5 phases then got another scrum but still 18 metres inside their half. They were under pressure at that but got the ball away and made yards before losing possession. Replacement Franklin on the wing got the ball and sent the other wing Martey to the line wide-out at 22 minutes. Conversion unsuccessful.
The restart was followed by a scrum, an error, a penalised interception then good defence by the visitors. Southend attacked again but were denied. After more errors from both teams during to-and-fro play, Southend got the ball from an opposition line-out. Following one more error each the visitors were penalised then sent back 10 more metres for chat. From, now 8 metres out, the ball was run to the line with no. 8 Wood scoring at 36 minutes. Ramsey added.
Barnes regained their high restart then got a penalty at the other 10 metre line and kicked for a line-out 8 metres out. Southend held the drive but conceded another 9 metres out. The next line-out was 5 metres out and was followed by another penalty 9 metres out. For this the fly-half sent a lateral kick towards touch and about 15 metres ahead for Carlisle to challenge an opponent in the air, which he did successfully, then fall down for the last try wide-out. The last conversion failed before the final whistle.
Warm, dry and bright before the game with some varying wind and mostly cloud. Cooling through the game with occasional light rain. The pitch rather rough under longish grass.