Taunton guilty of playing too much rugby in the conditions
Gibbo great at the breakdown
Conditions: overcast & grey, cold and wet; strongish wind from the south across the pitch that was soft and muddy. Mostly drizzle before the match then heavier rain for about 10 minutes before and after the start. The rain then stopped for the next 45 minutes when drizzle restarted.
Taunton kicked off; 3 kicks followed before the first line-out to the visitors at their 10 metre line. From that they immediately let their backs have the ball for 3 phases. It was then recycled twice by the forwards and flanker Harvey broke away and went through the defence to score half way out from the posts at 2 minutes. The conversion by fly-half East missed.
Taunton secured the restart, recycled twice then went blind sending fullback Brown off and away. He passed in the 22 and the opposition fullback attempted an interception but knocked the ball down. The Ref. consulted his nearest assistant and showed a yellow card and went to the posts to signal a penalty try at 5 minutes (but 4 minutes of playing time). East added.
Two kicks followed the restart resulting in the second line-out for the visitors near halfway. An error at that gave Barnes the first scrum put-in; they got the ball away under pressure and recycled 5 times close to advance and get a penalty 15 metres out and fly-half Williams-Davies took the points at 9 minutes.
One kick followed the restart giving Taunton the third line-out near halfway. From this one they went wide three times before an error gave the defence the second scrum 13 metres inside their half. Barnes made 10 metres closely before an error gave the visitors their first scrum. From this they first went wide then recycled close twice before being turned over. Barnes recycled twice before kicking to touch 8 metres into the opposition half. Taunton started a drive then the released to centre and chipped through after recycling once. Barnes cleared to touch 29 metres from their line. After the line-out the defence was caught offside and the visitors kicked for another line-out 9 metres out. Barnes held the attempted drive; Taunton released to centre before being penalised for not releasing. The sky had brightened. The penalty was kicked to touch 16 metres inside the half then the line-out was stolen. The visitors recycled the ball with 10 varied phases until turned over in the opposition 22. Barnes now broke out to get a penalty at their opponents' 10 metre line. This was put into touch 18 metres out then they tried to set up a driving maul but an error gave the opposition a put-in. From the scrum they soon kicked for territory; the opposition fullback ran the ball back before launching an up-and-under. This wasn't secured and Barnes hacked the ball ahead. Taunton recovered and kicked out on the full. An error at the line-out gave the visitors a scrum from which they attacked strongly, advancing more than half the pitch with 4 phases starting with a break in midfield and chipping through to touch 17 metres from the opposition line. Barnes set up a drive from the line-out and got a penalty 11 metres up field that they kicked to touch 11 metres into the other half. They recovered a tapped ball and first kept ball close before releasing to centre then recycling blind sand kicking for territory. Taunton kicked out on the full. From the line-out near the 22, Barnes' drive got going twice then a forward broke off and got close to the line. After 2 recycles the visitors forced an error and got a scrum 9 metres out, after which they cleared to touch to 14 metres inside their half. They stole the line-out and recycled close 3 times to get a penalty 14 metres into the other half, not far from centre field, and East kicked the points at 31 minutes. Five kicks followed the restart; these resulted in a Barnes' put-in 9 metres inside their half. They sent wide and were forced backwards before kicking for territory. Taunton ran the ball back for 4 phases before the defence forced an error to get a scrum 28 metres from their line. Barnes again kicked for territory; the visitors again ran the ball back. A break then 2 recycles preceded another Barnes' put-in, this time 17 metres inside their half. Unable to advance they did recycle tight 3 times before kicking to touch for the whistle.
It was brighter and there seemed to be less wind at halftime. The visitors secured the restart and recycled close 6 times before Barnes hacked ahead a loose ball outside of the 22. There seemed to be a second error then Williams-Davies was behind the line touching down near the posts a minute after the restart. O'Toole added. The restart was returned with an up-and-under. Taunton dealt with this and recycled 5 times before being penalised at halfway. Barnes kicked to touch just outside the 22. From the line-out they released to their backs twice mixed with 3 close recycles before kicking ahead. Taunton ran the ball, recycled then launched an up-and-under. The opposition dealt with this before being awarded a penalty at the visitors' 10 metre line in centre field at 6 minutes. O'Toole's kick was unsuccessful. After the 22 drop-out Barnes recycled 4 times with an offload in between to get another penalty 15 metres out near centre field at 8 minutes. This time the kick was good.
The restart was kicked back for territory. Taunton were turned over after 2 recycles and Barnes kicked ahead again. The visitors ran and recycled once then had a kick charged down but were awarded a penalty 11 metres inside their half. They kicked for a line-out 8 metres into the other half. From that they set for a drive and made 10 metres with the defending forwards breaking up to get another penalty. They kicked for another line-out 5 metres out but did not drive, or were prevented for doing so. A forward broke off, the ball was recycled 7 times, mostly close, before the defence forced an error to get a scrum 5 metres out. There was a very long injury before the scrum. A clearing kick didn't find touch and Taunton ran the ball back and recycled 6 times, again mostly close before the defence forced another error. This time the scrum was 7 metres inside Barnes' half. After it 4 kicks were exchanged then the visitors broke through the defence then recycled close twice. At the second of these the ball popped out of a receiver's hands or off his body straight into the hands of the opposition scrumhalf Franklin who ran half the pitch to score not far from the posts at 16 minutes. O'Toole added; this was the final score.
Drizzle restarted soon after; the next attack came from Barnes who got to 5 metres out for 3 set pieces but were in the end denied. Most of the rest of the game was played in the visitors' half with possession changing hands frequently.