The Rams the better team on the day.
In this game Barnes failed to click as an attacking team but did defend well against a new Redingensians' team (see note at end of this report).
Conditions: damp and cool, with varying but not strong wind; pitch not too soft but missing a fair amount of grass in parts. 100% overcast, some drizzle before k.o. and through much of the game.
The visitors kicked off; two up-and-unders followed, resulting in a scrum for Barnes near halfway. After it there were two more kicks for territory then Barnes ran and chipped over the line. The Reds now ran the ball and after two close recycles broke through strongly into the opposition 22. After 4 more recycles the defence was penalised 24 metres near centre field and fly-half Chandler kicked the points at 3 minutes.
Following the restart there were three more kicks resulting in the Rams first scrum, again near halfway. The visitors got a free-kick at that which they ran. They recycled well and advanced to the 22 where they got the first line-out and after that tried an up-and-under. Redingensians then went wide and made the second good breakthrough all the way into the visitors' 22. They then recycled three times, the last switching to the blind side before being forced into touch close to the try line. They were penalised after Barnes' drive from the line-out and the kick took the visitors to their line-out 30 metres out. Their next drive didn't get far before the next line-out for the home team that was stolen by the opposition. Barnes kicked long for territory; the Rams ran the ball and recycled 4 times before they kicked, giving their opponents a line-out 11 metres into the home team's half. From that Barnes went wide immediately then recycles three times close to get a penalty 7 metres further ahead in centre field and fullback O'Toole kicked the points at 13 minutes.
The visitors secure the restart and went wide but were penalised at the next breakdown 30 metres from their own line. The Reds kicked for a line-out 12 metres out then drove from it to get another penalty 4 metres out. The next drive didn't go so well but they then broke blind then recycled close for lock Gutteridge to touch down not far from the posts at 17 minutes. The conversion missed.
The Rams secured the restart and kicked it back; Barnes tried an up-and-under that was comfortably dealt with. The Rams recycled four times close before the opposition forced an error to get a put-in 5 metres into the home team's half. From the scrum they went wide and advanced at centre to get a penalty 12 metres into the half. This was kicked to touch 16 metres out; from the line-out the pack drove over the line with flanker Malaney on the ball a distance from the posts at 22 minutes. O'Toole added.
After the restart the visitors soon kicked for territory; the Reds tried an up-and-under. O'Toole fielded this and went through the line and on. The defence got the next scrum 29 metres from their line. From it they soon kicked direct to touch, but after having taken the ball back into the 22 and this gave Barnes a line-out 13 metres from their opponents' line. This was stolen; soon after the opposition won a turnover but were forced further back to their next scrum 8 metres into the half. They went wide but were forced into touch without advancing more than a metre. From the line-out Redingensians first kept the ball in then went wide and advanced to 8 metres into the other half where the defence forced an error to get the next put-in.
This was just before the half-hour and there followed the first sign of a change in the game as the Rams took the scrum against the head. They advanced and recycled twice before kicking through the line. Barnes then recycled six times before trying an up-and-under. The Reds dealt with this and recycled three times before kicking out on the full to give the visitors a line-out 4 metres into their opponents' half. From this they went wide but were turned over when the opposition hooker Henderson stripped the ball carrier in a tackle and ran off. The last line of defence held close to the line to get a scrum 5 metres out.
Barnes got the ball away and were soon able to clear to touch to 17 metres inside their half. Redingensians' forwards kept the ball close and put together 7 phases but not advancing much before the opposition forced an error to get the next scrum. The Rams were penalised at the put-in and the kick took Barnes to halfway. Their line-out was thrown long and not-straight. The Rams finished the half with their best set of phases that ended with their error. At halftime, the situation looked good for Barnes who had the lead. Their defence had held and stopped two good opposition attacks, once early in the half, the other towards the end; the Reds might have been disappointed with the score line.
The visitors secured the second half restart and soon kicked for territory. Redingensians ran the ball and recycled once before being penalised 16 metres inside their half. The kick took Barnes to a line-out 15 metres out. Their pack set for a drive that was stopped 5 metres out; the Rams won a turnover and recycled close five times before being penalised 17 metres out. The next kick took them to 9 metres out and again they tried for a drive before recycling twice to get another penalty that O'Toole kicked for the points at 5 minutes.
Barnes cleared the restart to touch at their 10 metre line. An error gave them the next scrum put-in there and from it they advanced a few metres recycling five times before being penalised for not releasing. The Reds kicked for a line-out just outside the 22. They kept the ball close and advanced with 7 phases before the defence forced an error to get a scrum 9 metres out. Redingensians' pack pushed Barnes off the ball and got it then were awarded a penalty 6 metres out. This was at 11 minutes and they chose to have another scrum and kept the ball in to get another penalty 5 metres out; this had to be reset in-field and then resulted in a penalty try at 16 minutes. Chandler added.
The drizzle increased. The Reds secured the restart and recycled twice; five kicks followed, the last out on the full by the home team. After the line-out on halfway there were two kicks before another line-out for the visitors 4 metres ahead. Barnes went wide from that and kicked diagonally to touch to just inside the 22. From their line-out the Rams kept the ball close and advanced before kicking. The visitors ran the ball wide but very soon dropped a pass 10 metres inside their half. Redingensians kept the ball close, advancing a bit with a few phases to get a penalty 4 metres ahead. The kick to touch took them to 16 metres out. The line-out was thrown not-straight and the visitors chose another line-out. This was stolen and the ball was recycled twice before the defence forced an error to get a put-in 16 metres out. Barnes were able to get the ball away and clear to touch just outside their 22. The Rams tried for a drive and got a penalty 17 metres out near centre field and Chandler increased the lead to 5 points at 27 minutes.
Five kicks followed the restart; Barnes then ran the ball for three phases before kicking ahead. They regained the ball after an opposition error. Three more kicks preceded a line-out for the Reds at the opposition 10 metre line. From this they advanced strongly with a dozen phases before they were turned over. The visitors kicked; the Rams ran the ball recycling twice then the defence forced an error to get a scrum 17 metres inside their half. This was stolen against the head. Redingsensians broke blind and one pass sent scrumhalf Drury over at the corner for the final score at 70 minutes. The conversion was wide.
An error soon after the restart gave Barnes a scrum 16 metres into the opposition half. From it they varied their recycling through 4 phases but with no advance and got another scrum 5 metres back. From this one they went blind and did advance to the 22 where they got a penalty. The kick for the points from a comfortable angle went wide, perhaps wind-affected. The visitors ran back the long 22 drop-out and soon passed into touch near halfway. They won a turnover soon after the line-out and almost immediately got the games' last scrum put-in. Again they went blind and almost desperately threw the ball about. They lost possession and Redingensians kicked ahead; again Barnes tried for a magic ball through several hands before being turned over just before the whistle.
Having recently played Dorking who are struggling with injuries and Launceston who are obviously struggling and had 8 changes from the reverse autumn fixture, it was a novelty to see how much Redingensians have strengthened in order to avoid the drop. Of the 15 who played at Barnes 4 months ago only 4 started this match.