Irish slice through ...
While Barnes are blunt.
London Irish kicked off with the advantage of the wind; an intercept created an easy try at the corner for wing Owen at 2 minutes. After the restart a very good touch kick sent Barnes back defending 5 metres from their line. Their pack did not advance or get the ball away and this resulted in another scrum for the opposition at the same place and from it flanker got over at 8 minutes. Fly-half Hodgkinson added.
Good kicking then kept Barnes mostly in their own half. At the end of the 1st quarter a breakthrough in midfield that might have led to the home team's 3rd try was stopped for an injury. At 25 minutes scrumhalf Franklin started Barnes first serious attack. This led to 2 yellow cards for the home team at 28 minutes and 36 minutes. Just before the halftime whistle Barnes' pack drove over from a 5 metre line-out with prop Galvin on the ball.
With the 12 - 5 deficit at halftime Barnes seemed to have done well considering the advantage that the wind had given their opponents. Early in the 2nd 1/2 Barnes' 2nd attack got to 5 metres out with good recycling and retention until penalised for not releasing 5 metres out. Barnes' errors and a chip and regain by Irish created the second attack of the half. From a 5 metre line-out and drive Irish prop Faher broke off to go over at 10 minutes. Three minutes later it was 24 - 5 after another chip over and regain and Owen's 2nd try.
At the start of the final quarter Barnes' pack drove over from a line-out 10 metres out with flanker Malaney on the ball.
Before the half-hour another drive from the 22 enabled Barnes' last try with no. 8 Crossland getting over. The conversion reduced the margin to 7 points.
A few minutes before the end Barnes' pack were pushed off their own ball then an error gave Irish the last scrum 5 metres out from which the ball was handed to Owen for his hat trick at the posts. Hodgkinson added.
A high kick-off by the home team, playing with the advantage of the wind in the first half, went into touch off an opposition player at the 22. The line-out was stolen and the visitors put together 6 phases but not advancing much before being intercepted. One pass after a short advance created an overlap and send wing Owen easily over at the corner at 2 minutes. The conversion was wide.
Irish secured the restart and immediately started a good attack with 4 phases until the defence forced an error to get the first scrum back 18 metres inside their half. From they kicked for territory; Irish ran the ball back making yards then putting through a very good chip to touch after one close recycle. This went into touch just 5 metres from Barnes line. Their pack kept the ball in and made no ground so the Ref. gave a scrum put-in to the Irish. From their scrum it took 2 recycles to put flanker Bush over half way from touch to the posts at 8 minutes. Fly-half Hodgkinson added.
Two kicks followed the restart; Irish ran the ball and recycled 3 times before chipping ahead. Barnes' wing Martey had a run before an opposition line-out just outside their 22. From that they soon kicked then Barnes ran the ball to get a penalty 30 metres out. This was kicked for a line-out at the 22. Their pack first kept the ball in then the ball was recycled 3 times before the opposition forced a turnover. Irish kicked and won another turnover after 2 recycles. Again they kicked well to touch not far from Barnes' line. Fullback O'Toole took a quick throw-in to himself and cleared to touch to 28 metres inside his team's half. Just after the line-out the visitors were penalised and the kicked sent them back to 14 metres out. They kept the ball close for several recycles then the defence forced an error when they went wide. At the scrum, 11 metres out, Irish were penalised. The kick took Barnes to 30 metres out; they tried an up-and-under after the line-out. The home team comfortably dealt with this and after recycling twice put an attacker through a hole on a strong run. This looked like it might lead to their third try but the Ref. stopped play to go back to deal with an apparently serious injury that halted the game for 2 minutes.
It was restarted with an Irish scrum put-in at the opposition 22. From that they went blind and were forced into touch 12 metres out. Irish dealt with another up-and-under that didn't go far against the wind. They had a kick charged down that resulted in their scrum 27 metres out. The opposition got a free-kick at that and ran it to get a penalty still 11 metres inside their half. Again they ran the ball and recycled twice then at the third breakdown they were held and Irish got a put-in just inside their half. Pressure from Barnes' pack got them a penalty that was kicked to just outside the 22. The line-out was stolen; Irish went wide sending Owen away on a dangerous run. The defence forced an error at their 22 and got the ball but were straight after turned over. Irish advanced going blind twice then the defence got a scrum 7 metres out. They got a penalty after keeping the ball in and making a couple of metres. The kick took them to 27 metres out. From this line-out scrumhalf Franklin started Barnes first serious attack. The ball was recycled 4 times before breaking through to get a penalty at the opposition 22 in centre field. They kicked for a line-out 12 metres out; their pack started a drive and got another penalty 9 metres out and a man advantage for 10 minutes. They chose to have a scrum and after it got another penalty 5 metres out. Barnes didn't control this one and then were penalised for not releasing. They kicked for a line-out past halfway and after it soon went wide. Barnes' centre Hersey ripped the ball before Irish were penalised 6 metres inside their half. The visitors kicked to touch, not far, then threw their line-out not-straight. Irish were penalised after their line-out; the kick took Barnes to another line-out, again not far, at the 22. From this one they released to centre then recycled close 3 times to get another penalty and another man advantage for 10 minutes. Barnes chose to have a scrum and despite the advantage were pushed back, yet they got another penalty. This was kicked for a line-out 5 metres out, from which the pack drove over wide out with prop Galvin in the ball. The conversion missed before the whistle, with the score 12 - 5.
Irish returned the second half restart to touch into the opposition half against the wind. From their line-out the visitors put together only their second attack with 7 phases to get a scrum 19 metres out. From this they went wide and advanced well until penalised 5 metres out for not releasing. Irish kicked for a line-out 20 metres inside their half; after recycling close twice they were forced into touch at the same place. The wind made the line-out not-straight giving the home team a scrum there. After it they soon chipped; they regained then advanced with 2 wide phases. The defence got the next scrum 26 metres from their line; at this Irish got a free-kick which they ran then a penalty for not 10 metres back. This at 18 metres out and they kicked for a line-out 5 metres out. From this they released and advanced after recycling once to get a 5 metre scrum. Again they went wide; the defence was caught offside and the kick led to another line-out 5 metres out. The pack kept the ball in then prop Faher broke off to go over at 10 minutes. The conversion missed.
Irish returned the restart with an up-and-under; Barnes dealt with this and made ground to get a penalty 8 metres into the other half. They kick for a line-out but missed! Irish ran the ball and chipped ahead into the opposition 22. Barnes kicked back then Irish ran back well, recycled blind then chipped over and regained for another try for Owen at 13 minutes. This time the wind helped Hodgkinson to convert and this made the score 24 - 5.
Irish cleared the restart to touch to 9 metres inside their half. From it Barnes released to centre and advanced a few metres but only to an opposition put-in. Irish got the ball away and recycled close 4 times to get a penalty almost up to half way. The kick took them to 12 metres out. The line-out was thrown too long and the opposition got the ball. Barnes cleared to touch to 5 metres from halfway. This line-out was stolen but resulted in another one for the home side at nearly the same place. After that Irish were penalised setting up their drive. The kick took the visitors to 30 metres out. From it they put together 5 phases to get to another penalty 13 metres out then a line-out 10 metres out. Their pack drove over wide-out after 21 minutes with XXX on the ball. The conversion missed.
Three kicks followed the restart; Irish ran the ball then were held up in a tackle giving the opposition a scrum put-in near halfway. From it they went wide bringing the fullback into the line and breaking through before passing forward 9 metres out. After the scrum and one recycle Irish had a kick charged down; Barnes got the ball and recycled mostly close 5 times to get a penalty 5 metres out. Their pack tried for another drive; this was held and they were turned over after a break off. The defence cleared to touch at their 22. A better drive made yards before YYY got over wide out before the half-hour. A good conversion from O'Toole reduced the deficit to 7 points.
The visitors secured the restart and recycled 3 times before launching an up-and-under. Two recycles by Irish then kicks exchanged before the home team kept the ball for 4 phases to a scrum for the visitors 20 metres inside their half. From that they went wide but were soon held up giving the opposition a put-in at the same distance. Irish kept ball close for 5 phases but going backwards until the defence forced an error to get the penultimate scrum 15 metres inside their half. At this their pack was pushed backwards; Irish got the ball and broke blind and chipped ahead. A Barnes' error gave Irish a put-in 5 metres out from which the ball was handed to Owen for his hat trick at the posts. Hodgkinson added.
Dry, windy, overcast but bright on a perfect pitch.