Last minute loss against probably the strongest team met this season.
Exceptional recycling & retention by Guernsey in the last 5 minutes as Barnes heroically held 49 of 50 close / tight phases.
The home team's kick-off resulted in their scrum put-in 13 metres into the other half. From that they went wide to get a penalty just outside the 22. The touch-kick only gained a few metres then keeping the ball tight from the line-out they were awarded another penalty and kicked for another line-out 6 metres out. The defence held the attempted drive and Barnes recycled close 3 times then once to centre to get their third penalty 9 metres out in centre field and fullback Wicks was asked to kick the points at 4 minutes.
Barnes soon returned the restart with a high up-and-under to touch 10 metres from halfway. Guernsey went wide from their line-out and at the second breakdown 7 metres ahead the defence forced an error to get a scrum. From that Barnes kicked for territory; Guernsey ran the ball to get a penalty after recycling once 5 metres past halfway. They kicked for a line-out just outside the 22; this was stolen. Barnes launched and regained an up-and-under but were penalised 9 metres from halfway. The visitors kicked for another line-out 12 metres out; their forwards tried a driving maul that went down. After the ball was released to centre the defence forced a turnover. The game was stopped for an injury and restarted with a put-in for the defence 11 metres out. They got the ball out under pressure and cleared to touch 26 metres out. This time their pack' drive got going well before eventually going down. They recycled twice close, once widest then once again close to get a penalty 6 metres out. They opted for a line-out 5 metres out and from that the forwards drove over wide out with lock Merrien on the ball at 13 minutes. A very good conversion by fly-half Whitehead followed.
The restart went directly into touch giving the visitors a scrum back from which they advanced with 4 phases to get a penalty just outside the 22 and kicked for a line-out 11 metres out. From that they kept the ball close for 4 more phases, advancing, before the Ref. gave a free-kick against them for the ball carrier running into one of his own team. This was turned into a penalty for chat and Barnes kicked to touch 24 metres out where their line-out was stolen. Next Guernsey kept the ball mostly close recycling eight times before an isolated player was turned over. Barnes went quickly wide and broke out deep into the other half with two very good runs then at the 22 they recycled three times before the ball was dropped. Guernsey got it, went wide and soon kicked for territory. Barnes ran the ball back then were turned over at the third breakdown. The visitors went widest and started a good attack with 3 more phases to get a penalty 25 metres out not far from centre field at the start of the second quarter. They opted to kick for a line-out but failed to find touch. Barnes kicked back; Guernsey kept the ball for 8 good phases before the defence forced an error to get a scrum 13 metres from halfway. Barnes soon kicked high; the visitors ran the ball before being penalised at halfway. The kick gained them 18 metres then from their line-out they kept the ball close recycling 5 times to get another penalty 24 metres out in centre field after 25 minutes and Wicks took the points to make the score 6 - 7.
For the rest of the half the visitors had a greater share of possession but played mostly in their half. There was no further score before halftime.
The second half kick-off by the visitors resulted in their line-out 20 metres into the other half and was thrown not-straight. Barnes chose another line-out and used an up-and-under after it. Guernsey got the ball and kept it for a good sequence of 9 mixed phases, with out advancing, to get a penalty almost 10 metres back. They kicked for a line-out 12 metres out and from that kept the ball tight for 5 phases before being dispossessed. Barnes did not get the ball out and this gave the visitors a scrum 15 metres out. From this they went quickly wide then put together a very good sequence of 12 mostly close phases before opposition outside centre Cornish pounced; he intercepted and ran 85 metres to the other posts at 6 minutes. The fullback added.
A knock-on after the high restart gave Guernsey a put-in at the opposition 10 metre line. From that they went wide then recycled 3 times, advancing to get a penalty inside the 22 in centre field. The kick for the points missed. They ran back the 22 drop-out well with 7 more phases to get another penalty 9 metres into their opponents' half. They kicked for a line-out just inside the 22 but had that stolen. Barnes kicked to the other half and Guernsey ran the ball back strongly and recycling 12 times before kicking flat to touch but out on the full at 25 metres from their opponents' line. They stole the line-out with the help of the wind blowing it to their side and put together a very good set of 15 phases, all but two close and the last one wide to send fullback Sayer, who used to play for Barnes, to the corner after 16 minutes. The conversion was wide.
The visitors secured the restart and recycled close twice before going wide; a knock-on at an attempted interception gave them a penalty at their 22. They kicked for a line-out 10 metres from halfway and from that put together an excellent sequence of 17 mostly close phases until the defence forced an error to get a scrum 14 metres from their line. Barnes got the ball away under pressure and soon cleared to touch 29 metres out. An error after the line-out gave the home team another scrum at their 22. This time Guernsey pushed Barnes back and got the ball and also a penalty at the 22 in centre field and Whitehead kicked to take the lead at the beginning of the final quarter.
The visitors secured the restart and kicked back after recycling close twice. Barnes ran the ball with 6 phases before being turned over. Guernsey made ground then went wide and at the next breakdown they got the scrum put-in 11 metres into the opposition half. Soon after it they were turned over and Barnes went wide to start perhaps their best attack. After 11 phases they were forced into touch 13 metres out. From the line-out Guernsey cleared to touch 11 metres from halfway then stole the line-out. Again they soon kicked to touch, this time to 10 metres past halfway and they stole this line-out too. After a couple of recycles they were turned over; the home team tried a wide attack and got into the other half before another line-out for the visitors. A knock-on resulted in a Guernsey scrum 6 metres inside their half; soon after that and releasing to centre they dropped the ball and were penalised 25 metres from their goal line in centre field and Wicks kicked for the lead at 34 minutes.
Barnes returned the restart with an up-and-under; the visitors had the ball for 4 close phases before not getting the ball out. This gave the home team a scrum after which they tried another up-and-under. Guernsey ran the ball and were awarded a penalty for a high tackle 4 metres inside their half. The touch kick gained them 16 metres. From this line-out they put together a remarkable sequence of more than 50 close or tight phases, lasting almost 5 minutes to put prop Batiste over the line. Obviously Barnes' defence of those phases was immense before the dam burst. Their scrum half named Barnes converted before the final whistle.
Bright, mostly blue sky at the start, more cloud later; cool with inconsistent wind; the pitch soft-ish.