A good performance against a good team
Albanians pulled away from a 1 point lead in the 4th quarter
After a few early exchanges a sequence of 4 penalties against the home team, with some more changes of hands in between, was followed by a line-out for the visitors inside their oppositions' half. From that Albanians put together 6 mixed phases to get their 6th penalty 28 metres out near centre field after 13 minutes. Their fly-half Bednall kicked the points.
Not long after the restart, the visitors conceded their second penalty defending 3 metres inside their half and Barnes kicked for a line-out 18 metres out. From that their pack rumbled over with flanker Van der Poel on the ball at 18 minutes. Fly-half Wicks added.
The restart was returned with an up-and-under then Albanians put together a very good attack with a series of 11 mixed phases to get a man advantage in the forwards for 10 minutes, 9 metres out. The defence was initially good then the visitors ran back a kick ahead and broke through with an offload then three recycles sent flanker Bartlett away to the line wide out at 25 minutes. Bednall added.
Albanians retained possession from the restart then they dropped the fourth in a sequence of kicks giving Barnes a scrum 12 metres from the opposition line. They advanced from this and recycled close to the line several times before the defence forced an error to get the ball and break out. After dealing with some injuries the game was restarted with a scrum for the visitors just past halfway. After that and 4 phases Barnes were offside and the kick took Albanians to 16 metres out. From the line-out and a dozen phases wing Chalcraft went to the corner at the half hour. The conversion was wide.
Following the restart and two kicks the visitors were penalised; Barnes scrumhalf ran the ball and after 3 close recycles they went wider then 5 close recycles put prop Hunter over near the posts before 34 minutes. The fly-half added.
Barnes returned the restart with an up-and-under; a failed attempted intercept gave the visitors a penalty 4 metres inside their half. The kick gained 21 metres then the line-out was stolen before Albanians were penalised at their opponents' 10 metre line. The kick took the home team to just inside the other 22 then from their line-out and 11 mostly close phases replacement prop Symonds got over wide out for Barnes to take the lead for the second time. The conversion missed before the halftime whistle.
Barnes returned the second half restart with an up-and-under; Albanians had the ball for 10 mostly close phases before getting a penalty 12 metres out which was kicked for a line-out 5 metres out. In setting up a drive from that they were penalised for crossing. The kick took the defence to just outside their 22 and from the line-out Barnes used an up-and-under. The visitors got the ball and attacked strongly with 3 phases and 2 breaks to their put-in 5 metres out. An error soon after that scrum gave the defence one 7 metres out from which they cleared to touch 4 metres from halfway. From the line-out Albanians released to centre then two recycles sent wing Warne breaking through to the line after 8 minutes. The fly-half converted.
Two kicks followed the restart; Albanians fullback broke through and 3 recycles took the visitors to 16 metres from their opponents' line and a line-out that they stole. After 5 phases Bednall kicked a drop-goal a bit more than 4 minutes after the previous try.
The next restart resulted in a line-out for Albanians 20 metres from their line and from it they cleared to touch 8 metres from halfway. From this line-out Barnes attacked swiftly and kicked to touch less than 6 metres from the visitors' line after recycling 3 times. After keeping the ball close for 5 phases Albanians cleared to touch; Barnes the threw a quick line-out and started to run but not far. They did recycle close 4 times to get a penalty 6 metres inside their half. The kick took them to just inside the opposition 22. Following the line-out the defence soon forced an error to get a scrum 26 metres out. At that Albanians' pack were forced backwards and Barnes got a put-in. From it they went quickly wide then recycled close 4 times. The pass from the next recycle was intercepted by replacement scrumhalf Thompson who raced away. After one pass, near halfway a potentially dangerous tackle resulted in Barnes getting a man advantage for 10 minutes. This was early in the 4th quarter; the kick took them to 16 metres from their opponents' line. Barnes tried to drive from the line-out but were held; they released and directly got a scrum put-in 17 metres out. From that the fullback came up close and made a half-break then after one recycle the defence was penalised 15 metres out. Scrumhalf Davies ran to the corner at 24 minutes. The conversion was wide, the deficit 1 point.
The restart was returned with an up-and-under; the visitors ran wide and passed into touch. From the line-out, 13 metres inside Albanians' half, Barnes kept the ball for 7 phases and advanced to their put-in 4 metres ahead. The ball was not got away from the successful scrum but was followed by another 3 metres back. From that they kicked towards the corner and got another put-in 5 metres out. From this their pack drove to the line but not over; a penalty was signalled and another scrum chosen and that advanced until an outbreak of "handbags". After the third 5-metre scrum an error soon gave possession to the defence and they cleared to touch. Barnes threw a quick line-out and ran the ball; after they had had the ball for 10 phases Albanians seemed to intercept. The Ref. immediately penalised Barnes and marched them 10 metres further back to their 10 metre line. Bednall kicked the points at 34 minutes from almost in front.
The restart resulted in a scrum for the visitors 18 metres inside their half. From that they broke blind and made ground; after 2 recycles Bednall broke clear and passed to Thompson who went to the line at 37 minutes. The conversion was surprisingly missed.
An error after the restart gave Barnes a scrum 11 metres into the other half. From it they had the ball for 7 phases before an attempted interception resulted in the final whistle.
Dry, warm, lots of blue sky; not much wind; the pitch hard.