Two penalty tries in the 2nd 1/2 clinched it for the visitors
Scrum power the main difference between the teams
The game started with 6 kicks before a Barnes' line-out just outside the visitor's 22. Soon after they got a penalty 15 metres out and kicked for another line-out 5 metres out. The ball was kept in by the forwards after that and the drive was held. The pack got moving again before lock Nimmo broke off and went over not far from the posts at 3 minutes. The conversion slipped past at the far side.
From the restart Barnes soon used an up-and-under that resulted in their scrum put-in at halfway. Following that and 4 close phases they kicked to touch just inside the opposition 22. From the line-out the Readingers' forwards advanced to get a penalty 9 metres ahead and kicked for a line-out at the other 22. That resulted in a scrum for the home team 2 metres further out and after a no. 8 pick-up the visitors won a turnover. They advanced with 5 recycles before the game was stopped for an injury then restarted with their scrum 28 metres out. They kicked for a line-out 5 metres out and their forwards set to drive and went to the line with prop Baker on the ball wide out at 11 minutes. The conversion was unsuccessful.
Reading kicked back the restart to touch 28 metres out; Barnes threw the line-out not-straight. The visitors got a free kick at the scrum 30 metres out and chose another scrum. That resulted in their penalty that was kicked for a line-out 15 metres past halfway. Barnes stole that and used an up-and-under that the opposition dealt with well. After 3 close phases Barnes forced an error to get a scrum 11 metres into the other half. They were pushed off their ball and the Readingers got it against the head. After 2 recycles they kicked out on the full giving the home team a line-out 8 metres into their opponents' half. From that they released to centre and immediately got a penalty that was run. At the 22 they recycled close 5 times to advance to the line then after another recycle the defence forced an error and were awarded a penalty. The visitors kicked to touch 9 metres inside their half then after their line-out and a couple of close recycles an error was forced. The dropped ball was hacked by Barnes to the line.
Following the long 22 drop-out Barnes used an up-and-under and soon forced another error to get a scrum 13 metres past halfway. They got the ball away under pressure and recycled close 4 times before an injury stopped play for a minute and a half. It was restarted with a scrum for the home team 11 metres into their opponents' half. From that they released wider to get a penalty at the same distance. The kick took them to their line-out 5 metres out and kept the ball close for 4 phases; the last going wider where the ball was lost in the tackle. Three kicks led to a Barnes' line-out just inside their 22. From that they used an up-and-under that led to a scrum for the visitors 14 metres inside their half. Keeping the ball in got the Rams a penalty which was kicked for a line-out; it missed and Barnes ran the ball in their 22. They recycled a couple of times before kicking to touch just past halfway. From this line-out they released to centre then recycled and kicked ahead to the line. The 22 drop-out went to halfway from where Reading's inside centre Humberstone seemed to easily break clear through the defensive line before passing to wing Rossiter who touched down wide out just after the half-hour. Fly-half Seers converted.
The restart was kicked out on the full giving the visitors a put-in at halfway. When the scrum was completed they kicked long to touch; Barnes threw a quick line-out and cleared to touch 5 metres from halfway. From the line-out the ci-devant Redingensians recycled close 3 times then broke through well; they recycled twice more then used an up-and-under. Barnes kicked back then the visitors ran to get a penalty at the home team's 22 and that was kicked for touch. It missed and Barnes kicked back; the Rams ran and soon chipped through the line of defence; they nearly got the ball but Barnes got a put-in 14 metres inside their half. They got a free-kick at that and ran to get a penalty 6 metres from halfway and they ran again. They recycled wide, recovered from an error then recycled close before making ground then kicking ahead. An error by the Rams was pounced upon and the ball was recycled to flanker Van Der Poel who touched down near the posts. Fly-half Wicks converted before the halftime whistle.
Two kicks followed the second half restart before Barnes passed forward just outside their 22. The visitors kept the ball in the scrum to get a penalty that was kicked for a line-out 5 metres out. Their pack set for a drive; the defence held to get a scrum put-in again 5 metres out then a free-kick at that. Barnes used an up-and-under that the Rams recurred then soon chipped through and regained then chipped through again. Barnes kicked longer and the visitors kept ball in hand running and recycling 8 times before recovering from having a kick charged down. After 2 more recycles Barnes forced an error to get a scrum 7 metres inside their half. Under pressure at that they were penalised and the visitors kicked for a line-out 10 metres out. From that they kept the ball tight for 3 phases before being turned over.
Barnes soon kicked ahead and regained then kicked for territory again. The Rams cleared to touch near halfway; from their line-out Barnes kicked out on the full. From this line-out 4 metres into the other half the Redingers soon used an up-and-under then won a turn-over. They advanced well with 8 mostly close phases until the defence forced an error 19 metres from their line. The Rams got the ball against the head in the scrum and then a penalty that they kicked for a line-out 5 metres out. That wasn’t secured and resulted in one for Barnes 8 metres out, which was stolen. The visitors kept the ball close for 8 phases to get another penalty 5 metres out. They chose to have a scrum and got a free-kick at that and again chose a scrum. This one resulted in a penalty try early in the 4th quarter.
The Rams kicked back the restart; the ball was dropped giving them a scrum at the opposition 10 metre line. This got them a penalty that was kicked for a line-out 11 metres out which was followed by their scrum 6 metres out. Another penalty followed and Barnes lost a player for 10 minutes; the ball was kept close by their forwards advancing to the line with 5 phases to get another penalty for which a scrum was chosen. This resulted in the second penalty try at 28 minutes.
Seven kicks followed the restart then Barnes ran the ball: they used 10 phases, trying wider, having also recovered from one error, then kicked to touch just in side the visitors’ 22. The Rams used an up-and-under after the line-out; Barnes got the ball and kept it close for 8 phases before getting a penalty 8 metres into their opponents’ half. This was kicked for a line-out 12 metres out; an error at that gave the visitors a scrum there. In a major change Barnes got the ball from that scrum then recycled the ball tight for 13 phases to get a penalty 5 metres out. Their forwards ran the ball and after 3 phases forward Avis, having replaced a three-quarter, got over near the posts at 37 minutes. Fly-half Wicks added.
An error after the restart gave the Reds a scrum inside the opposition 22. From it they kept the ball close before being turned over; Barnes cleared to touch 9 metres from halfway. From the line-out the visitors kicked the ball out for the whistle.
Drizzle throughout, some wind but not much, cool; the pitch firm.