Tring happy with 1st win
Barnes 1st team first league loss as Tring win at the breakdown and kick the visitors onto the back foot.
Barnes started with a long kick-off, too far for their players to compete for the ball at the take. Tring dealt with it comfortably and immediately kicked it back into the other half resulting in their line-out 15 metres into the opposition half. From that they retained and recycled well to get to the line but were held-up. The Ref. went back for their penalty 1m metres out in centre-field. They quickly ran this wide and sent wing Selwyn over near the corner inside 2 minutes. The conversion was just wide. Again Tring had no pressure returning the restart back to touch 5 metres into the visitors' half. This time it was Barnes' line-out; they soon kicked for territory and Tring ran it back into their opponents' half where Barnes got the first scrum put-in. Tring were penalised at that. The visitors kicked for a line-out in the other half and threw that not-straight (there was no wind). From their scrum the home side advanced swiftly finishing with a high kick that resulted in their scrum just outside Barnes' 22. The visitors got a free-kick at that one, which their forwards ran then were penalised at the breakdown 12 metres inside their own half. Fullback Newton's attempt at goal from midfield went nowhere near. Tring ran the 22 drop-out then kicked to touch but the Ref. then awarded them a penalty back where that had been kicked near half-way, again in centre-field after 10 minutes. From 6 inches inside Barnes' half Newton's kick added 3 points.
Barnes changed their restart kick this time, up the slope and shorter and got a line-out 12 metres into Tring's half. Two turnovers followed, Tring forced Barnes backwards a few metres and got the next put-in. They tried an up-and-under that Barnes dealt with, ran, then kicked long to the line. Tring touched down for a 22 drop-out. Barnes ran the ball back, kicks were exchanged resulting in a line-out for the visitors just inside the other half. Tring stole that and immediately got a penalty which they kicked for a line-out at the opposition 22. They kept ball tight and got the next scrum. Again they kept ball tight and Barnes gave away another penalty at which they were sent 10 metres further back. Tring kicked for a line-out 5 metres out. They set for a drive and got another penalty 3 metres out. This was also put into touch. This time Barnes' defence was much better and they got a put-in 6 metres out then a penalty at the scrum. They kicked for a line-out and from that kept ball tight but were soon turned over. Tring recycled and passed well before kicking to touch 15 metres from their opponents' line. Barnes kicked ahead after that; Tring ran it back, chipped over and regained and recycled to create a break-through. Barnes seemed to intercept then were penalised for not releasing at their 22. This at 25 minutes and Newton took the easy 3 points.
Tring secured the restart then Barnes forced a turnover; after advancing in the opposition half they lost possession. Tring's Selwyn kicked the ball long and scrumhalf Beeny got to it and on to 5 metres out. Two recycles then a long pass wide created the opportunity. A tackle would have stopped the move but centre Lambden slipped that and touched down wide-out shortly before the half-hour. The conversion missed. Tring dealt with restart, got ball wide and advanced into the other half to a Barnes' line-out. The visitors kept ball tight but the Ref. said 'truck-and-trailer'. Barnes wheeled Tring's scrum to get their own from which they released wide and wing Wehbe (was put clear and?) set off on a 40 metre run. After two recycles Williams-Davies put centre Jones through a hole and he sped to the line at 33 minutes. Gower added. The restart went into touch 13 metres from Barnes line; the visitors throw was long, over the lines, and Tring got it. They were penalised at the second of two scrums in Barnes' 22. The touch kick was still well inside Barnes' half. From the line-out Barnes released wide, recycled twice then kicked high and long. Tring launched a high kick; Barnes dealt with that and recycled twice close then a switch of direction and an offload created an opportunity to advance. Tring were penalised just outside their 22 and Gower made it 16 - 10 at the halftime whistle. Barnes had hardly been out of their half in the first 30 minutes but now had struck twice with two opportunities in the last 10.
Since Barnes before this game had scored two-thirds of their points in second halves their supporters were not unduly concerned as they had come from behind in the previous two matches.
The visitors secured the second half restart, kicked ahead and got the first penalty of the half. The kick didn't get them much further into their opponents’ half, but from it they advanced well until losing just outside the 22. After their scrum Tring kicked long into the other 22; Barnes kicked it back and not to touch then conceded a penalty in their 22 at 4 minutes. Newton's kick hit a post and went over. Inside 3 minutes he had added another 3 points. Tring had secured the high restart and launched an up-and-under which was dropped by Barnes. The penalty followed that.
At the next restart Tring were penalised and the visitors kicked for a line-out 16 metres from the home team's try-line. The pack set for a drive and got another penalty 10 metres out. The next drive got them over wide-out with flanker Malaney on the ball before 10 minutes. The conversion attempt got nowhere near, staying in the 22. Tring ran back for a very quick restart catching Barnes off-guard. The kick went into touch just 8 metres from the visitors' line and for a Tring throw-in. Their pack set for a drive and got a put-in 5 metres out. The defence held and got another scrum there. Barnes got a penalty at that and kicked to touch but not far. Tring forced them back after the line-out; Barnes kicked for territory and had the ball run back at them with good recycling. There was a nearly moment for the visitors but Tring got the next scrum just outside the opposition 22. Barnes wheeled this to get another and a penalty at that. It was kicked to touch and the line-out was followed by a pass judged forward. Tring attacked from their next scrum; Barnes defended well and cleared to touch. The visitors defended the next attack and kicked their next possession ahead; Tring kicked back to get a penalty near halfway. They kicked for a line-out at the opposition 10 metre line that Barnes stole. The visitors were unable to advance from that and were eventually penalised 14 metres into their own half. Early in the fourth quarter another good kick from Newton added another 3 points.
Tring easily dealt with the restart and Beeny sent another high kick into Barnes' 22 resulting in an attacking line-out 15 metres from Barnes' line. The defence was good and got a penalty which was kicked to touch. The visitors could not advance but got the next put-in then another penalty soon after that. This kicked, took them to their line-out 29 metres out. From it good varied recycling gave Wehbe his second opportunity of the game; he chipped and regained and went on to get a penalty 8 metres out and a man advantage at 68 minutes. Barnes opted to go for a closer line-out and from 5 metres the pack was quickly over with flanker Smyth on the ball. The conversion was wide.
From the restart Barnes' no. 8 Taylor started an attack that got to the opposition 22. Possession was lost then the visitors were penalised for a high tackle. Tring kicked for a line-out and from well in their own half set a good drive going and advanced 20 metres or more to get another penalty 4 metres into Barnes' half in centre field with 8 minutes to go. Newton blasted it through the posts to put the visitors two scores behind. Tring were penalised soon after the restart; Barnes kicked for a line-out at the opposition 22. They got another penalty and another man advantage 10 metres out after their drive. They set for the same 5 metres out and got to the line but the result was their 5-metre scrum, now to be uncontested. They sent ball wide but soon lost possession; Tring kicked ahead and next won a penalty which was kicked to touch in the other half. From their line-out they recycled three times before the ball went into touch for a Barnes’ line-out. The whistle went after Barnes' soon next error. The second half was four penalty kicks to Tring and two unconverted tries to Barnes. Most of the second 40 minutes was played in the visitors’ half. Overall Barnes had the advantage in the set scrums and in their use of a forward drive from close range. Tring’s six penalties were an indication of their clear dominance at the breakdown. Apart from Newton's kicking Beeny stood out among the backs.
Dry, bright sunshine, not cold; the pitch not soft.
Other surprising defeats on the day were Harlequins and Northampton. Conor O'Shea said his team were rubbish. Jim Mallinder said his were embarrassing.