Barnes force CS errors
Another hard fought game ...
The visitors kicked off and regained at the take, they recycled twice then scrumhalf Reeves made a break only to be turned over. Civil Service ran the ball and a pass from fullback to wing was intercepted by opposition centre Dunlop who touched down near the corner at 40 seconds. The conversion was wide. Service's restart error was followed by 3 penalties against them then despite good defence, sustained pressure got Barnes another 10 metres out in centre field and a man advantage for 10 minutes. This at 9 minutes and fullback Wehbe kicked the points. Immediately Service got 3 points on the board when the Ref. decided that a Barnes' forward had deliberately knocked-on at the take of the restart. Just before the half-hour Barnes "butchered" a 3 against 1 overlap but Wehbe kicked another 3 points. 2 minutes after the restart Service got their first try; they regained the restart and advanced strongly to get to 4 metres out. After 2 recycles Barnes were penalised 5 metres out and the penalty was run and recycled wide for wing Yiend to cross at the corner. The conversion missed. Just before halftime the visitors had a man rested for 10 minutes and Hadden evened the scores.
Civil Service continued their pressure at the start of the second half then wasted a line-out 5 metres out by delaying the throw-in and giving the opposition a free-kick there. Barnes cleared to touch, stole the next line-out and kicked up field for territory; Service now put together their best sequence of phases so far in the match then got ball wide then Wehbe snapped up a loose ball and ran to the posts at 6 minutes then converted his try. This changed the game; it was a second mistake by Service giving Barnes a breakaway try. Before it the visitors appeared to be struggling and after it they looked completely different. The visitors got the ball at their restart and Reeves made a good break and passed to wing Hersey who made yards and handed off tacklers. The ball was recycled to Williams-Davies to score near the posts 2 minutes after the previous try. The conversion never flew. Now Service regained a restart but two penalties in succession got the visitors to their line-out 5 metres out and their pack drove over from their with flanker Millar on the ball at 12 minutes. The conversion missed. Two more penalties, the second 13 metres out in centre field and Williams-Davies took the 3 points. This after a 40 metre run from wing Riley and much good passing to give Barnes a 20 point lead.
Service regained the restart but Barnes got the next scrum and a free kick at that. They had their next line-out stolen when thrown too long. From a Civil Service line-out at half-way replacement wing Olima scored near the posts after wing Houston made a break. This took 4 minutes and Hadden added. Play ebbed and flowed following the restart then with Service attacking another error put a loose ball in front of Riley. He hacked it up field then toed in further to gather and score near the posts at 32 minutes. Williams-Davies added to restore the 20 point lead. Within 2 minutes of that try, Service got their third try with a run from their 22 with fullback Ward bouncing a tackler off before scoring near the corner. The conversion was wide. Barnes gave away a penalty after the restart and four recycles by Civil Service. They were sent 10 metres further back and the penalty was kicked for a line-out 8 metres from Barnes' line. The visitors defence was good and they forced a turnover and kicked for territory. Service ran this back with their best sequence of phases of the match to get a penalty 25 metres out. Hadden ran this to score at the posts then convert before the final whistle.
The phrase used by Barnes' chairman to describe last week's game could also be used to describe this one. A very combative performance from Civil Service while the visitors had enough talent to get their win, mostly from creating pressure to force errors from the opposition. In the scrums Barnes had definite edge and disrupted much opposition possession; the Service forwards were good in the loose when in possession. The losers were unlucky not to get 2 bonus points.
Dry, overcast, bright and windy; the pitch soft, requiring long studs which several players seemed not to have.