50 minutes attacking then 30 practising defence
Barnes' pack dominate scrums and use driving mauls to get 4 tries then perhaps relax?
The pitch condition meant that the backs would hardly see the ball all game.
The visitors started strongly; Thurrock had kicked off and got the first penalty that was kicked for a line-out in the opposition 22 but threw that not-straight. At the second line-out they were penalised taking Barnes into the other half for the first time and from their line-out the pack went for a long driving maul. The forwards recycled twice to get to the line where prop Remfry leapt over like a salmon to score at the corner after 6 minutes. Barnes limited Thurrock’s threats to the 22 line then Barnes kept ball tight from halfway to get another penalty to make progress. The defence held but Barnes pushed back a Thurrock scrum to get their own put-in. From that Butler on the wing came in at centre to weave towards the line. The ball was recycled to no. 8 Taylor to score not far from the posts at the end of the second quarter. Gower added. Thurrock kicked a penalty before the half-hour then towards the end of the first half Barnes kept ball tight before a break by centre Hersey got them close and after more recycling a penalty. Remfry got his second from a rumble before the half-time whistle.
A turnover near Thurrock's 22 early in the second half set the visitors attacking again. Barnes' scrum advantage led to a penalty try at 10 minutes after one put-in for the home team then 3 for the visitors generating penalties. Gower converted. The game then changed with the visitors now having got 4 tries. A second penalty for Thurrock came soon after Barnes had a kick charged down. Barnes next attack was thwarted and Thurrock broke out to stay in the other half. A chip over got them a scrum put-in 5 metres out. Barnes got their own put-in by pressure but were penalised at that. The ball was run to the blind side by replacement flanker Jones who got through the defence to score at the corner after 25 minutes. Thurrock were soon back in the other half. From a line-out at the visitors' 22 they started a drive; this broke up but they advanced further then flanker Kellard broke off to force his way over at the corner after 35 minutes. The conversion was wide. Gower kicked a penalty with 2 minutes to go.
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Coldish, there was wind across the pitch which was very wet and soft on top, making a wide game too difficult. There was no precipitation at the start then in the last minutes of the first half the wind got stronger and some light snow started. There was more later on but still trivial.
The visitors responded to the kick-off with an up-and-under; Thurrock dealt with this and got the ball wide before being forced into touch. The line-out resulted in a scrum for Barnes then they were penalised at the ruck which followed. Thurrock kicked for a line-out just inside the opposition 22 but threw it not-straight. Barnes kept the ball tight before trying another up-and-under which went into touch from outside of the 22 giving Thurrock another line-out. The wind blew this into opposition hands then the home team were penalised. The kick took the visitors into the other half for the first time and from their line-out their forwards drove more than 30 metres and when this went down about 10 metres out the ball was recycled twice by the pack still going forward before prop Remfry leapt over the defence to touch down near the corner after 6 minutes. The conversion was wide. The restart was knocked on giving Thurrock a scrum, at the back of which Barnes' scrumhalf Reeves got the ball. The ball was dropped 10 metres into the other half and from the scrum Thurrock broke out well. They recycled once before chipping into the 22. Barnes got the ball then the Ref. got in someone's way and was injured. The game was restarted with a Barnes' put-in which was under pressure but the outcome was a penalty to the visitors. This was kicked for a line-out at which they got another penalty. The kick intended for touch didn't find it and Thurrock did find touch with a kick to nearly half-way. From this line-out Barnes kept ball tight to advance just into the other half and get another penalty. This was kicked to touch, still outside of the opposition 22. After keeping ball tight the three-quarters were used and after several recycles but not much progress the ball was dropped to give the opposition a scrum at their 22. This time Thurrock were pushed back and Barnes got another put-in there. From this Butler, playing on the wing, came in close to the forwards and weaved through to 2 metres out. The ball was recycled for no.8 Taylor to get Barnes' second try not far from the posts before the end of the first quarter. Gower converted.
Thurrock's restart didn't go 10 metres. After the scrum Barnes chipped through the line and this was cleared to touch. The tapped ball wasn't good but the visitors advanced blind then were forced into touch. They stole the next line-out and kept ball tight advancing to just outside the 22 before a good tackle forced an error. Barnes wheeled the scrum and were penalised for that. The touch-kick got Thurrock back to half-way. From their line-out Thurrock recycled tight 4 times before being penalised for not releasing. This was kicked for another line-out at Thurrock's 22 from which Barnes advanced keeping ball tight but losing when releasing wider. Advantage was played and Thurrock started an excellent break-out wide. They went on with 3 recycles to get a penalty 16 metres inside their opponents' half and Neale kicked the points at 29 minutes. Thurrock secured the restart and kept ball tight recycling and retaining well before kicking. Barnes dealt with this then did the same; they recovered an error and advanced again with more recycling until being turned over in the opposition 22. Thurrock were soon penalised for not releasing and Gower was asked to kick but missed. Barnes ran back the 22 drop-out to get another penalty which they kicked to touch for a line-out that was blown not-straight. Thurrock kicked from their scrum; Gower fielded this and Barnes kept ball in hand. After 3 recycles, centre Hersey made a good break then there was more recycling before Thurrock were penalised 5 metres out. The ball was put into touch for a line-out; initially Thurrock held the drive but Barnes got going again and advanced to the line where Remfry got this second near the corner. The conversion was wide before the halftime whistle.
The second half kick-off was knocked on by Thurrock; after the scrum and a couple of close recycles the defence forced an error at their 22 to get a put-in. The visitors forced a turnover straight after the scrum and recycled a couple of times before Reeves nearly got to the line. Thurrock's defence was very good; there was lots more recycling from Barnes before an error was forced. Thurrock got the put-in 5 metres out but were under pressure at that and it resulted in a put-in for the opposition. From this Barnes kept ball tight while unable to advance then got a penalty at the same place. They chose another scrum. After another 2 penalties and 2 scrums, with Barnes keeping the ball in, the Ref. awarded a penalty try after 10 minutes and Gower added the extras.
Thurrock kicked the restart longer then charged down a Barnes' kick; the visitors recovered near their line to clear to touch outside of their 22. From the line-out Thurrock kept ball tight to advance into the 22 and in towards centre field where they got a penalty and Neale kicked the points at 13 minutes. They dropped the restart and gave away a penalty when the ball was picked up from offside. The kick took Barnes to their line-out 8 metres out. This time the defence was good; Barnes did get to the line but were turned over there. Thurrock broke out before kicking; Gower ran the ball back well and the next incident was a line-out at the 22 for the home team. This was followed by another nearby. Thurrock kicked for territory from the second line-out and then forced a turnover; they got ball wider to advance into the other half and kicked into Barnes' 22. Barnes secured the ball and recycled a couple of times before kicking; Thurrock attacked strongly out wide and regained a chip. Barnes' defence forced an error to get a scrum put-in after more recycling by Thurrock. The home team's pack forced a turnover after a second scrum then put together a very good sequence of phases before being forced into touch at the opposition 22. They came way from the line-out with the ball and recycled twice before the defence forced an error. Advantage was played and the visitors kicked for territory. Thurrock attacked again chipping over after 3 recycles; this resulted in their scrum 5 metres out. The defence forced another error to get their put-in now 15 metres out then were penalised at that. The ball was run to the blind side by replacement flanker Jones who got through the defence to score at the corner after 25 minutes.
The conversion was wide. Thurrock dealt with the long restart and advanced recycling to get another penalty. The kick didn't find touch and two more kicks resulted in a Barnes' line-out 16 metres inside their half. Thurrock stole that and varied their recycling through 4 phases before dropping under pressure. The visitors had a kick charged down resulting in a Thurrock line-out, still in Barnes' half. With wider ball they advanced to the 22 where the opposition got the put-in. Barnes moved up field a bit from that to get another scrum and Barnes kicked for territory from that. Thurrock dealt with this comfortable and again chipped over with the result being their line-out just outside the opposition 22. From the line-out they started a drive; this broke up but they advanced further then flanker Kellard broke off to force his way over at the corner after 35 minutes. The conversion was wide. Thurrock secured the long restart and recycled the ball 3 times before trying a chip that was charged down. Barnes got the ball and recycled 3 times before winning a penalty just inside the 22 and Gower was asked to kick the points with 2 minutes to go. The visitors secured the restart but were soon penalised in possession. Thurrock ran the ball and passed forward after 3 recycles before the whistle.