No Way Back
First half wind and second half errors
At the start the forecast rain was threatening but not yet present; there was 100% cloud and quite a bit of wind. The pitch was good and firm. Not long into the game the rain started and the wind got stronger; these conditions continued to the end and the quality of the pitch soon deteriorated. As a result of the wind 90% of the game was played in the downwind half.
A loose ball hacked on by Hertford set Barnes on the back foot early on.
Barnes recovered and had to clear to touch just outside the 22. From the line-out Hertford's pack first kept ball close then tried wider ball and kicked wide and regained. The ball was soon dropped giving the visitors the first scrum put-in, defending 7 metres out. The opposition wheeled this to get their own put-in; from it no.8 MacDougall picked up and seemed to have little trouble in forcing his way over before 4 minutes. A not-difficult conversion was missed. Hertford kicked back the restart; wing Sagar made 20 metres and the visitors recycled 5 times, mostly close, to get the first penalty. This was kicked to a line-out at the opposition 22. The pack set for a drive; this went down quickly and Barnes were awarded a second penalty. The next line-out was 9 metres out; again the drive broke up early and collapsed. Fly-half McIntyre made a break but the ball was then dropped at centre 7 metres out. Hertford cleared to touch well from the scrum a line-out error gave them possession again and set the visitors onto the back foot again. Possession alternated with mainly forced errors until Barnes were penalised not far outside of their 22 at 15 minutes and McPherson-Smith kicked the points.
After the restart three kicks followed, Barnes then kept ball in hand with some recycling and got back into their opponents' half to get a penalty. This was kicked to the corner but didn't find touch. Hertford now had a run and after the ball was recycled 3 times Walters kicked well into the other half for the visitors to have to start a third defensive sequence. Barnes threw a line-out just inside their 22 not-straight and from the following scrum Hertford let the ball out then advanced recycling tight four times before scrumhalf Sargent got over at the posts after 24 minutes. Walters added. Hertford kicked the restart back long into the other 22 and the visitors again had to clear to touch well into their own half. From the line-out Hertford advanced at centre to get a kickable penalty within 2 minutes of the restart and Walters took the points. The visitors were soon defending again after another Hertford kick. Then they threw another line-out not-straight and from the following scrum the ball was released to centre then recycled twice tight with lock South then making yards to force his way over at the posts at the half-hour Walter added for a 25 - 0 lead. The visitors spent a bit more time in the opposition half after the restart despite having a line-out stolen then they had a bit of luck when flanker Malaney got a ball that came out of the side of an opposition scrum. They advanced to get a penalty at the 22 in centre field and McIntyre kicked the points. Barnes kicked back the restart; Hertford kept ball in hand and recycled until the opposition were penalised for a potentially dangerous tackle and Walters kicked the final points before the halftime whistle.
Now Barnes would have the wind. As just mentioned there was no score in the second half; it consisted of 15 penalties and one yellow card against Hertford and 4 penalties against Barnes. Hertford disrupted several drives from line-outs by Barnes; they stole several line-outs and had an advantage in turnovers at the breakdown.
About 11 minutes into the half Hertford were penalised soon after a Barnes’ scrum near halfway. Of course it was kicked for a line-out, this time 16 metres out. Again Hertford disrupted the drive; Barnes then recycled 3 times and got another penalty and a man advantage for 10 minutes. The next line-out was 6 metres out and this time Hertford's pack forced the visitors back. Barnes kept ball tight with more recycling to get another penalty, now 8 metres out. For a change the visitors chose a scrum; this resulted in a fourth penalty then another scrum; a fifth and a third put-in. Barnes' scrum was forced back but they retained and recycled four times to get the sixth penalty but not another yellow card! They released from the fourth scrum but soon dropped the ball. Hertford kicked from their scrum 14 metres out; Barnes ran the ball back well and got very close to the line with a good effort from centre Lewis but the defence was also good and forced Barnes into touch. From their 5 metre line-out, Hertford soon kicked to touch at their 22. Barnes now tried wider ball then started to recycle tight again; they did this several times before the defence forced a knock-on 9 metres out. After that there was little worth reporting.
Hertford had seemed to play with more energy than Barnes and the visitors made too many errors in the second half. The lack of a second yellow card against the defence after 60 minutes was important. In the autumn reverse fixture Barnes had won comfortably, scoring 17 unanswered points in the last quarter. From that game, Hertford were not much changed while half of Barnes’ team was different.