2nd 1/2 penalty puzzle
3 - 0 @ 1/2 time; no 2nd 1/2 penalties against Hertford until game decided
The pitch was very wet but there wasn't much rain during the game. Patently many of the errors were directly due to the wet ball. Hertford kicked off then a penalty got the visitors onto the attack. A poor pass gave the defence the first put-in just outside their 22. They kicked for territory and Barnes ran the ball back then kicked diagonally for wing Van Buuren to get. After a couple of recycles and a chip to the corner flag, the Ref. went back to award a second penalty 28 metres out at 6 minutes. Fly-half O'Brien was asked to kick the points despite the angle not being easy. He slipped and the ball hardly achieved lift-off. Hertford cleared to touch and forced a turnover soon after the line-out. They got the next scrum and kicked to touch well into the other half. They stayed attacking in Barnes' half for some time with play changing hands several times and the visitors' defence holding. A free-kick at a Barnes' scrum and some chat sent Hertford back before a kick out the full gave Barnes an attacking line-out. Drizzle started; the visitors stayed in the opposition half and Hertford were penalised defending. The touch-kick took Barnes to just outside the 22 but the line-out resulted in a Hertford scrum. Exchanged kicks resulted in a Hertford line-out further back into their 22 which they threw not-straight. Barnes could not advance from their scrum and the opposition got the next one after holding up in the tackle a Barnes' player.
The visitors were penalised at the next breakdown with Hertford in possession. The home team kicked for a line-out still in their own half. They broke into the other half with a throw to the front, catching the opposition napping. The defence held to get the next scrum. Three kicks resulted in a line-out for Hertford from which they advanced to one for Barnes 8 metres out. This resulted in a Hertford scrum and was followed by a penalty 8 metres out for the home team just before the half-hour and Smart kicked the first points. An error at the restart gave Hertford a scrum at halfway; from this they kicked ahead then the visitors kicked a 22 drop-out. A dropped ball gave Barnes the next scrum in the opposition half after which kicks were exchanged before a penalty against the home team at a ruck. The visitors kicked for a line-out 29 metres out; after that they recycled well before being penalised for not releasing. Hertford kicked for a line-out in the other half then recycled well without advancing much then kicking out on the full then being penalised at the line-out. The kick took Barnes into the other half and from their line-out they advanced before being penalised just outside their opponents' 22. With no time left in the first half Hertford kicked to touch. With the score 3 - 0 there was nothing thus far to suggest who might win this encounter. Barnes seemed to have had some territorial advantage.
At the start of the second half Barnes twice had possession well into the opposition half before a stolen line-out got Hertford into the other half. The visitors were penalised in possession of the ball and Smart tried for the points from long range. Three kicks followed the 22 drop-out enabling Barnes to get out of their half before they were again penalised in possession. The kick took Hertford to their line-out 28 metres from their opponents' line. Good tight recycling got them another penalty 24 metres out in centre field and Smart kicked the points on 10 minutes. After the restart the ball was soon in both 22s and after some errors Hertford got their third penalty of the half in the same way, then a fourth to get back to where they were a few minutes before. After recycling tight twice, they chipped through and got a scrum put-in 5 metres out. The scrum wheeled and soon no. 8 Belton broke off to get to the line then twist while tackled to touch down near the posts after 17 minutes and Smart converted.
After this restart Hertford cleared to touch then stole the line-out and soon released to centre. Smart set off to round the wide defence and fed wing Bendin who scored at the posts 3¼ minutes after the first try, effectively settling the outcome. Smart added. The visitors were penalised for a trip soon after the restart and this got Hertford back into the other half again. Errors resulted in a scrum for each team with Hertford going forward to the second one; this time 28 metres out in centre field. Picking up at the base Belton turned his back on the opposition and held the ball while Bendin raced up to and past him taking the ball off him and went clear to the line, untouched, after 26 minutes. Smart added again. Two errors from the restart gave the visitors the next scrum then another error had Barnes on the back foot again. A first penalty against Hertford in this half helped them to get up to halfway before being sent back after an error. This time Barnes' defence was good but from their next scrum they went much further back but got another penalty then tried to run the ball out of their 22, almost in desperation. This was tried several more times before the final whistle.