Revenge for loss at Thurrock
5 tries in the 3rd quarter ensure essential win
Barnes got going with two very good tries from backing up, wide-running forwards in a first half in which Thurrock may have had more of the territory and won the kicking battle possibly with the help of the wind. Five tries for Barnes in the third quarter showed what was possible. The visitors had one decent chance in the first half which Barnes just kept out and Thurrock got a consolation try at the end.
Barnes safely recovered from an error following the visitors' kick-off and returned an up-and-under. This resulted in a scrum for Thurrock not far into their opponents' half. After this there were 2 turnovers then 2 kicks leading to the first line-out for the visitors 5 metres into their half. From this they kicked out on the full giving Barnes one 12 metres in. They released to centre Hersey who broke through; the ball was recycled before soon being dropped giving Thurrock a scrum outside of their 22. They got the ball away and kicked for territory after 2 recycles. Barnes ran the ball wide then kicked to the line; Thurrock touched down for a 22 drop-out. Barnes threw the ball wide, broke through at centre then got the ball wide again spreading the defence for lock Williams to go to the line at 6 minutes. The conversion was wide.
Barnes secured the restart and recycled twice before the opposition forced an error to get the third put-in. Under pressure at the scrum Thurrock got the ball away but kept the ball tight. After 4 recycles they were penalised for not releasing. Barnes kicked to touch, not far, for a line-out on halfway. They were dispossessed at centre and the visitors recycled 4 times to get a penalty for offside. At 11 minutes from just 2 metres into the half near centre field they tried for the points; this went close but not over.
Thurrock ran back the long 22 drop-out to get another penalty after a couple of recycles and this time kicked well for a line-out 8 metres out. An error at the line-out gave the defence their first put-in from which they broke blind before kicking ahead. Thurrock returned this with interest back to the try line for another 22 drop-out. This time the visitors returned it with a kick to touch 18 metres out. From the line-out Barnes' pack set up a drive then launched an up-and-under. Thurrock secured this and made their first attacking break and got well into the 22 before dropping the ball 10 metres out after recycling once. They were awarded a free-kick at the scrum. Their pack ran the ball and got a penalty after 2 tight recycles, 5 metres out. This was put into touch for a line-out which was stolen by the defence whose pack set up drive before trying and up-and-under. Thurrock dealt with this and ran the ball; they put together their best sequence of phases thus far with very good variation and after 5 phases set wing Farrell free, he running 40 to metres to the line at the corner. At the line the defence forced a turnover and kicked then hacked the ball into touch for a line-out 28 metres out. From their line-out Thurrock soon kicked, straight to opposition outside centre Jones. He set Hersey off then flanker Robertson broke through and an offload sent lock Collins to the line not far from the posts at 25 minutes. The conversion missed.
Barnes secured the restart and soon were awarded a penalty at their 22 that was kicked for a line-out still in their own half. This resulted in an opposition scrum put-in at which Barnes got a free-kick for feeding. Their pack ran this but lost possession after releasing then recycling twice. At Thurrock's scrum 17 metes inside their own half they were awarded a penalty that they kicked to touch to 15 metres into the other half. They were turned over soon after the line-out; Barnes kicked; Thurrock kicked further to a 22 drop-out. The visitors kicked that back to touch 25 metres out then stole the line-out before they got the next back at the 10 metre line. They threw that not-straight and Barnes went blind from their scrum but not far. Thurrock dealt with a chip ahead and recycled 3 times before the opposition forced an error to get a put-in. Barnes again went blind and this time kicked to touch at the opposition 22. The visitors kept ball tight before kicking for territory; Barnes ran back then passed into touch. Thurrock again kept the ball close before trying an up-and-under. Barnes ran and were penalised. This was kicked for a line-out just inside the opposition 22. This was followed by their scrum and from it they put together a good set of phases before the defence forced an error. Advantage was played and Barnes kicked ahead; the visitors ran it back but were in touch. A Thurrock scrum followed the line-out but the opposition got a free-kick at that before the whistle.
The visitors had one decent chance in the first half which Barnes just kept out. Thurrock may have had more of the territory and they had won the kicking battle possibly with the help of the wind.
The visitors secured the second half restart and kept the ball tight for several recycles before being turned over. Barnes launched an up-and-under that Thurrock dealt with and then looked threatening before losing possession. Barnes' Jones then ran 50 metres to the posts inside 2 minutes. Wicks added. Thurrock regained when Barnes dropped the restart; they recycled tight 3 times before being penalised. The kick took Barnes to a line-out 29 metres from the opposition line. They released wide and got to 7 metres out before the Ref. went back to award them another penalty much further back plus a man advantage for 10 minutes. Again they went for a line-out, this time 16 metres out and from this the pack drove to the line with flanker Sharp on the ball after 6 minutes. Wicks' conversion was very good. Thurrock regained their restart and kept the ball tight before a Barnes' scrum 16 metres inside their half. From it they released to Hersey who made yards before sending Jones to the line within 4 minutes of the previous try. This time the conversion missed.
This time Barnes secured the restart and returned an up-and-under to get the next put-in then a penalty at the base of the scrum. This was kicked for a line-out 15 metres out and at first the pack kept the ball in. This broke up and they released wider; after am offload and a recycle Wicks chipped through the line for wing Adams to collect and go over at the corner before 15 minutes. The conversion was wide.
Barnes secured the restart and soon replied with an up-and-under; Thurrock kept ball in hand, close at first, then were turned over when going wider and just after this were penalised. Barnes kicked for a line-out 10 metres out. Their drive broke up and when the ball was recycled they got a second penalty. This resulted in another line-out 6 metres out and from this the pack drove over with Sharp again on the ball at the end of the third quarter. Wicks' conversion was very good.
Again the visitors regained their restart; they composed some phases before passing forward. Barnes released from the scrum but got isolated. Thurrock varied their recycling through 5 phases before being turned over. Barnes advanced well into the other half to an opposition line-out. The visitors launched an up-and-under; Adams ran 40 metres but without support was turned over. Thurrock ran their possession until a loose ball was hacked on by the opposition and then picked up by flanker Robertson. Unsupported he was turned over and the visitors broke out from their 22, started by their no. 8 Rettigan and supported with an offload and one recycle to get the next scrum 13 metres inside the opposition half. From this they went wide and quickly advanced to send Farrell to the line at 32 minutes. The conversion was wide.
Soon after the visitors dealt with the restart they were turned over then penalised and lost a man for 10 minutes. Barnes kick didn't find touch; Thurrock ran then kicked then soon won a turnover and kicked again. Barnes kept the ball in a scrum on halfway to get a penalty that was kicked to touch not far. From their line-out they kept ball close before being turned over when releasing. Thurrock advanced before kicking; Barnes kicked back; the visitors then got ball wide and a break got them up to halfway. They recycled well before being penalised for not releasing. Barnes ran this and the whistle went at the next breakdown.
Thurrock had some good elusive runners but lack of support meant this was not enough to threaten the opposition defence.
Dry, bright and sunny; 60% cloud, some varying wind, the pitch firm with short grass; some showers forecast that did not arrive but the temperature dropped during the afternoon to become quite cold.