Normal Service resumed ...
... after CS 1863 beat Barnes twice last season.
The visitors kicked off and stayed in the opposition half; Barnes got the first two scrum put-ins and the first line-out which got them into the other half. After kicking ahead they forced a turnover then won the first penalty. This was kicked for a line-out 15 metres out and from that their pack drove to the line despite the opposition twice going to ground. This inside 5 minutes with flanker Stanton on the ball, not far from the posts, and Williams-Davies, unavailable all last season, added. Following the restart Civil Service again stayed in their opponents' half and had most of the possession. Barnes got back to halfway before being turned over then Service recycled through 7 phases to get an easily kickable penalty 27 metres out at 14 minutes and Hadden kicked the points. An error at the restart set the visitors attacking again. Line-out possession started a Barnes' counter-attack then Hadden intercepted and made good yards before the defence conceded a penalty at the end of the first quarter that was also easy for Hadden to kick.
Next Barnes stayed in the opposition half with possession even until from their line-out they went wide and put together 5 phases before passing forward at the opposition 22. Service were penalised before the put-in and the ball was kicked for a line-out less than 6 metres out and with a good forward drive flanker Stanton got his second at the half-hour near the corner. The conversion was wide. A high restart caused trouble for Barnes and Service got the ball; they recycled 7 times to get a penalty. This 2 minutes from the restart and Hadden took the points. Barnes stayed in the opposition half after some kicking by both teams the home team attacked putting the ball through many hands with scrumhalf Reeves and the back row opening up the defence to send no. 8 Popham near the posts 3 minutes after the restart. Williams Davies added. Barnes secured the restart but kicked out on the full giving Service a line-out 15 metres from the opposition try line. After a half-break from a forward and 2 recycles Hadden brought fullback Houston into the attack then from the breakdown scrumhalf Levea broke around the ruck to go to the posts after 38 minutes. Hadden added to make it 19 - 16.
Five minutes into the second half, while attacking close to the opposition line, Barnes lost a man for 10 minutes for retaliation. Barnes were penalised again after Service counter-attacked from the subsequent line-out. The visitors ran this penalty and from well in their own line ran off with Houston feeding no. 8 Price who scored after 6 minutes for the visitors to take the lead for the first time. The stronger wind drifted Hadden's conversion wide.
After the restart Service stopped a Barnes' attack then broke out strongly and were soon in the opposition 22 where the defence got the scrum put-in. Barnes cleared to touch then Service attacked again strongly with wide ball to get a penalty 10 metres out. This was kicked for a line-out 5 metres out. Barnes held the drive but lost a forward for 10 minutes. Service tried another line-out but Barnes were able to hack a loose ball up field. Service ran the ball and chipped over the opposition; Barnes dealt with this comfortably then kicked long to touch. Service took a quick line-out then kicked out on the full. From the line-out 8 metres inside the visitors' half Barnes varied their recycling to advance into the 22 and then went blind to send wing Greenwood to the corner at the start of the final quarter. A very good conversion from Williams-Davies followed.
A few minutes after the restart Service ran a penalty from halfway with Hadden making a very good break only for another player to be penalised for not releasing 5 metres out then sent 10 metres further back. After some to-and-fro Barnes advanced to the other half and got a penalty that was kicked for a line-out 15 metres out. Their pack kept the ball in to get another penalty that gave them another line-out now 5 metres out. This was thrown not-straight and the visitors opted for another line-out. After one recycle they kicked up field and Greenwood ran the ball back to put Stanton in at the corner at 28 minutes. A very good kick from Williams-Davies followed.
Barnes did not secure the restart but got a scrum inside their 22; Service got a free-kick at the put-in and ran it. After 5 recycles they got a penalty at the 22 and ran that. They got over but the Ref. said they ball carrier was held up and went back to award them a penalty 5 metres out. This was run by their forwards then when the ball went loose Barnes' lock Collins ran off with the ball and kicked it into the other half. Service got to the ball but were soon penalised for not releasing at halfway. This was kicked for a line-out 28 metres from Service's line and Barnes pack rumbled from there to the line with prop Remfry on the ball after 35 minutes. The conversion missed. A minute after the restart after Barnes did not secure from the kick-off, Service hacked the ball on; two defenders got back but the Ref. judged that opposition flanker Clarke was the one who got the downward pressure on the ball near the posts; this within a minute of the restart. Hadden added again.
Barnes starting 15 had 7 players different from last week.
100% overcast, a bit humid at the start but cooling and quite cold at the end. Some wind with the pitch firm and looking good.