One that didn’t
(get away, that is). This game, won by one penalty could have gone either way, each side scoring 4 tries, with only one converted.
Chichester secured the kick-off and kept the ball in hand to advance and get the first penalty at halfway. This was kicked for a line-out 26 metres out then they put together a very good sequence of 10 phases before the defence got the first scrum put-in 18 metres from their try line. Barnes got a penalty at that and ran the ball before soon kicking ahead and diagonally. Chichester kept ball in hand again with 6 phases until forced into touch near halfway. Barnes were forced backwards then an error gave the home team the second scrum. They varied their plays to get the second penalty and they kicked this to a line-out 14 metres out. The visitors were awarded a penalty at the maul after the line-out and they kicked for another line-out. From this one Barnes tried options before kicking ahead but not far from laterally straight into the hands on an opposition wing who set off on a good run. The visitors got back to defend and Chichester were penalised after 2 recycles. Barnes kicked for a line-out again near halfway. A tapped ball to where their scrumhalf wasn't then a hack-on by Chichester sent the visitors backwards. They had to clear to touch giving the opposition an attacking line-out 9 metres out and from that their pack drove for the line. The maul went down 2 metres out then they sent the ball a wide as possible for wing Tanner to score at the far corner on 13 minutes. A very good conversion by fly-half Adams followed.
Chichester secured the restart then kicked out on the full giving Barnes a line-out 27 metres out from which they advanced keeping the ball close to get a kickable penalty within 4 minutes of the restart and fullback O'Toole converted it. A Chichester player got to their high restart in the air and tapped it back. They recycled twice before being turned over. Barnes were forced backwards to their try line where their forwards recycled the ball and no. 8 Mortimer broke away to the 22 then wing Riley was set free to the other half until the visitors were penalised for not releasing 16 metres into the half. Chichester kicked for a line-out into the other half and got another penalty after their line-out and 3 recycles. This just outside the 22 and an easy kick for Adams added the points just before the end of the first quarter. Chichester secured the restart and got the ball quickly to their backs then after two more wide recycles no. 8 Bentall made yards before sending centre Lowe to the line within 3 minutes of the previous penalty kick. Adams' conversion that he would have expected to slot was wide.
Again the home team secured the restart and this time kept the ball close at first then varied their plays until after 6 recycles they were penalised, still in their half. The visitors kicked for a line-out into the 22. They kept the ball tight and advanced to get another penalty and another line-out, now 5 metres out. An error gave the defence a put-in 6 metres out but Barnes pushed their opponents back to get their own scrum 5 metres out. From that scrumhalf Reeves got over at 28 minutes; the conversion was wide. Barnes dealt with the restart and soon kicked ahead. Chichester kept ball in hand through 5 phases before being turned over. The visitors tried an up-and-under and the opposition dealt with this then recycled 3 times to get a penalty 14 metres into their opponents half not far from centre field but the kick for the points went wide. After the 22 drop-out Chichester came back keeping ball in hand before being turned over. Barnes cleared to touch and this was touched in flight giving them the line-out only 17 metres out. They kept the ball close until the opposition forced an error to get the next put-in 28 metres out.
The ball didn't come out of the scrum cleanly and the opposition got the ball and they got the ball wide to O'Toole coming in who sent wing Greenwood away almost to the other 22. Six recycles after that the visitors were penalised for crossing just outside the 22. Chichester kicked for a line-out in the other 22 and got a put-in after that when a tapped ball was knocked on. Barnes pushed the scrum to get a penalty and kicked for a line-out 25 metres from the opposition line. A half-break by outside centre Jones got them another penalty at the 22 an O'Toole missed one he would have hoped to convert before the halftime whistle. Although Chichester had had more and better possession the 7 point difference between the sides could be said to be due to one Barnes’ error.
The home team kicked off the second half and regained but were immediately penalised. Barnes kicked for a line-out back at halfway; they released to centre but lost possession there. Advantage was played and Chichester advanced to 15 metres into their opponents' half where they were penalised. Barnes kicked to touch, but not far, then had their line-out stolen. Chichester recycled close twice then went blind to break clear before an offload got them close then another recycle to the blind side got Bentall over after 3 minutes. The conversion was wide. Chichester secured the longer restart and after 5 varied phases kicked into the 22. Barnes cleared to touch outside of their 22 then from the line-out Chichester's pack set for a drive. After advancing they released wide then after another recycle got to 8 metres out. They were penalised after 3 more recycles for side entry at the ruck and Barnes kicked to touch out of their 22. From the line-out they first kept the ball in then brought the fullback into the line and with a good passing movement progressed into the other half where the defence forced an error to get the next put-in. Chichester flanker Johnson broke ahead from the scrum and Bentall again made yards deep into the opposition half then after 4 recycles with a good offload in between the ball was kicked through the line. Barnes' wing Greenwood ran away with it down the touchline. Good backing up and good hands ensured that the ball was kept alive to put centre Butler over wide out after 12 minutes; the conversion missed.
The visitors secured the high restart and kicked it back. Chichester ran the ball, chipped through and regained then recycled twice; Adams switched direction and the ball was recycled 3 times until a ball carrier was held up by the defence to get their put-in at the 22. From the scrum Barnes went blind then kicked ahead; Chichester tried an up-and-under that was comfortably dealt with. Wing Riley ran off with the ball passing to lock Collins who sent Butler to the line at 18 minutes. The conversion was wide. The visitors didn't deal with the restart at first attempt but then soon kicked over. Chichester kicked the loose ball into touch. Barnes did not advance from their line-out and the opposition got the next one. From that Chichester kept ball in hand for a couple of phases before again chipping. O'Toole kicked to touch into the other half and from the next line-out Chichester advanced but only to an opposition scrum 7 metres into the other half. Barnes got a free-kick at that and their forwards ran the ball; four recycles got them a penalty that was kicked for line-out 19 metres from their opponents' line. The ball was released to centre from the line-out then after 8 recycles prop Scott-Bowden finished the move to get his team the lead at 26 minutes. O'Toole added.
The visitors returned the restart with an up-and-under that went into touch on the full. They forced a turnover, after 3 opposition recycles mixed with 2 offloads, then kicked. They got a loose ball and quickly broke out to get to their line-out 8 metres from the opposition line. They got a penalty 5 metres out after keeping the ball in and opted for another line-out. This time they let their backs have the ball then after 9 phases and very good defence by the opposition they were turned over. Chichester cleared to touch but not far and the visitors' pack kept the ball close to get a penalty 10 metres out in centre field for O'Toole to extend the lead at 34 minutes.
Again Barnes' restart return went out on the full giving their opponents' an attacking line-out just outside the 22. At first Chichester kept the ball in then released to create a very good attack that the defence had to force out wide and eventually into touch 5 metres out. Chichester comfortably dealt with another clearing up-and-under and sent the ball swiftly wide for replacement back Seaman to score wide out to secure his team 2 bonus points with 2 minutes to go. The conversion missed. Chichester ran the ball from the final restart and won a penalty after 4 recycles. They ran the penalty wide and advanced before an error resulted in the final whistle. The ten point difference in the second half was due to two successful counter-attacks from Barnes with perhaps Chichester suffering quite a lot from injuries in that half.
Dry, bright and cool, some variable wind and the pitch firm.