Barnes rise to 5th in the league …
controlling a game, for the most part, against a Gravesend team that has had a couple of very good results this season.
The home team kicked off high; the visitors secured and kicked into the other half. Barnes ran the ball and they got the put-in at the first scrum on halfway. With their first possession they released to their three-quarters and recycled 5 times with fly-half Williams-Davies making a break after the first 2, before the defence forced an error and cleared up field. O'Toole at fullback launched an up-and-under into the visitors' 22. Gravesend soon kicked ahead again Barnes ran the ball wide with wing Riley breaking through in midfield. After 2 recycles a chip through was cleared to touch just inside the visitors' 22. From the line-out the used wide ball and after 2 recycles broke through to get close to the line and following another recycle prop Remfry got over on 4 minutes. The difficult conversion was wide. Three kicks followed the restart then Gravesend varied their recycling through 4 phases before kicking. Barnes kicked again into the 22 and another kick ahead soon followed. Barnes ran the ball then were penalised for not releasing. A very good kick took the visitors all the way to the other 22. From the line-out their forwards kept the ball tight before being dispossessed; Barnes cleared to touch near halfway. Again from the line-out their forwards kept the ball tight then broke off but lost possession. Williams-Davies made a break and got wing Greenwood away. He covered lots of ground then after one recycle his team got close to the line and after one more wide recycle and another one tight Remfry claimed his second near the posts after 10 minutes and O'Toole added.
Barnes were turned over soon after the high restart; the visitors recycled twice tight then sent the ball wide to their second-top try scorer, wing Okenia who arced wide and shrugged off two would-be tacklers to touch down wide-out within 2 minutes of Barnes' try. The conversion missed. The restart and two more kicks resulted in a line-out for the visitors at their 22. From it they launched a long high kick; Barnes sent the ball wide setting Greenwood away. They dropped the ball 12 metres out after it was recycled twice with a couple of passes in between. From their scrum Gravesend's no.8 made some ground to get a penalty which the visitors ran. Barnes got possession after forcing an error but were soon penalised for not releasing. The kick got the visitors up to halfway and from their line-out they put together their best sequence of phases until Barnes forced another error. Advantage was played before Gravesend were penalised for not rolling away. A very good kick went into touch 26 metres from the opposition line. The line-out resulted in a put-in for Barnes at the same place. From this they released to centre and soon after recycling once got a penalty still 26 metres out. The touch kick got them 10 more metres and from the line-out they first kept the ball in then released to the backs and got another penalty 9 metres out in centre field after 23 minutes and O'Toole kicked the points.
In less than 4 minutes Montgomery for the visitors kicked a penalty. They had regained from their high restart and recycled and retained well. Barnes' defence forced an error to get a scrum put-in before they were penalised 28 metres out in centre field. Gravesend cleared the next restart to touch 10 metres into the opposition half. Barnes were again penalised after an error at their line-out. The visitors kicked for a line-out but had that stolen; Barnes kicked ahead then Gravesend ran the ball, varying their plays until at a maul Barnes held a ball carrier up to get a scrum put-in 29 metres from their own line. After this five kicks followed, the last to touch 15 metres inside Barnes half. Gravesend kept ball in hand from their line-out and recovered from a loose ball having been hacked on but then passed forward; they had been forced a back a few yards. An error after the scrum got possession back for Gravesend, but again they were forced back to another Barnes' scrum, now just inside the visitors' half. They were penalised at this one; Barnes kicked for a line-out at which they were penalised. The next line-out was 5 metres inside Barnes' half. Gravesend soon lost possession after their line-out but forced a turnover after Barnes had had the ball for 2 phases. Now the visitors put together a very good sequence of possession advancing strongly to get to 12 metres out before being forced back then penalised just before the halftime whistle.
Gravesend nearly got possession from their restart but Barnes got a scrum put-in instead. Then they got a penalty soon after that which was kicked for a line-out and another penalty at the line-out. The next line-out was 13 metres out. Barnes' pack tried for a drive but the visitors' defence was good and got a put-in 5 metres out. Barnes' pressure at that got them their own put-in. Next Gravesend snatched the ball as it came out of the scrum, recycled then launched an up-and-under. Barnes comfortably death with that and threw the ball about before a forward pass gave the visitors a scrum 28 metres out. A crossing error gave Barnes a penalty soon after the scrum taking them to another line-out 13 metres out. This time the drive to the line was good, after breaking up then getting going again with no. 8 Smyth on the ball after 8 minutes. A very good conversion from O'Toole followed. The visitors regained from their restart and retained and recycled well before the defence forced an error. Advantage was played and four kicks followed. Hooker Crossley and O'Toole made yards until Gravesend got a scrum 7 metres from their line. They kicked ahead from that then a Barnes' error after running enabled the visitors to kick again. Barnes ran back again to get the next scrum 17 metres out. They got a free-kick at that and ran the ball; after recycling 3 times they were penalised for crossing 7 metres out. Gravesend kicked for a line-out 26 metres out. Smyth came away from that with the ball and he made yards before the ball was recycled wide to Greenwood who touched down at the far corner at 17 minutes. An excellent conversion from O'Toole followed.
The game switched to and fro near the middle of the park for almost 10 minutes then after a good sequence of phases Gravesend got a penalty near halfway. They kicked into the 22 for a line-out and advanced strongly from that before being forced into touch 5 metres out. Barnes then cleared to touch 30 metres out. Again Gravesend continued strongly to get a penalty 18 metres out then kicked for a 5 metre line-out. From that after their maul was disrupted they kept ball tight through 5 phases then released to centre and after two more recycles close scrumhalf Bacon got over at the posts at 31 minutes. Montgomery added. The visitors kicked back the long restart then soon forced a turnover. They recycled and retained well through 7 phases before an error was forced to give Barnes a scrum still in the opposition half. Their scrum was under pressure at that put-in and the ball was soon in touch for a line-out near halfway but Gravesend threw that not-straight. This time Barnes sent the ball wide from the scrum and advanced a bit to get another put-in near the far side. From this they kept ball close through 4 phases with little advance and the opposition got the next put-in. Before a scrum could take place the Ref. had no option but to deal with an act of retaliation by a Barnes' forward, not having seen the much worse act as the ruck broke up that provoked it. The visitors kicked long to touch at the opposition 22. From their line-out the pack drove well and got very close to Barnes' line then won another penalty. This was put into touch for a 5 metre line-out that was stolen and the ball was kicked out for the whistle.
Light rain before kick-off and at the start; bright, no wind and the pitch firm.