A dogfight against old foes ...
- coming from 11 points behind in the 4th quarter. Barnes' set piece control and all-round defence was perhaps the key
First, Barnes, recalling their own situation a year ago, sincerely hope the Tringons survive in this league. There have been many tough games there since coming from behind in the last minute to win by 1 point in November 2008. Secondly, Barnes have won recent matches by being in control for most of the time; it was not the case in this game apart from perhaps the final quarter. This was a game that could have gone either way. Tring's 3 tries all came from good teamwork.
The visitors kicked off long, against the slope, into the opposition 22; Tring returned this with interest then Barnes kicked again, but not to touch. Tring kept ball in hand until, a ball carrier having been held up, Barnes got the first scrum put-in 16 metres into their half. From that they kicked to keep the ball in play and Tring replied with an up-and-under that the visitors dealt with but then conceded the first penalty, 28 metres out. Tring ran this and the defence forced an error 13 metres out to get another put-in. Barnes kept the ball in the scrum and advanced to get their first penalty. This was kicked towards touch but didn't find it then the visitors forced a man into touch to get a line-out near halfway. From that they launched an up-and-under and forced another player into touch to get a second line-out 16 metres into the opposition half. From this they went wide before soon passing forward. From their scrum, in their own half, Tring put together the first sustained possession of 6 phases, advancing to the visitors' 22 where they got a penalty. They kicked to touch 11 metres out then set up a driving maul that the defence struggled to deal with at first. The maul went down 5 metres out and Tring recycled 8 times, mostly tight, then scrumhalf Beeny got over at the posts on 10 minutes and fly-half Newton added the extras.
Tring returned the long restart to touch 9 metres inside their half. Barnes got a scrum at the same place following the line-out. They kept the ball in and advanced to get a penalty that they kicked to touch 17 metres out. They tried to drive from that then soon released to centre and recycled 7 times before the defence forced an error to get a put-in 12 metres out. The visitors got a free-kick at the scrum and ran this to 4 metres out where they recycled 4 times before being turned over close to the line. Tring kicked up field; Barnes' fullback O'Toole ran the ball then chipped over to the 22 where the ball was marked. Tring kicked to touch almost to halfway. Barnes released to centre from their line-out then lost possession at a very good tackle. Tring ran and kicked and Barnes now marked in their 22 then cleared to touch back at halfway. Tring kept the ball for 3 phases before being dispossessed then Barnes' fly-half Williams-Davies kicked well to touch just outside the opposition 22. Tring threw their line-out not-straight. Barnes went backwards from the scrum before dropping at centre. From the next scrum Tring went blind before being forced into touch. This was followed by a penalty for the visitors 8 metres into their opponents' half. It was kicked for a line-out 12 metres out. The forwards kept the ball tight to get another penalty that was kicked for another line-out 7 metres out. They drove for the line; the defence was good and held the ball carrier up over the line. From the 5 metre scrum, scrumhalf Franklin soon got over wide out at 26 minutes. The conversion was wide.
Four kicks followed the restart; Barnes' wing Greenwood had a good run back to halfway before being penalised when tackled. A very good kick took Tring to their line-out 5 metres from the visitors' line. Their pack got to the line then got a 5 metre scrum then a penalty at that. They ran this to 2 metres out and recycled 5 times before Newton chipped over; Barnes dealt with this and touched down for a 22 drop-out. Tring kicked this back and Barnes marked in the 22 then cleared to touch. Tring took a quick line-out then were forced into touch 9 metres inside the opposition half. The visitors got a free-kick at the line-out and ran the ball to get a penalty after recycling once from centre at halfway. The kick took them to just inside the opposition 22. The pack set for a drive then released to the backs. There was space ahead and wing Riley in centre field stepped then ran unopposed to the posts at 33 minutes for his team to take the lead. O'Toole added.
The visitors returned the restart with an up-and-under that resulted in a scrum for Tring 9 metres into their opponents' half. They released to centre then recycled 3 times without advance before passing forward. Barnes advanced from the scrum before being forced into touch 14 metres into the other half. Tring broke away close from the line-out then Beeny made an excellent break to the opposition 22. Eight recycles resulted in a penalty 12 metres out near centre field just before the halftime whistle and Newton took the points.
With the lead and the advantage of the slope in the 2nd half, Barnes' supporters expected their team to dominate the rest of the game but this did not happen.
The visitors returned the restart with an up-and-under; Tring dealt with this and advanced strongly with 7 phases until penalised 3 metres out. Barnes cleared to touch near their 22 but then had their line-out stolen. A scrum immediately followed that and Tring advanced with 6 phases until the defence forced an error to get a scrum 13 metres out. The visitors kept ball close from the scrum and advanced 10 metres to get a penalty and kicked to touch then had their line-out stolen again. Kicks were exchanged resulting in a Barnes' scrum near halfway. Tring got a free-kick for feeding at that and ran it with fullback Wattleworth breaking through before a forward pass gave the defence a put-in 15 metres out. Tring dealt with Barnes' up-and-under and ran the ball back to get a penalty 27 metres from the opposition line that they kicked to touch 16 metres out. From this line-out Tring quickly released to centre then recycled twice close, making ground and this created their second try-scoring opportunity. Their backs were aligned and they went wide again. There was an overlap, and a pass over the head of a potential tackler sent wing Gayton easily over with a man outside him near the corner after 11 minutes for them to retake the lead. The conversion was wide.
Tring secured the restart and wing Jarvis broke through the line. They then put together an excellent set of 14 phases before chipping over. Their man regained in the air while a defender also went for the ball and although there was no intentional foul Barnes lost a man for 10 minutes. Tring kicked for a line-out 5 metres out and kept the ball tight, recycling 3 times, before getting another penalty when releasing, again 5 metres out, and Newton took the points at 15 minutes.
Tring cleared the long restart to touch at their 22. Barnes kept the ball in from the line-out but the defence quickly forced an error and got the ball and went wide and broke out to the other half. An error gave possession back to the visitors who soon kicked to no purpose. Newton ran the ball and kicked well towards touch and a fumble got them a scrum 10 metres from their opponents' line. From this a long pass created another comfortable try-scoring opportunity for their backs and Gayton went to the line at the corner for his second towards the end of the 3rd quarter, for an 11 point lead. The conversion was wide.
Tring kicked the restart back and a couple of runs from Barnes' three-quarters got them a penalty near halfway and an opposition man sent off for 10 minutes. This was kicked for a line-out just inside the opposition 22. The pack kept the ball for a drive and when this went down the ball was recycled 7 times putting lock Cazalet over in the corner 4 minutes after the restart. An excellent conversion from O'Toole followed.
Barnes kicked ahead soon after the restart and forced a man into touch in the opposition half. From the line-out they went wide. Tring dealt with a chip over then 2 kicks followed before Tring ran from their 22 and put together a very good attack of 7 phases that included a switch of play by Newton. This got them a penalty 15 metres into the visitors' half near centre field before the half-hour. Newton's kick missed. Barnes kicked their 22 drop-out long and a catcher dropped the ball giving the opposition a scrum 13 metres into Tring's half. From the scrum O'Toole made a very good break; the ball was recycled at the 22 then recycled three more times to get a penalty 6 metres out. Barnes chose a scrum from which they varied their recycling with 7 phases before Greenwood backed himself to beat the defence and went to the posts after 33 minutes to take the lead back. O'Toole added.
The visitors returned the restart with an up-and-under. Tring ran the ball and recycled 3 times before the opposition forced an error to get a put-in, still well inside their own half. At the scrum Barnes got a penalty for offside and kicked to touch just inside Tring's 22. The forwards kept the ball close before Tring got a penalty for not releasing; they ran this, getting to the other half, then had a kick charged down. This resulted in another Barnes' scrum and a free-kick for the visitors at that. They chose a scrum again and got a penalty after keeping the ball in. This was kicked into touch for the whistle.
Dry after much earlier drizzle, overcast but brightening, some variable wind, not cold with the pitch soft.