Barnes travelled to the Bristol area again last Saturday, and took on Clifton. All was well with us leading going into the last quarter, 8-17 up, with tries from Matt Cornish and Nick Van Buuren, Josh Hammett adding both conversions and a penalty.
But then the wheels came off!
And despite a second try for the birthday boy Cornish, Clifton cut loose, and then ran away with the game, winning 44-22 in the end.
Whilst we dominated the lineouts, and more than competed in the scrum, we lacked urgency at the breakdown, and were turned over far too often, and too regularly missed crucial tackles.
It was most unlike the Barnes of recent wins but, in truth, we have not fired fully since the first half against Taunton three weeks ago.
We simply must try harder to make sure that we don’t undo the excellent progress we have made over the last couple of months. Just as winning becomes a habit, so does losing, and it is a habit we simply don’t want to adopt right now, or at any time this season.
This weekend we entertain the league’s newcomers, Birmingham and Solihull, to Barn Elms.
B & S have struggled so far, but some of their results must have given them encouragement. They have performed well recently against Canterbury, OA’s and Henley and beat a resurgent Wild Geese away from home, so to underestimate them would be a big mistake.
After our two recent losses, the visitors will feel more confident coming down the A40 than they might have done during our recent unbeaten five-game run.
But I know these Barnow lads, I have said it before, and I will say it again, when Barnes is up against it, I know we dig deep, and find what we need in order to lift ourselves up. It is the essence of Barnow, it is embedded deeply in our souls and, when we reflect on who were really are, it is this special inner strength that encapsulates what playing in the original spirit really means.
And, it means an awful lot to these boys in gold and green.
So come on Barnow, I will be there supporting you on Saturday, and I encourage all of you who can to come and join me in that endeavour.
Always remember, if you fall behind, run faster. Never give up, never surrender, and rise up against the odds, that’s what we do at Barnes RFC.
And in other news…
Last Friday the Vets travelled to Esher to play Esher Vets, the lure on a wet chilly night being a curry afterwards. The incentive certainly paid off with Barnes Vets smashinglong-termng term foes 7-66. I understand that Barnes legend (his words not mine) Si Curran, scored twice and set up nearly every other Barnes try, what a player that man was!
On Sunday, the Ladies 2nd XV travelled to Bracknell and their education continued in this debut season as they lost 38-17 to Bracknell Ladies.
The weekend ahead
Another big BIG Barnow weekend coming up!
It all kicks off on the evening of Friday 7th December at 5:30pm, with our third Minis and Juniors evening at Rosslyn Park. This time it is the older lads and lasses playing tag. A whopping 24 teams are taking part from schools all over the local Barnes, Sheen and Putney school communities.
Yet another amazing effort from Chris Williams and Charles Roberts in organising and running this brilliant evening.
This is followed by an important 2nd XV fixture against Esher 2nd XV.
Then on Saturday the 1st XV play Birmingham and Solihull at Barn Elms with a 2pm kick off. Please do come and watch this really important game for the club.
Here is the full schedule of games this weekend:
Friday 7th December
• Barnes 2nd XV vs Esher - 7.45pm KO at Rosslyn Park
Saturday 8th December
• Barnes 1st XV vs Birmingham & Solihull - 2.00pm KO
• Battersea Ironsides vs Occies - 2.00pm KO
• Barnes Harrodians Vets vs Guildford Vets - 2.00pm KO
Sunday 9th December
• Cuffley vs Barnes Ladies 1st XV - 2.00pm KO
So it is another bumper weekend of Barnes Rugby, do come down to any of the games and support your local team.
Onwards Barnow, let's play in the original spirit that we hold dear at Barnes, may the weekend bring great rugby, great friendship and a great win for the 1st XV against Birmingham and Solihull!
All the best.
Michael "Rhino" Whitfield - Chairman - Barnes RFC