The final score at 28-5 loss did not do justice to the game and Barnes knew they had to battle all game which was played at a particularly non Vets pace.
Another massive squad with 27 Players! Awesome and unprecedented particularly with so many new and welcome faces. It was so overcrowded on the side lines, rumour has it Nigel Farage was using it as brexit propaganda on his late night LBC Radio slot with a guest caller.
We knew that Barnes was always going to be a tough game, after an epic battle last year when they were deserved winners of the league. They turned up early, looking lean & fit with the usual crop of units in the forwards and had their game faces on.
We too went through a decent warm up and a hastily gathered selection meeting was called between senior players a few minutes before kick off to work out who would be the starters and the finishers. The selectors can confirm that PA, realising his starting position was in serious danger from the newcomers did try to cement his place with a cash bribe. Thankfully, Aidy Mawson stepped in at no 10, which the team were very grateful for although as he wears a scrum cap - he cannot hear anything, which is a problem in the fly half position.
The game kicked off at a high pace, which was played throughout the match. Our forwards looked great, with Daz to the fore throughout and Karl and Matt turning the screw at the scrum. Big Jim was turning the clock back (playing 3 weeks in the row is clearly helping with fitness) and continued to chop down the opposition in the loose. Nonetheless after ten minutes we were two tries down due to two errors from the backs that shall go unspoken (Mawson & your match day reporter). We re-grouped and with Hugh marshalling the forwards excellently, we stared to punch some serious holes led by Duncan and Seamus in the back row and Gus our silver fox purring beautifully down the wing. Eventually our pressure told and JD scored a well earned try after some excellent work by the forwards. Barnes kept coming though and only some great defence by our new centre pairing of Wally and Brando and PA at the back kept them out but we ended the half 2:1 down in a very tight first half.
All change at half time. We continued off in the second half in the same vein as the first with Luke now creating holes in the centre and Alex and Sean making some great turnovers in the second half. However their defence was pretty good, we dropped off fitness wise half way through and they scored two tries to end the game 4 tries to 1. Barnes were deserved winners but the score line perhaps flattered them. Si Morgan came on and provided one amusing second half moment. Picking up a loose ball the opposition winger turned saw your match day reporter and thought I've got you for pace (he did) and then saw Simon and thought, I've got you for pace (he didn't) - tried to go round Simon and was promptly munched into the sideline from an awesome tackle.
This is how the opposition saw it [url=http://www.barnesrfc.org/teams/65717/match-centre/0-3634062]. Nonetheless well done and good luck for the rest of the season.
Most importantly welcome to all the new players and we hope you return over the coming weeks!
Updated 12:28 - 14 Apr 2017 by David Love