Life on the road just isn’t the Barnstaple way is it? The trip to Henley didn’t produce the result many of us wished for but a losing bonus point is always welcomed, and it all started so well.
Barnstaple began the brighter by the looks of it with a Danny Southworth try converted by JP and for the first 20 minutes Barnstaple was in front. Then just as at Canterbury the Chiefs had lost either their concentration or something else interrupted their flow either side of half time allowing Henley to score 29 points while Barnstaple only managed a further penalty making it 29-10 to Henley by the 55th minute.
And again just like Canterbury the Chiefs woke up, can you see a familiar pattern, and a Topps try followed by a converted Gaz Evans try in the 70th minute gave the Chiefs a chance. But it didn’t materialise as Henley managed to hold us out for the win. It’s still a good bonus point and we know from last season how important every bonus point is when the reckoning comes at the end. Again though it is the Chiefs drive and stamina which impresses this season they never let their heads sink and will keep on going to get those late scores. It just seems we switch off at certain points in a game and give ourselves so much more work to do than we really need.
There were no surprises in the rest of the league today as all the favourites won. Cinderford again only just beat Worthing 27-29 and it does seem their free flowing scores have been halted for the time being. Taunton avoided their 6 game jinx and do look like the side to beat this season after beating Bury St. Edmunds at Bury’s ground. Redruth continue to struggle losing to Canterbury and London Irish Wild Geese won quite handsomely at home beating Old Reds 53-22 which will give them a lot of confidence as they visit Pottington Road next week.
Barnstaple Athletic were at home today playing host to Crediton 2nd’s. The game started with a lot of pressure by the visitors as Crediton put 10 points past us during the first 20 minutes. During this time The Tic’s were camped permanently inside their own half and struggled to get any ball. The next twenty were all Barnstaple as The Tic’s scored 22 points with 3 tries to go in at half time 22-13 up. The 100+ crowd were expectant of what the second half promised but unfortunately Barnstaple were completely dominated throughout the half. The scrum and line outs were woeful as Crediton applied themselves to exert huge pressure. Barnstaple’s defence was up to the task with some great defending but you cannot defend a whole half and eventually Crediton broke us down and scored the two tries they needed to win the game. Only once did the Tic’s relieve the pressure for any notable period during that half instead being almost completely encamped in their own half.
If the Tic’s are to improve the main areas will be the set piece which is where they floundered today. In open play they perform well which is where they grabbed their tries but they are a relatively new side and I’m sure they will improve.
Don’t forget next weekend the Chiefs are back at home with a crunch game against London Irish Wild Geese. Kick-off is 2.30pm. The 2018 Barnstaple Rugby calendar will also be on sale behind the bar so get your copy quick as there are only a 1000 for sale.