Barnstaple Rugby Facebook For more photos from the game
Evening everyone and I suspect your as frustrated as me after yesterday’s game again we played well with some outstanding defence but wasteful kicking and too any penalties cost us dear in a game we could have won. What it does show though is we are not that far from results just some much needed precision and less penalties, although given the amount of pressure we gave ourselves to deal with in today’s game that will always result in plenty of penalties for the opposition. But let’s start at the beginning as it was such a bright start from the Chiefs.
Right from the kick off Barnstaple went on the front foot and forced the visitors back on to their heels and within five minutes a driving maul saw Dan Lee go over for the first score of the game and it looked for all the supporters around the ground that this might just be a good day for the Chiefs. That hope soon faded as Leicester Lions hit back almost immediately with a try and five minutes later a penalty to take the lead 7-8. By now Leicester were basically camped inside the Chiefs half with the exception of one brief moment to get the crowd on their feet as a driving maul of Barnstaple’s saw Winston break free with a direct run into the Visitors half, but nothing came from it and soon they were back camped in our half.
Despite such dominance of territory they were unable to extend their lead until the 40th minute with a penalty to go in at half time 7-11 ahead. Thanks to some great defending Leicester just couldn’t find a way through, although by now though it was becoming fairly obvious that the Visitors kicking game was far superior than the Chiefs with their fly half and full back in particular putting the pressure back on to Barnstaple with some excellent kicks while the Chiefs kicking was often straight done the throat of the covering defenders only to be returned with interest.
The second half started similarly with the visitors going further ahead 7-14 with another penalty but now Barnstaple were getting much more out of the game and started to bring some pressure to bear on Leicester for the first time since the earlier exchanges at the start of the game and a deliberate knock on from a very promising passage of play not only served Leicester with the only yellow of the game but also the Chiefs second try of the game as they drove Winston over to level the score 14-14.
That certainly got everyone excited especially with the opposition down to 14 men for another eight minute but it was not to be as Leicester showed some good resilience and earned a penalty of their own to again go ahead. Still a chance to win the Chiefs poor kicking performance again hampered any chance of them creating a platform from which to build any sustained attack while Leicester’s kicking was again better, clearing their lines and reliving pressure with continued regularity to leave the field victorious 14-17 and a resigned crowd thinking that another one had got away from us.
As you may have gathered by now it was our kicking game which failed the team in this game. The defence was outstanding and given the pressure the Chiefs were under in that first half kept the score to just a four point margin. Whenever the Chiefs tried to clear their lines though they just invited the pressure back onto themselves with poor kicks and really didn’t give themselves enough of a platform to attack regularly with. When they did get the chance two tries came from it and the Leicester Lions defence did give up penalties with regularity when we pressed but there was not enough opportunities to do that and Leicester’s superb kicking made sure that when they did relive the pressure it didn’t come straight back at them.
Mind you it was a good game to watch and except for the kicking the Chiefs played some good rugby especially their defence which was outstanding it’s just we needed more front foot ball and that just didn’t come, however a bonus point is not to be sniffed at especially against a good outfit like Leicester Lions who remember have beaten both Worthing and Clifton this season albeit at home, which just makes the frustration that we didn’t grab this one hurt a bit more.
As for the rest of the league Worthing again dropped the ball again losing at home to Hinckley while Redruth, Esher, Clifton and Guernsey all had good wins to cement their positions at the top of the league. Rochford and Westcliff both lost while Barnes keep up their impressive drawing results with their third tied game at Ding’s
Athletic and Colts.
It was another cracking result for Barnstaple Athletic out at Teignmouth as they kept another clean sheet while putting 81 points past the home side. Tries from Gavin Mitchell x3 Ross Swales x 3 Euan Kent x2 Llewyn Jago Luke Knight Warren Goss Tom Swales and Tyler Gordon-Oke. Ross Swales converted three of the tries while Tyler Gordon-Oke got 5.
Next week you have the chance to see the Tic’s back in action at Pottington Road as they face Tiverton, kick of is 2pm.
Not the result the colts were looking for losing 19-22 in a close fought game at Okehampton but definably the performance they were after which by all accounts saw the Colts play some great rugby and are starting to reach a standard and intensity that the coaches were expecting from this talented team.
They are again on the road next weekend with another big test as they travel to Exeter Athletic.
That’s all for this one next weekend the Chiefs are off to South West London to face Barnes so good luck to them in the capital and at home we have both the Tic’s and Bucc’s.