Selection headaches for rugby sides
6:01pm Wednesday 18th September 2013 in Sport
BARRY 2nd XV 10pts
CARDIFF HSOB 2nd 39
THE Barry Rugby Club 2nd XV opened their league campaign with a home tie against Cardiff HSOB in near perfect autumnal conditions.
The team welcomed back coach Rhidian Scott, who has been absent for the past two weeks, and he was immediately handed selection dilemmas with a mounting injury and unavailability list.
The management gave a debut to Jake Connelly, whilst recalling Alex Evans on the wing, Joe McCann at stand-off, and veteran Andy Moffatt in the second row. Sam Bowditch’s return to the club was marked by the wearing of the 6 shirt despite him being more attuned to front-row duty. Manager Ken Chow was forced to make up the numbers on the bench.
The chaos in preparation was, unfortunately, reflected early on in the field as the visitors broke through the home defence on numerous occasions. The home side was forced to concede a penalty opportunity which the visitors duly accepted.
The green-and-whites were unable to break the visiting dominance in the loose, struggling to cope with the pace of their attacks. Too often simple tackles were missed and basic errors, such as missing touch with the boot or surrendering possession in contact, allowed the Quins to further increase their lead with an unconverted try.
The official was not helping matters, penalising Barry numerous times in the contact area, and also coming up with puzzling decisions which baffled both sides alike. The home side did, however, finally get onto the score sheet via an Ashley Adams penalty.
That could have sparked a Barry comeback but it was not to be as it was Quins who coped better with the referee’s interpretation of the rules to cross the whitewash twice more to lead by 15 points.
The heavy Barry pack finally woke up at the end of the half when, following a clean line-out take by Kyle Case, an unstoppable driving maul saw captain Nick Rolfe crash over. Adams added the extra to give the home side hope.
The interval saw Scott reshuffle his pack to move Connelly into the back row and Corne into the front, and it threatened to make inroads into the Quins’ lead as Barry upped their tempo. However, with the elements and slope now against them it proved to be an uphill struggle and, after the away side had weathered an early storm, they profited from yet more poor tackling to rack up their bonus point victory.
Barry can have no complaints about the scoreline, which was a fair reflection of the game. There were glimpses of the promise by certain individuals, notably Ryan Gooderham and Alex Evans in defence, and a powerful scrimmaging unit, but collectively the home side simply did not come up with the answers when the questions were asked. The coaching team will look to rectify these frailties in training during the week in preparation for next weekend’s game against Clwb Rygbi away.
Team: Adams; Evans, Gooderham, Connelly, White; Gallivan, McCann; Heard, Turnbull, Pirso; Elsworth, Moffat; Bowditch, Case, Rolfe (c).
Replacements: Corne, Ring, M Jones. Sub not used: Chow. Man-of-the-match: Gooderham.