Barry lose plot with naive defending

First published in Sport

BARRY RFC 1st XV 13pts

LLANDAFF 13

THE weather gods were kind for the visit of Llandaff to the Reservoir Field on Saturday and, although it may have been windy, there was no rain.

The visitors elected to play against the elements in the first session and Barry were first to disturb the scorers, via a well-struck penalty goal by Scott; a just reward for good early forward pressure.

It soon became clear that the Barry pack had the measure of their opponents and established a stranglehold on the set scrums right from the start. Unfortunately, not the same could be said of the line-outs which were more evenly contested.

The home team’s ascendancy in the tight scrummages was beginning to tell on the Llandaff half backs. Following a heel against the head near the visitors’ try line, Buckland swept over almost unopposed. Scott did his usual 'Halfpenny impersonation' in landing the conversion. An enforced substitution by Barry saw Hadfield return to the fold minutes before the interval. However, it was the away team who managed to reduce the deficit to10-3 with a well-struck penalty.

If Barry were to survive the second period against a slight breeze and up the slope, they would need to play controlled and intelligent rugby. It was soon apparent that the former was well within their capability, but the latter was absent at crucial junctures in the second 40 minutes.

With the Jones' boys and Hadfield in the van, Barry began brightly and earned a chance for Scott to extend the lead. He did not disappoint. A harsh yellow card to a home forward did little to dim their enthusiasm. Unfortunately for the visitors, the easy ensuing penalty was missed.

It was during the next period of play that Barry lost the plot with some very naive defending. The home team were attacking on the right flank and all backs were positioned on that side. This released acres of unguarded ground on the left. Llandaff gained possession, immediately spreading the ball into the empty spaces. They used their unmarked backs to engineer a good try near the posts.

Running up to full time, good work by Evans and Hollister could not prevent Llandaff squaring the scores with a late penalty.

This was an opportunity for a full haul of league points squandered.

Barry: Ryan, Adams, Buckland, Provis, Busuttil, E Scott, Lee, H Jones (capt), Poole, O’Sullivan, Tanner, G Jones, Hollister, Evans, Lundy. Reps. Hadfield, Oaten, T Scott and Gallivan.

Next Saturday the visitors to the Reservoir Field are Llandaff North.

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