BARRY RFC opened their first season as a Division 1 team with a home fixture against strong Cardiff side Rhiwbina on Saturday and despite losing by 45-8, showed encouraging signs as they come to terms with the faster pace of the game at this level.

Prior to kick off the good crowd together with some one hundred rugby players stood applauding as the club paid its respects to

William 'Knappers' Knapman, a long time stalwart who sadly passed away in the week after a long brave fight against illness.

From the kick-off Barry took the game to the visitors and got themselves deep into the 22 and kept the pressure on until a long clearance put them on the back foot forcing the first scrum where Rhiwbina had a clear weight advantage and used it to earn a penalty which they failed to convert.

Playing with ball in hand Barry again looked dangerous as White made 60 m into the 22 from where they just failed to get the touchdown.

From the next break a Barry pass was adjudged forward and from the ensuing scrum Rhiwbina opened the scoring as the defence was split for a try, the conversion missed.

Barry came back on the attack and a penalty attempt hit the upright.Not undaunted a second penalty opportunity was successful as Kyle Barross slotted over.

Rhiwbina cleared into the Barry 22 and created a maul from which with sheer weight of numbers enabled them to drive over the line for a converted try.

There was no let up as Rhiwbina took advantage of the building penalty count against Barry to reach the line. A lineout drive saw them cross for their third try, with the conversion to give them the lead at 19 - 3

Barry reclaimed the restart to launch another attack but were met with a fast up defence restricting their time and space to create chances.

As the half ran out Rhiwbina got a scrum near the Barry line and using their extra weight forced the hosts to concede a penalty try to give the visitors a healthy lead of 26 - 3.

The scoreline didn't reflect Barry's efforts as they probably had enjoyed more possession than the visitors at this stage with only a penalty to show.

Barry got off to the worst possible start as the second period began as they knocked on at the kick off.

Rhiwbina immediately moved the ball and blend of pace and accuracy saw the converted try give them a lead of 33 - 3

For the next 20 minutes Barry showed huge character and commitment and enjoyed their best period of the game and with a little more accuracy could have scored on more than one occasion, but that's part of the learning curve of life at this level, it will come.

Another Barry attack was halted for a penalty offence and from a loose ball Rhiwbina clinically split the defence to cross for a converted try.

Still working hard Barry got into the 22 from a penalty where they totally demolished the Rhiwbina eight to create a blindside move which saw Wayne Jones crash over for a try with Kyle Barross kicking the conversion to take the score to 40 - 8.

The final minutes saw both sides attacking but no scores until a quick blindside break from Rhiwbina saw them cross wide out

despite some desperate Barry defence and the match ended with the visitors victors by 45 - 8.

For their first foray into Division 1 Barry will have learned a lot, certainly about the pace the game is played at, but there were huge positives to come out of it too.

Next Saturday Barry visit local rivals Dinas Powys, enjoying their second season in the top flight, in a league fixture on the Common kick off at 2.30pm

The 2nd XV play at home Canton kick off at 2.30pm whilst the Youth travel to Llanharan again a 2.30 kick off.

The Club Lottery again rolls over this week to £5200 after last weeks numbers 02 - 06 - 10 and 14 failed to find a winner.

Two tickets matched 3 numbers to claim £10.