BARRY travelled to Pontyclun last Saturday to be greeted by a blustery wind and light drizzle, but started confidently with some good offensive tackling. Cummings rewarded this aggressive opening after only 5 minutes play with a penalty.

However, the home side were able to level the scores when poor tackling allowed them to set up position for a penalty of their own. After 15 minutes, more below-par tackling in the backs put pressure on the Barry pack, allowing another penalty to be converted by their opponents.

The weather was now deteriorating fast and heavy rain was being blown along by a very strong, blustery wind.

During the latter period of the first half Barry demonstrated that their frailties of the first game of the season had not been addressed.

Too often their defensive set-ups appeared to be all at sea and they were unable to deal with kicks ahead.

Worse was to come!

It is a shame that players and coaches did not adopt tactics to suit the weather. For the second half Barry were to have the benefit of the strong wind, but decided that the correct approach was to play with ball in hand and employ short grubber kicks ahead, even in their own 22.

It is a requisite to play rugby in the opponents’ half. Long downwind kicks should be the order of the day to set up attacking field position – the very impressive Pontyclun outside half had used such correct tactics in the first half.

So despite an early successful penalty, the Barry tactics had the inevitable result, and the home fly half pounced on a defensive error to storm over under the posts. He then slotted over the easy conversion to give them a 13-6 advantage going into the last quarter.

With play now badly affected by the worsening weather, the game degenerated into a hard slog between the two packs.

There were some cameos of play to lighten the gloom, particularly involving Hadfield, Bowditch, Lee and Provis, but only right at the death did the visitors use the right tactics and with that get the reward of a final penalty to earn a losing bonus point.

This was a game that Barry could and should have won. It is to be hoped that the team and coaching staff take on board the need to use tactics which reflect prevailing conditions.

Barry: Provis, Galavan, J.Jones, Busitil, Williams, Cummings, Lee, Bowditch, Evans, Hollister, Deguara, King, O’Sullivan, Hadfield, H.Jones. Subs. Parker, Eldsworth, Poole.

* This Saturday Barry are home to Llandaff North with kick off at 2.30pm.


BARRY 2nd XV began the defence of their league title on a bright autumnal day at home to local rivals Old Penarthians.

Coach Rhydian Scott was once again faced with selection dilemmas as last minute first team call ups, unavailability and injuries struck. Flanker Owain Poole was moved into centre and Ashley Adams was handed the fly-half role, whilst in the pack Chris Prosser was recalled and Kyle Case made his first start this season.

After last week’s disappointing reversal the home side started ferociously. Countering a heavier pack, scrum-half Joel Williams utilised quick ball to release the backs.

Luke Bounds, in particular, was making short work of his opposite number with his pace, whilst Adams’ boot was aided by the wind to give his side the advantage in territory.

With the Barry pack camped in the Old Pens’ 22, Williams once again spread the ball out wide quickly, and this time the away defence was unable to cope as Michael Jones powered over to score in the corner. Adam Lee was unable to add the extras.

The Old Penarthians responded to the home side’s pace with some intelligent kicking, backed up by a strong set piece with their heavy pack. They were duly rewarded with a try in the corner which was left unconverted.

Barry replied by piling on the pressure with their youthful back line. Bounds once again broke on the outside and his grubber was almost gathered by Luke Hewitson who would have been on hand to score underneath the posts. Adams followed suit soon after and this time he offloaded perfectly for Hewitson who was once again in support, and he sauntered under the posts to give Lee an easy conversion.

Inexperience was shown, however, by the home side towards the end of the half, when the Old Pens took advantage of a complete lack of concentration at a penalty for them to score unopposed in the corner. The conversion was missed.

After Adams had missed a long range penalty attempt just before the interval, Ethan Dix came on into centre and made an instant impact. His first touch was to receive a perfectly timed pass for him to break the defensive line to dive underneath the posts for his second try in two games. Lee’s boot added 2 points.

Bounds’ efforts were finally rewarded when another expansive period of play found him in space, and his pace took him past all defenders as he scored underneath the posts, with Lee adding the extras.

What followed was, however, not written in the script.

With the bonus point in the bag, Barry seemed to lift their foot off the pedal and the away side came back in the last quarter with two push-over tries.

They reduced the deficit to just 1 point when a kick-and-chase on their right wing resulted in a try in the corner, but the conversion was missed.

Far from waking up from their slumber, Barry continued to go through sloppy periods of play.

Tackling was poor at this point despite tireless work by Lee Jones, and the Old Penarthians pack was dominant.

The full back Lee made some poor decisions when faced with the high ball and on one such occasion gifted the away side a penalty opportunity.

The away side took full advantage and put themselves in the lead for the first time in the game with just minutes remaining. With defeat imminent, Barry finally rallied and drove within 5 metres of the try-line.

The pressure finally resulted in a penalty, which Lee gratefully took with the last kick of the game to give his side a win which should have been secured well before the whistle.

Barry: Lee; M. Jones, Bounds, Poole, Hewitson; Williams, Adams; Lundy, Prosser, Corne; Haigh (c), Tobin; L. Jones, Case, Rendall.

Subs used: Houldey, Summerhayes, Dix, Jenkins.

Man-of-the-match: L. Jones.