BARRY RFC opened their league season with a well deserved victory over Taffs Well on Saturday.

Fielding a team of experience and youth, Barry gave one of the best team performances seen for some time and to their credit, against an aggressive Taffs Well pack, more than held their own.

Taffs Well started brightly launching waves of attacks, but thanks to a well-organised defence, Barry held firm.

The Barry pack were also causing a threat to Taffs Well with some good driving mauls, and after 14 minutes Barry took a deserved lead with a penalty by Lee, followed minutes later by a second to give Barry a 6-point lead.

This seemed to give the team confidence in their ability and they began to move the ball between forwards and backs, on occasion only the final pass not going to hand.

Taffs Well still continued to apply pressure but superb first-up tackles made it difficult to breach the defence, and their only reward as half time approached was two penalties to bring the scores level.

Just on half time Barry launched a counter attack which involved many pairs of hands and led to a fine try by Captain for the day, Tanner. The conversion from wide out was missed.

The second half saw Barry get a penalty straight from the kick off following good work by O'Sullivan, which was duly converted from the touchline by Lee Despite being reduced to 14 men, Barry continued to play controlled rugby, playing in the right areas of the field, and were further rewarded with three penalties by Lee.

Barry chose to make a couple of substitutions bringing on Hoskins, Poole and Gooderham, making his first team debut, but still continued to frustrate Taffs Well at every turn. ith the game won, Barry launched several attacks , one of which led to well created try for Gooderham.

The final attack led by Poole and Scott unfortunately failed to produce a further try, the ball being lost forward, after a near length-of-the-field move.

At the final whistle Barry had won by 28-6, to achieve a fine victory.

Rarely has the scribe seen the pleasure on both the players' and supporters' faces, not because they won the game but because of the manner in which it was achieved.

The result must give the players a huge boost of confidence - but remember, every game is a big game and the same level of committment will be required throughout the season if the team are to be successful.

Well done, a great result to kick off this 125th anniversary season.


BARRY Rugby Club's 2nd XV opened their Cardiff & District Premier Division campaign with the visit of reigning champions St Peter’s.

The home side’s preparations were severely hampered by numerous players drafted into the first team, late withdrawals, and three players who declared their availability but failed to turn up on the day. As it was, coach Rhydian Scott and interim manager Ken Chow used all their tactical nous to put together a side, calling up several Barrians into the starting XV.

Luke Hewitson made his second start at fly-half after impressing in the midweek game against a Cardiff & District XV, while Andrew Houldey and Jason Thomas occupied the front row, with fellow props Tony Heard and Nick Lundy moving into the second row. Winger Luke Bounds was forced to play at flanker; Nick Rolfe was named as captain for the season.

The game started in stop-start fashion, with neither side able to hold of the ball for any period of time. Both sides were not helped by a swirling wind which made kicking difficult although Hewitson used his boot manfully against the gale.

Unfortunately for the green-and-whites, their set piece began to creak almost immediately. The scrum was an area of concern as, frequently, ball was turned over against the head. But even worse was the line-out, with the home side hardly winning any of their own despite the best efforts of Kyle Case.

St Peter's exploited these weaknesses to the full as they benefited from their dominance of the set piece to score three quick tries, seemingly putting themselves out of sight before half-time.

The Barry backs, though, performed manfully despite the lack of possession and, from a scrappy period of play, Ben Taylor hacked through to score his first try for over a year. Hewitson’s conversion attempt was unsuccessful.

With Barry seemingly back in the game, the home side upped the ante. Bounds, Case and Lee Jones were solid in defence whilst Lundy, Heard and Gooderham gave the side the go-forward required in the attempt to reduce the deficit further.

Unfortunately, it was yet another missed throw from a line-out which led to the next score for the away side and, at half time, Barry trailed 24-5.

Any chance of a stunning second-half comeback was snuffed out early on as some weak tackling gifted the away side another try. By now St Peter's had the bit between their teeth, utilising their superior ball-handling skills and well-drilled teamwork to pile on the score.

Tries came and went but Barry, to their credit, never gave up. Every man tried their hardest in all areas of the field, and they were rewarded with a late consolation try for Joel Williams, who scored under the posts after a quick-tap penalty. Adam Lee failed to add the extras.

Despite the defeat, the heart shown by the players on the pitch was commendable and, with several key players returning to the fold as the season progresses, surely there are better times ahead.

Barry: Lee; Taylor, Gooderham, Adams, M Jones; Williams, Hewitson; Houldey, L Jones, Thomas; Lundy, Heard; Case, Bounds and Rolfe (c). Subs used: Evans and Hall. Subs not used: Chucas and Jenkins. Man-of-the-match: Williams.