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Senior Academy (U18) - Match centre

Barnet
Enfield Ignatians RFC
Sun 14 Oct 10:00 - Friendly Full time

GLIMPSES OF POTENTIAL BUT STILL VERY MUCH A WORK IN PROGRESS

writes Jonathan Landi

FRIENDLY: OCTOBER 14

BARNET U18S 26 ENFIELD IGNATIANS U18S 0

GLIMPSES OF POTENTIAL BUT STILL VERY MUCH A WORK IN PROGRESS

The next time these sides meet will be on December 2 and Ignatians are fully aware of the areas highlighted for improvement in the wake of the 26-0 away defeat at rain lashed Byng Road.

The fact that the above scoreline remained the same after the interval was a victory in itself for the beleaguered visitors, who stuck gamely to task and never flinched the issued. Coach Steve Renny said: “I thought our tackling was outstanding and I thought we did very well to keep our line in tact after the break. We played better rugby in the second-half. ”

Barnet’s first-half dominance was such that the blue and golds were potentially looking at 50-0 shellacking at the final whistle. That they didn’t was down to their sheer doggedness and a never say die attitude encapsulated by the high-tackle count of Jack Cook-Smith.
Harry Wilkins also put in decent shift at fly-half and, if his work can be better supported, the points will eventually come.

However, there is no denying that the better side won. Showing the skill levels to match their size, Barnet set out their stall and spent the first five minutes of the game sieging the Ignatians’ line. Despite the heroics in the Ignatians’ defence, something eventually had to give and the dam eventually burst slightly to the right of the posts.

Ignatians’ subsequent decision to relieve the pressure in the form of the kick was spot-on but, the quality of the chase and follow-up tackles left something to be desired, as Barnet ran the ball back and claimed a second score.

The visitors’ back-line also failed to keep tabs on Barnet’s dangerous strike runners and, particularly their dangerous centre, who whistled-in unhindered down the right flank for the hosts’ third try.

Increasingly under pressure in the set-scrums, and on the wrong penalty of the penalty count, Ignatians found themselves defending close to their own line after being penalised for a high tackle. Deftly stretching play in both directions, Barnet successfully farmed the narrow side by sticking to a simple script of keeping it in the hands as Ignatians ran out of defensive cover.

Not that Ignatians didn’t have their moments. Having forced the issue and earned a couple of five-metre scrums, poor ball retention enabled Barnet to reclaim possession and spark the counter-attack.

The visitors’ decision making also let them down at times as, instead of attacking the space, they cut-back in-field down the narrow side, and into the heart of Barnet defence and, predictably, got no change.

A tough day at the office for sure. However, if the lessons can be absorbed and, the foundations are more firmly in place, the improvements could well follow.

Quilter Kids First Champions winner – November: Hinckley RFC

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