CANTERBURY 11 BARNES 17
Another disappointing outing for a Canterbury side which barely made an impact on the game until the final ten minutes. A late Tom Best penalty goal earned them a losing bonus point but that was about as much as they deserved in a performance lacking both execution and quality.
Barnes, locked in a battle against relegation, were the far smarter side and their tactical awareness allowed them to rattle up all their points in the first half.
The visitors astute kicking game set up two of their three tries, both scored by skipper Jamie Collins from catch and drive situations and he also exploited a yawning gap at a mid-field ruck which ended in wing Frasier Carlisle’s touch down. The neat handling of the Barnes backs made full use of the opportunity. With another clever contributor, full back Tom O’Toole, adding a conversion to one of the Collins tries there was no doubt which side was in charge,
So where was the Canterbury that performed so well in the Exmouth mud the previous week? On a hard, dry surface they missed tackles, failed to look after the ball in contact and gave away needless penalties. Occasionally they attacked from deep but long breaks by Aiden Moss, on his return from injury, and Charlie Kingsman, making his first appearance of the season, were all promise but no fulfilment.
They were also guilty of conceding too many easy yards to the Barnes ball carriers and hopes of a second half revival were frustrated by their own limitations. Best kicked a penalty goal eight minutes after the break but the defence had to put in a big shift as Barnes pressed for a fourth, bonus point try. Canterbury earned praise by keeping their line intact but were still woefully lacking in ideas and penetration, even though the scrum got on top and provided a better attacking platform.
Frequent injury stoppages, which claimed two of the city side’s better performers in Moss and Kyan Braithwaite, stretched the game beyond its normal span and, late on, a try came. Canterbury won a penalty, set up a catch drive and prop Sam Kenny launched himself off the side.
Best missed the conversion but was then handed a penalty chance which secured that consolation bonus point. It left Barnes with four minute to negotiate and although Canterbury were now posing a belated threat the visitors ran the clock down comfortably.
Canterbury: A.Moss (repl W.Hilton), K.Braithwaite (rep W.Farris), J.J.Murray, W.Farris (repl F.Morgan), C.Kingsman D.Smart,A.Cooper, S.Rogers, S.Kenny, G.Edwards (repl (L.Woodbridge), R.Cadman, G.Micans, M.Cantwell, F.Edwards ( repl C.Townley).
|11||Bury St Edmunds||29||59|
|13||London Irish Wild Geese||29||51|
|W||22 Apr||Bury St. Edmunds||14-13|
|L||25 Feb||Bishop's Stortford||30-46|
|W||11 Feb||London Irish WG||21-17|
|L||4 Feb||Taunton Titans||5-30|
|D||21 Jan||Bishop's Stortford||0-0|
|L||17 Dec||Old Elthamians||14-18|
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