BERFC U16 vs Watford RFC
By pete hofmann
Watford on the up !
A late winter run out on a lovely, sunny Sunday morning against opposition Barnet have usually had the measure of and a strong squad to pick from - what could possibly go wrong? An opposition that hadn't read the script and refused to play the part of sacrificial lambs for one.
Watford have clearly come on leaps and bounds from previous encounters and were certainly in the mood to take a scalp from the first whistle. Barnet, pinged for encroaching beyond the back foot and struggling to cope with the big Watford ball carriers, quickly found themselves defending the five metre line. Barnet turned over and exited well, but it was a pattern repeated often in the first 20 minute third.
Barnet stood up to the physical challenge with some big tackles of their own, but could've made it far easier for themselves if they had a) worked out the ref was not allowing any hint of encroaching beyond the back foot and b) came up to meet the big runners halfway rather than wait for them to come the full ten yards. 0-0 after the first third.
In the second third, Barnet had more possession. With the ball in hand there were signs of some good moves but a little white line fever and a couple of handling errors and it has to be said some really organised and committed Watford defence meant the score remained 0-0. The final third also saw Barnet pressing, but it was Watford who twice spilled the ball while going over the try line. Perhaps to show a bit of empathy, Barnet did the same thing at the other end. Then the long-haired Watford centre broke through and only a last ditch tackle from Ted saved a certain try. Some teenage handbags crept into the game as Watford closed in on a great result and Barnet dug in to force the win. But despite the pushing and shoving and some intense running and tackling from both teams, the game looked destined for a rare 0-0 draw.
Except on the final play of the game a loose Watford clearance was returned with interest by Iketchi who fed Harry who bundled over the line. Tom added the extras from near the touchline with the final kick. This was harsh on Watford but Barnet played hard to the end in a scrappy game. To be fair to the boys, the pitch was a pudding which prevented any big changes of direction, or any fast running at all really. Old-fashioned, physical rugby - quite enjoyable from time to time.