Barnstaple slip to long-distance defeat in Sussex

North Devon Gazette

Barnstaple’s worrying run in National Two South continued when they lost 53-21 away to divisional leaders Worthing Raiders.Â

Barum were under no illusions how tough it would be away from home against a side that has only lost once this season – and just getting there was a struggle.Â

It took seven hours by coach to reach the Sussex seaside resort 10 miles west of Brighton and kick-off was delayed by 20 minutes as a result.Â

For most of the first half it seemed Barnstaple were still on the bus as Worthing shot into a 22-0 lead after 24 minutes and by the break had the four-try bonus point stashed in a 29-7 lead.Â

Barum got back to 22-7 on 33 minutes when Bryn Jago bustled over from the back row for a try that Jake Murphy converted and added a second through Matt Gohl, while the Raiders were a man down due to a sin-binning.Â

Worthing briefly went down to 13 men in the second half and during that period Barum prop George Snell got across the line and Murphy kicked a third conversion.Â

Worthing were so dominant in most areas that losing players to yellow cards did them little damage. By the time they were back to 15 on the park they had extended their lead to 41-21.Â

Two more tries from Worthing only emphasised their superiority. It may have been another defeat, but coach Bryn Jenkins could see positives in it.Â

“It was top of the table against second-from-bottom and our goal was to come away with some points,” said Jenkins.Â

“It was frustrating that we fell one try short of getting something, especially as we created enough chances to do it.Â

“But when you compare it to some of our other results, there was a lot we did right.Â

“It was another game in which we scored three tries, which I doubt too many teams will do at Worthing. We won enough ball but did not do enough with it.Â

“Our scrum was on top for most of the game – surprising but very pleasing to see – and although our line-out still needs polish, we pinched a couple of their balls.Â

“Points against is our problem for what is a young side. They have to understand and learn fast that you cannot afford to make mistakes at this level, go and hide out of the way on the blindside.”Â

Results may not be going well, but Jenkins said the dressing room remains a happy place.Â

“At full strength without all the injuries we have, our results would be better, but although it is tough, the boys still enjoy being around each other and are in a good place,” said Jenkins.Â

Barum have now lost five on the trot in National Two South and their record of one win in seven starts means they are second from bottom in the table of 16.Â

A league re-organisation is lurking just over the horizon and sometime soon RFU are due to announce what sides have to do to maintain their current status, or something similar to it.Â

As it is hard to see a blueprint for re-organisation that has keeps a second-bottom side where they are, Barnstaple have to start winning games. They have another chance to turn things round when Essex side Rochford Hundred visit Pottington this Saturday.Â

Rochford Hundred defeated the Dings Crusaders 22-17 on the weekend and currently sit three places above Barum in the League table, having won three games from their opening seven fixtures.Â

Westcliff are at the bottom and the only side still yet to win, while Redruth in second are the only unbeaten team, sitting three points behind Worthing with a game in hand.Â

Barnstaple Rugby Club is currently seeking a Physiotherapist / Sports Therapist to join their team. Interested parties are urged to send their CV to Â