Barnet and Southgate Secure First Win

16th October 2014

Barnet and Southgate’s Rugby Academy run in partnership with London Skolars and Saracens travelled to Wolverhampton last Wednesday to take on Moreton Rugby League Academy in what was the first fixture of the year in the Student RL Southern Colleges League.

The academy boys have been in training since the middle of August, and now have 26 players on their books in what is the biggest cohort the college has had since its inception. With the boys already having kicked off their union season, with some very close defeats to some top quality opposition, it was hoped that the League programme would give the more experienced Skolars boys a chance to show their quality in the opposite code.

With many of the College Academy having come through Skolars ranks, it was evident to see from the first kick off that the boys were far more competent in the league format of the game. On a narrow pitch, it was the Barnet and Southgate boys who were far more dominant in defence, with some punishing work in the middle from Amir Neziraj and Ben Duncan. However Moreton showed they were no push-over’s with some hard running and big hits of their own through their loose forward and captain.

In what was a real ‘arm-wrestle’ of an opening 20 minutes it was Moreton who struck first after an error from rookie full back Ben Turner. However the Skolars boys regrouped and managed to turn the deficit around with some great completion of sets and slow build up of pressure on the Moreton defensive line. Tries from Luca Vettori and Ben Duncan made sure that the Barnet and Southgate boys went into half time ahead.

The second half began much like the first in what was a tight affair, with neither side giving an inch in defence, some repeat penalties conceded by Barnet and Southgate second row Omar Benhoura allowed Moreton to march up the field but in what was to be a real factor of the game, the boys from North London’s defence held firm time and time again. After about 20 minutes of the first half, the heavens opened across the Midlands and the game descended into who could keep hold of the ball the longest. Time and time again both sides came up with errors in some of the worst conditions the coaches have experienced and the ball turned into a bar of soap, stifling any decent attacking play from both sides. The game was decided on a break-away try, by Barnet and Southgate star centre Conrad Edgar, he carried the ball out of his own 20 metre and broke through numerous tackles, before finishing the try in the corner, outpacing the chasing Moreton defence. Luca Vettori kicked the goal to put Barnet and Southgate comfortably ahead. However credit to Moreton, they continued to attack and flung everything at the Barnet and Southgate line, however time and time again the boys in Skolars colours put their bodies in front of the player and defended their lead. As the game reached the final few plays there was a real incentive to not let Moreton get across for a try, and there was a noticeable lift in the Barnet and Southgate boys defence. A big hit from man of the match Shay Osinake caused a loose ball and it was prop forward Amir Neziraj who finished a sweeping move as some tired Moreton defenders were left trailing after some barnstorming runs from winger Bledar Ramushi and debutant Clinton Obode.

The Barnet and Southgate boys were jubilant and raced in to congratulate each other, as they secured their first win of the season with a scoreline of 28-4 against a tough opposition. The boys have been back in training this week and now look forward to their next fixture in the BCS Rugby Union Cup against Esher College next Wednesday at New River, the home of London Skolars, with a kick off time of 2pm.

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