Barbarians in impressive form
Dereham Barbarians 21, Bury St Edmunds 0On a bitterly cold December Sunday morning, a confident Dereham side travelled to a highly-rated Bury St Edmunds.
Dereham Barbarians 21, Bury St Edmunds 0
On a bitterly cold December Sunday morning, a confident Dereham side travelled to a highly-rated Bury St Edmunds.
Barbarians came off the back of a historic victory against the Saracens the previous week.
Dereham posted almost a full side, except for key players Stolworthy, Fox and Cudden. The pitch was boggy and the fog low.
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The first five minutes saw the incredible Dereham forwards gain valuable yards, and with the pressure came penalties. Territory was gained through kicking to the corners, and Dereham worked their way up the pitch.
After intense pressure in the first 10 minutes the Dereham forwards, again with ferocious defence from Edwards and Penn, gained a scrum just outside Bury's 22. Clean ball from Evans gave Affleck and the backs acres of space, and on a beautiful line Bessent sailed through, cutting the opposition to pieces and going under the sticks. The Moorgate faithful were more than happy with the start. Evans, the man who sparked the best try of the game, kept his cool in difficult kicking conditions and slotted the conversion: 7-0 Dereham.
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Previously, starting slowly had been a Dereham problem. Again the forwards set up good clean ball from the restart and Dereham used the unpredictable bounce and kicked long.
Bury started to adopt the same tactic, but Rumbles playing at full back could do no wrong under the high ball, and his electric injection of pace caught them off guard.
Bury, with some ferocious defence and quick attacking, started to pose a threat. Quite brilliant tackling from Edwards, Penn and Stuart stopped them scoring.
The ball was turned over and the forwards, through Warren and Evans, set up one of the best rolling mauls all season. They dominated Bury for 40 metres, only for Warren to come through and sprint another 40 to go under the sticks. Evans converted coolly.
Bury from a breakaway started attacking well and were camped in the Dereham half for five minutes, although they couldn't break the line.
The first period of the second half was all Bury and they attacked with great pace and flair. However, the Dereham forwards were outstanding. The lineout combination of Penn and Evans was perfect and the rucking and mauling was merciless.
After tireless work from the forwards and strong running from Bessent and Rumbles, Dereham started to wear down a tiring Bury. Edwards and Stuart made sure that the score sheet remained blank for Bury with more shuddering hits.
Towards the end the forwards became too dominant and after more mauling Spencer came away with yet another five points, Evans again adding the two.
In very difficult conditions Dereham came away with a superb win with the kicking off Affleck the running of O'Connor, Edwards, Bessent and Rumbles, combined with the incredible pace and power of the forwards coming together.
Jamieson, Wright and Agnew were the stand-out players. Captain Josh Stuart said: “We were keen to start well and not be complacent, and we did that. We were very much ready for the game and as a result are very happy.”
In two weeks' time the Barbarians will take on Lakenham Hewett, before the much awaited Oadby Wigs game.