Barbarians rally strongly

Dereham Barbarians U16 29, Wymondham U16 26DEREHAM Barbarians U16 rugby team ground out a victory against a strong Wymondham side on Sunday.The game was played with passion and turned out to be nerve-jangler for supporters.

Dereham Barbarians U16 29, Wymondham U16 26

DEREHAM Barbarians U16 rugby team ground out a victory against a strong Wymondham side on Sunday.

The game was played with passion and turned out to be nerve-jangler for supporters. In the early exchanges there was little to divide the teams with some slick hands and moves in both sets of backs, but gradually the Wymondham forwards started to gain the ascendancy in the scrum and ruck.

Their physical play seemed to surprise the Dereham side who had recorded convincing victories in recent weeks, and they were slow to up the tempo of their game. The game remained deadlocked up until 25 minutes when a loose ball in the Barbarian backs was brilliantly picked up by the Wymondham centre who broke through to score from deep inside his own half.

Andy Rumbles, Chris Bessent and Charlie Fox looked dangerous for Dereham in the centres but Wymondham were giving a masterclass in tackling and launched another counter-attack to break through several weak tackles for a second try before half-time.

Wymondham started the second half with ferocious pace and within a few minutes had cut a gap in the Barbarians' defence and scored another try.

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The Barbarians then scored a well-worked try with Chris Bessent combining well in the centres to cross and narrow the deficit. Wymondham then stunned the home side with another converted try, making the score 26-5 to the visitors.

The game was in danger of slipping completely out of Dereham's reach but finally the Barbarians sparked into life and they then began to play some brilliant flowing rugby.

Duncan Jamieson showed the way, faced with a two-on-one the Dereham full back put in a splendid tackle that demonstrated what had so far been lacking in the Dereham performance.

Dereham set up a 40m driving maul which resulted in Reader crossing for his first try after a lengthy spell out with injury.

The Barbarians were awarded a penalty from the restart and Evans put a huge kick for touch putting the Barbarians deep in the Wymondham 22 again. The ball was knocked on by a Barbarian hand but from the scrum the ball popped out loose and Sam Bean was on hand to pick up and score.

The Barbarians continued their surge from the restart yet again and were again deep into opposition territory within a few phases of play, Ryan Reader crossed for his second of the day.

The Barbarians were now a mere two points behind Wymondham and the final try was to follow. After a Wymondham attack was broken down by a huge hit from Stolworthy, Wright picked up the ball and broke the defence with Spencer in close support who cut inside, evaded a tackle and scored to put the Barbarians 29-26 ahead. This was to be the last play of the game.

Captain Josh Stewart said: “We started poorly today and gave ourselves a hard time but we have showed the grit and determination to pull through and win this challenging fixture.”

This week the Barbarians are training but the following week they travel to Beccles.

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