Article edited 1 July 2014 adding St Ives player names to this article.
The ‘Back to Barker’ round of games welcomed the St. Ives Rugby club to Barker College and Barker Old Boys home to their old school for the vast majority of the clubs’ players.
A big round had always been foreseen, but somehow expectations were exceeded.
Almost winning by a clean-sweep, only going down in third grade, the Bobs played with their usual solid force, further strengthened by an array of old boys.
The second grade game saw the largest return of old stars including two of the Phipps brothers, along with Ben Whittaker, Nick Kennan and the Goodman twins.
Aiming to uphold what had already become a highly successful day, the Barker Old Boys first XV entered the final game of the day looking ready for the challenge. The St. Ives First XV looked hungry for victory, however as they had their numbers diminsihed by injury, especially in the forwards, this match was going to be tough.
The game started with punishing power and charge, a head clash with the St Ives winger Toby Forde resulting in the loss of Bobs fly-half, Steven Hayter within the first 5 minutes.
A break in play for the injury was ended with a scrum for St. Ives, off which a cheeky chip-and-chase from the St Ives fly half Ruan Jordaan was picked up over the line by their inside centre Matt Harvey for the first try.
The Barker Old Boys weren’t taking a beating at their original high-school home field, picking themselves up immediately. A surge of forward strength off a lineout, 5 metres out, laid the foundation for Alexander Wormald to make a great break up the wing for the Bobs first try.
On retaliation, the St. Ives wing Tom Ottery made a promising break up the wing but was stopped with heavy contact from Alex Nicholls, the opposing winger for Bobs. A turn over from the tackle moved on to a big break from the inside centre, Tom Hillard and a try under the posts, the one-man-unit converting his own work.
Bobs were able to capitalise yet again with a penalty goal, bringing the score up to 15-7 after unrelenting refereeing penalised the Saints forwards in the ruck.
St. Ives looked intent on a strong return but were swamped in the forwards, big driving momentum exhibited by Rawiri Taylor and Thomas McGregor.
Sam Jenkins’ great defensive work and concealment of the ball on every phase made it easy for Tom Beverley to pull off an amazing box-kick, pushing the Bobs into the Saints 22.
Off the lineout, Tom Hillard was able to feed Mark Foster into a well-found gap for a try under the posts.
22-7 was the score at half time and St. Ives looked deflated but the Bobs force looked willing to inflict more damage.
The second half began with anticipation paramount, both teams hoping for the best from their respective sides. Whatever had been said to St Ives during the break had fired them up and they came out flying.
The stand-out player from the St. Ives team was their inside centre Matt Harvey who was able to make a good intercept, running over 50 metres to the line where he was miraculously held back from scoring, by Alex Nicholls.
After pressure from St. Ives, trying to hold onto their well-won metres, Bobs found break after break until Tom Hillard claimed the ball in centre field, dodging players left and right for another try.
29-7 was now the score line in what was becoming a bit of a pounding of the St. Ives team.
More scrappy play followed, kicks going haywire as the weather turned dismal, dark and windy.
Scott England was able to make some hard-hitting runs in the centres, straying from his usual number 8 position.
An abundance of lineouts was the product of a kicking tactic that had been badly damaged by the wind.
The Saints team were able to show some signs of strength as they pushed their way back up the field, their number 8 making some good metres and forcing some solid ruck play that was hard to crack.
An unexpected try to Bobs occurred after 2 minutes of tactical set up, Scott England running on the left wing through 4 tackle attempts that fell to his strength.
St. Ives had now well and truly crumbled as Bobs motored their way back into the 22 for another phase of attack.
The last play saw a big hit up from Rawiri Taylor, steaming over 3 players and over the line for a try under the posts.
41-7 was the final score, the Barker Old Boys enjoying yet another victory-song on the hallowed grounds of Barker College.
Grade 1 Facebook photos are here.
Grade 2 Facebook photos are here.
Colts Facebook photos are here.