The men of Bay Area made the trek up across Houston on Saturday to take on the Woodlands RFC in a friendly match. Although the week leading up to the match saw frigid temperatures for Houston, the temp at kickoff was a balmy 70 degrees. The agreed to format was four 20 minute periods, with unlimited substitutions.
BARC sent 16 men to take the pitch against a well stocked Woodlands side, but the men looked forward to getting some of the newcomers playing time with the squad before Cup matches start back up in February. The match started off with a scrum as captain Reverendo's kickoff sailed long into touch. The first period was quite back and forth, although the Woodlands definitely enjoyed the bulk of the territory. Fullback Salgy made some good decisions, including putting the ball down in goal for a 22 drop. The Woodlands threatened several times, but BARC's goal-line defense was up to the challenge. 19 minutes into the 20 minute period the Woodlands was able to finally break through for a converted try. Score after the 1st period BARC 0 -7 Woodlands.
The 2nd period had the Woodlands kickoff to Bay Area. BARC was lucky as their front row play ICY badly misjudged the width of the field, had the Woodlands player not knocked it on it was almost a guaranteed try. As it was the Woodlands was able to score off the ensuing scrum, 12-0 to the home team. BARC was able to get a bit more of the ball going forward advancing the ball off of Woodlands penalties. The Woodlands was able to put in another converted try about halfway through the 2nd period. BARC was moving forward after the kickoff when flanker Cowboy was knocked out of the match with a shoulder injury. On the restart after the injury BARC put the pressure on Woodlands, and were rewarded with an uncoverted try in the 35th minute. The teams played between the 22s for the remaining 5 minutes. Halftime BARC 5 -19 Woodlands.
Bay Area came out to start the 2nd half determined to continue to work their game plan, and when they did they were on the front foot. There was a fair amount of back and forth in the 3rd, but ultimately only one score for the Woodlands. BARC also lost their fullback Salgy in a head-to-head collision going for a loose ball. End of the 3rd 20 BARC 5 - 24 Woodlands.
In the 4th quarter the numbers started catching up to BARC. Traveling short and suffering a few injuries meant having to borrow a few players from the well stocked Woodlands to finish out the match. BARC was able to put some pressure on the Woodlands in this last quarter, but the Woodlands was very opportunistic running back several mistakes for long tries. BARC was knocking on the door in the final minutes, only to see the ball held up in goal. On the 5m scrum the Woodlands was able to win the ball and take the ball all the way to their own goal line. BARC put up one final goal line stand to deny the home team another try to end the match.
Fulltime BARC 5-41 Woodlands
Overall a good tough match. The lack of numbers and slow rucking really cost BARC.
Next match is a Cup match against HURT at home.