BARLA Make Winning Start


The BARLA tourists got their five-match tour off to a near-perfect start by notching up a half-century of points on Saturday afternoon, but they didn't always have it all their own way against an impressive South African Student side.

The visitors fell behind to a third-minute try before they had even touched the ball, and had to see off a spirited second-half fightback from the hosts, but ran away with the game with four tries in the closing stages.

Mark Ballard, the tour captain, led from the front with an outstanding display at hooker and was ably backed up with some superb forward displays from Thomas Spencer, Kurtis Marsh and man-of-the-match Alex Walmsley, who was magnificent with and without the ball.

In the backs, Daniel Rowse and Ross Gainford supplied the bullets for the wide men and Pat Foulstone pulled off the tackle of the match by stopping a marauding Sarel Louw just a metre from the line.

Garry Schofield, the Lions coach, who had promised an expansive style of football from his players, said: "It's a good start and the lads did well considering we only got off the 'plane 36 hours ago. There were some outstanding performers, but we've still got a lot to work on."

His side fell behind when an inch-perfect chip kick from the South African stand-off, Naas van Rooyen, was taken beautifully by a flying Collins Mashilo to leave the British stunned, but good runs from Foulstone and Spencer had them on the front foot soon after and Rowse's try, goaled by Peter Caddy, levelled the scores.

On 14 minutes, Ballard plunged over from dummy-half after Daniel Rooney, the tour vice-captain, had been grounded a yard short, and when Liam Thompson scored five minutes later after a Rowse pass, the tourists had some breathing space.

But the hosts hit back and after Ballard and Caddy had combined to prevent a breakaway try, BARLA were punished for their next mistake when Louw ran 60 metres to score and cut the deficit to two.

Adam Gant was alert enough to clean up another teasing van Rooyen kick moments before Ballard scored his second after combining with Spencer from a tap penalty. Rowse took over the goalkicking duties and knocked over his first of seven successes, which included a penalty soon after.

The halfback was involved again on the stroke of halftime when his midfield chip caught the defence flat-footed and Rooney raced through to score and open up a 16-point interval lead.

The students hit back in the first 15 minutes of the second half - a period that they dominated. Only a foot in touch prevented Wynand Bezuidenhout scoring a long-range try before Foulstone's tremendous try-saver on Louw.

The hosts eventually broke through when Herman Fouche was too strong for three defenders and with the gap now closed to ten, the tiny Barnabas Shile, who was otherwise hugely impressive, knocked on with the line at his mercy and another try was disallowed for crossing.

But Schofield's players saw out the danger and wrapped up the match with a clinical last 20 minutes. Rowse put Walmsley over before Gant finished off a 60-metre move that involved Walmsley, who made the initial break, Rowse, Rooney and Kenny Hughes, who was dynamic around the rucks after coming off the bench.

The hosts threatened again but Kurtis Marsh, who played the full 80 minutes in the second row, forced Mashilo into touch with a great tackle and there was still time for Tony Tognola to score from dummy-half after a mesmerising run from stand-off Ross Gainford.

4 Pat Foulstone (Shaw Cross Sharks)
6 Adam Gant (Westgate)
24 Greg Worrall (Oldham St Annes)
15 Daniel Rooney (Maryport)
3 Peter Caddy (Wath Brow Hornets)
5 Ross Gainford (Kells)
16 Daniel Rowse (Lock Lane)
10 Zach Johnson (Shaw Cross)
1 Mark Ballard (C) (Leigh East)
22 Alex Walmsley (Dewsbury Celtic)
12 Kurtis Marsh (Pilkington Recs)
19 Thomas Spencer (Wigan St Pats)
20 Liam Thompson (Queens)
Subs (all used)
8 Kenny Hughes (Thatto Heath)
21 Tony Tognola (West Hull)
17 Karl Sandford (Thatto Heath)
23 Lewis Wilson (Kells)

1 Chris van Tonder
5 Wynand Bezuidenhout
3 Sarel Louw
4 Joost Heystek
2 Collins Mashilo
6 Naas van Rooyen
7 Herman Fouche
8 Brad van Onselen
9 Wickus Engelbrecht
10 JP Nel
11 Christo Basson
12 John Henry Carstens
13 Jeandi Oosthuizen (c)
Subs (all used)
14 Rudi Prinsloo
15 Theo Anker
16 Barnabas Shile
17 Sybrand ud Merwe

Men of the Match
BARLA: Alex Walmsley
South Africa Students: John Henry Carstens

GAMEBREAKER: BARLA's first try of the second half with just under 20 minutes remaining put the game to bed once and for all.

GAMESTAR: Alex Walmsley had an outstanding game and was too much for the South Africans to handle.

TOP TACKLE: Pat Foulstone made the bravest of fullback tackles early in the second half saving a certain try from Sarel Louw.

South Africa U21 Students: Tries: Mashilo (3), Louw (24), Fouche (53). Goals: van Rooyen 3/3
BARLA U19 50: Tries: Rowse (6), Ballard (14, 27), Thompson (19), Rooney (40, 71), Walmsley (62), Gant (67), Tognola (77). Goals: Caddy 1/3, Rowse 6/7

Scoring sequence: 6-0, 6-6, 6-10, 6-14, 12-14, 12-20, 12-22, 12-28, 18-28, 18-34, 18-40, 18-46, 18-50

Penalty count: 10-12
GLDO Forced: 0-1
Half-time: 12-28
Referee: Hendrik von Wielligh (replaced by Joe Cobb on 58 minutes due to injury)

Where next?

URGENT ALL COACHES !!! U17 Community Lions
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