Barnes coach Joe Gray hopeful about season after narrow Bury St Edmunds loss

By Samuel Draper
October 10 2019, 10.40

Despite Saturday’s loss to Bury St Edmunds condemning Barnes to a fourth defeat in their opening five league games, coach Joe Gray is still upbeat about the future. 

The 12-10 home loss left the club fourth from bottom in National League Two South but they took heart from running Bury so close.

Alex Hind and Taino Goveia scored tries but Josh Hammett’s conversion miss with five minutes left condemned them to another loss.

Gray said: “In terms of our performance, we’re going in the right direction.

“Our set-pieces were a lot better this week. In particular, our line-out was good. Alex March our new hooker played really well.

“We’re still playing the exciting brand of rugby we want to play and hopefully doing it until the weather stops us.

“We finished 11th last year, and we’re looking to build and be top-half of the table this year.

“We had Clifton on the ropes and beat Redruth away. We’re not out of the count at all, we’ve been in the mix in every game.

“If we can just get that 80 minutes consistently for five, six games, we’re going to see the points flooding in.”

Goveia’s excellent catch and run try capped a great performance on Saturday but fly-half Hammett, who has scored 32 points so far this season, was vocally disappointed when his chance to kick Barnes level went wide.

And the south-west London side will be disappointed they did not take advantage of the pressure they put on the Wolfpack.

Gray added: “Our penalty count is still killing us. We’re giving up territory too often and giving teams an easy out when we’ve got pressure on them by giving away a penalty.

“Tackle heights have got to come down next week when we go to Leicester Lions away just to make sure they can’t get any territory on us.”

A physical match against Bury leaves Barnes contending with injuries, although they have a second-row and prop returning to help make up the numbers when they travel to Leicester this Saturday.

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