With Haywards Heath's shock defeat to Shoreham, it means Barns Green are now the only team with a 100% record in the league.
Full Time: Steyning: (0) 7 Barns Green: (9) 21
Trys: Wilson, Read Cons: Hoyte 1 Pens: Hoyte 3
When any team's top points scorer drops out due to injury it is always a cause for concern but with Barns Green's confidence riding high, there was no such concern.
With Cooper out, it fell to Matthew Hoyte to take up the kicking duties hitting an impressive 80% of kicks and 50% overall points taking Barns Green into half time 9-0 up with all the points coming from his boot.
Despite only getting points from the 3 penalties, Barns Green were dominant for much of the first half. The pack were owning the scrum and Carl Brewster was stealing most of the Steyning line outs. Matthew Hoyte was keeping the game in the Steyning half and every player did their bit in an aggressive defence to keep Steyning ball under pressure.
For all of the good work off the ball, Barns Green were finding it tough to capitalise when they had the ball. With both teams trading handling errors and penalties meant that the first half didn't see the ball cross the line. At one moment it was thought that Matthew Hoyte had cut his way through for the opening try of the afternoon however he was judged to have rolled after the tackle and it was bought back for a penalty to Steyning.
Although Barns Green had much of the possession and territory it felt like something in the final moments was missing. The lack of composure or a miss timed pass meant all the hard work in the build up was often undone.
It didn't take too long into the second half for that to change. Another scrum was dominated by the pack allowing Mike Mann to pick up at 8, the ball finding it's way to George Wilson who used some airborne acrobatics to avoid getting pushed into touch whilst grounding the ball down for the first try of the game.
Barns Green's second try came from debutant and eventual Man of the Match Barny Reed who had been impressing with strong carries all game. After countless scrum penalties, Barns Green decided to go more direct. A classic tap and charge was met with brave resistance from the Steyning defence but it wasn't enough to stop the big guy from crashing over for the second try of the day.
Another win but Barns Green must capitalise on their chances in next weeks clash.
In previous meetings, teams have threatened to come back after a very strong Barns Green start and this was no exception. As Steyning managed to nick a try back it felt like the win could slip away from the men in green and gold.
Steyning managed to get crucial field position and began to use their main point of attack with the forwards. A yellow card for an over eager Serna at the break down meant the defence had to double their efforts however it wasn't enough as Steyning managed to crash over the line as a just reward for their patience.
Several chances went begging for Barns Green which were let down by handling errors and poor decision making at times. Despite their dominant performance you can't help but think they should have scored more and put the game to bed much earlier on in the afternoon.
It didn't feel as if the back line were utilised as well as they could have been with them mostly being used in defence rather than attack but on such a small pitch it was often hard to find room to open up the legs and make use of their speed.
Leaders of the pack were back on top
Steyning are known for their big guns in the pack. They often dominate scrums with their weight advantage and use their pack well round the fringes. This meant the BG pack, and in particular the front three of Taylor, Whittington and Conway, were due for a long afternoon however they bossed the larger Steyning pack. Conway and Taylor were instrumental in their personal battles with their opposite numbers and often got the upper hand whilst Brewster, Serna and Smith were quick to put pressure on the flyhalf once the ball had left the scrum. Dickson and Read anchored the scrum well and allowed BG to push the Steyning pack back.
With Serna on the naughty chair, the scrum did start to struggle a little but once his 10 minutes were over, Mike Mann came on in replacement and shored it back up with a strong performance nearly putting Carl Brewster in for a try to top off his fantastic day in the lineout.
It wasn't long after this that the referee blew his whistle to bring a game to a close. Acknowledging the opportunities spurned, Bouet reminded the boys of their achievements so far this week and the work to be done at training to build on this victory. Next week the men face against Haywards Heath who have been dominant in recent weeks. It's going to be a huge test for the boys but with their current run of results they should go into it full of confidence.
Man of the Match:
1. Matt Taylor
2. Stephen Whittington
3. Danny Conway
4. James Dickson
5. Barny Read
6. Joe Serna
7. Tom Smith
8. Carl Brewster (vc)
9. Thomas Bouët (c)
10. Matt Hoyte
11. George Wilson
12. Rory Yeates
13. Jack Bone
14. Tom Green
15. Jarod Van Blerk
16. Mike Mann
17. Liam Yeates
18. Callum Yeates
19. Jos Lee