Match Recap, 10/10/15, Hornets vs. Bombers
The Hornets took on arch rivals the Bombers in their second Cup game of the season at Forrest Park. The Bombers came out strong in the opening minutes with their defensive line moving up quickly and putting some crunching tackles on Hornet ball carriers. The Hornets did well to maintain possession despite the good defense and methodically marched downfield. Pressure turned into points after 7 minutes when Juice slotted a penalty awarded after Bomber hands in the ruck to put the Hornets up 3-0. The next period of play was dominated by strong defense from both teams putting pressure on ball carriers leading to a lot of drop balls and missed passes. At the 20 minute mark, Donovan called for a fair catch of a Bomber kick inside the Hornet 22, but the mark was not awarded and play was allowed to continue. The Hornets having halted play assuming the mark, were forced to turn the ball over after poor old Don got crunched. Quick hands spun the ball left and the Bombers crossed for the try in the left hand corner. Conversion sailed wide to keep the score at 5-3 in favor of the Bombers. The Hornets responded immediately with Brad Christ stealing the ensuing kickoff, then several phases leading to BK having it his way and breaking through for a try under the posts. The Hornets were loving it with a conversion putting them back on top 10-5. Although the lineouts were inconsistent overall, the Hornets ran a beautiful “Silver” play with Joey Smelt linking up with Nick Kalist to smash through, followed by Mike Jones rumbling onto an inside option ball from Brad Kasper. The Hornets went 40 meters in 2 phases but were held up over the line. But the Hornets lost the ensuing 5 meter scrum, and a clearing kick relived pressure for the Bombers. But a failed Bomber backline move saw a dropped ball scooped up by Miles who bolted 50 meters for a try. Juice’s conversion extended the Hornets lead to 17-5 after 31 minutes. But the Hornets relaxed a little leading up to half-time, and the Bombers scored a try in the right hand corner off a lineout maul to close the gap to 17-10 going into the half-time break. The Bombers muffed the opening second half kickoff letting the ball go out of bounds inside their 22. Brad Christ stole their ensuing lineout throw, and quick hands across the field saw Miles cross over for his second try of the day (and 5th in 2 games!) in the right hand corner. Beautiful sideline conversion from Juice extended the Hornet lead to 24-10. But the Bomber would not go away. Bomber #11 made a good break from a Hornet backline turnover, and in the scramble Matt Merrick shot out of the defensive line to try to shut down the wide ball but just missed the intercept, leaving a Bomber overlap with hands putting them over to score in the opposite corner. A nice sideline conversion closed the gap to 24-17 in favor of the Hornets. The rest of the game settled into a battle of attrition with neither side able to maintain possession or momentum. The Bombers turned over a Hornet scrum inside their own half, resulting in another try to narrow the gap to 24-22. But the Hornets replacements were able to hold down the fort, closing the game to make that the final score. Overall a solid performance from the Hornets, but still some inconsistencies with things to work on including too many missed tackles and getting bunched in defense. Man of the match was a well-deserved Mike “hey bro have you seen my snowboard” Jones.
Score – Hornets 24 (Tries – Miles x 2, BK x1, Conversion Juice 3/3, Penalties Juice 1/2), Bombers 22
Scrums – Hornets 9/11 (82%), Bombers 7/9 (78%)
Lineouts – Hornets 8/16 (50%), Bombers 6/13 (46%)
Penalties – Hornets 11, Bombers 8