MRFU Semi-Final – Hornets vs Bombers 04/23/16
Earth Day took a back seat to the MRFU playoffs in Forrest Park over the weekend. In the #1 vs #4 match-up, the Royals outclassed a determined Ramblers squad to book their ticket to the final. They then sat back to watch who would face them in the Final – either the #2 Hornets or the #3 Bombers. The Hornets were coming off a tournament win in the All Fools tournament the prior weekend, during which they went undefeated in 5 matches. They took on a new look Bombers team for the opportunity to play the Royals. From the kickoff, it was obvious this was a different Bombers team from what the Hornets have seen in the past. The Bombers were organized, quick to the breakdown, and able to efficiently string together phases and work their way down the field. The Bombers applied constant pressure to the Hornets and pinned them down in their own 22 for most of the first quarter of the game. The Bombers scrum was particularly dominant in the early going forcing several turnovers. But the Hornets defended gamely and made several goal-line stands to keep the Bombers coming up empty. However, when the Hornets finally were able to secure possession, they were unable to clear their 22 through either a clearing kick or ball in hand. Finally the scrum pressure lead to points for the Bombers as a tight head against the Hornet feed saw the Bombers scoop up the loose ball from the scrum and find their number 6 on a simple inside pass to score from 30 metres out. The successful conversion made in 7-0 to the Bombers after 20 minutes. Shortly after, the Hornets overthrew a lineout which the Bombers pounced on. A chip kick over the top and a good chase saw the Bombers regather and score in the right hand corner. The difficult conversion attempt sailed wide making the score 12-0 Bombers after 26 minutes. More pressure from the Bombers won them a penalty in Hornet territory which they calmly slotted to extend the lead to 15-0 after 31 minutes. Not used to playing from behind all year, the pressure started to effect the Hornets. Emotions got the better of a situation which lead to BK receiving a red card, forcing the Hornets to play with 14 men for the final 44 minutes of the game. The Hornets came out fired up in the second half, and started to secure more possession from scrums and lineouts. But the Bombers maintained great discipline in their defensive line and would not yield any cracks to Hornets attacking raids. The back line in particular came up quickly in defense and did not allow the Hornet backs any room to move. From a Bomber scrum inside their own half, a nice move saw the Bomber inside centre rumble 60 metres from an inside switch to score the Bombers third try. Failed conversion made it 20-0 Bombers after 55 minutes. The Hornets threw the kitchen sink at the Bombers the rest of the way, but just could not find a way to crack the defense. The Bombers extended the lead and iced the game with two more penalties in the latter stages to extend their lead to 26-0. The Hornets managed to get a consolation try through Ricky down the lefthand touchline in the 76th minute to make the final score 26-5 Bombers. Congratulations to the Bombers on a hard fought victory and congratulations to the Hornets on a great season. Only two losses for the whole season, and plenty of young blood mixed with some cagey veterans will make them a threat for the upcoming season. Man of the match was Joey Dickerson!
Score = Bombers - 26; Hornets – 5
Scrums = Hornets - 8/12 (67%); Bombers - 7/7 (100%)
Lineouts = Hornets - 8/11 (73%); Bombers - 3/9 (33%)
Penalties = Hornets – 18; Bombers – 15