Hornets vs Bombers - 09/30/2017.
Perfect day for rugby in Forest Park as the Hornets took on the Bombers in the second cup match of the season. The competitive juices were flowing early as another chapter was added to this storied rivalry. The Hornets kicked off and applied the defensive pressure immediately. A sweeping hands movement down the line found a gap for Brad Christ to crash over from close range for the opening try of the match after just 3 minutes. Conversion went wide leaving the score 5-0 in favor of the Hornets. The Bombers answered back and only desperate cover defense was able to keep them out after a break down the left wing. But quick ruck ball caught the Hornets offside, and the Bombers calmly slotted the penalty to narrow the gap to 5-3 after 8 minutes. The Hornets pressured forward again and looked almost certain to add another try, but knocked on in the in-goal and the Bombers were able to break out from behind their own try line almost the length of the field. Some follow up phases eventually caught the Hornet defense short in the right corner for the Bombers first try. Tough conversion failed, and after 15 minutes the score was 8-5 to the Bombers. From midfield Matt Merrick put a kick over the top of the defense and a fortuitous bounce found Zach Hatraf screaming onto the ball with the scoop and the score. Successful conversion made it 12-8 Hornets after 22 minutes. Both teams traded shots for the remainder of the half but could not trouble the scoreboard. The Bombers struck first in the second half with a try from a tap move from a penalty in the attacking 22 down the right side. Conversion missed, putting the Bombers back on top 13-12 after 47 minutes. Back and forth we went and Brian Saak toed through a kick but was tackled without the ball just meters from the try line. The ref had no choice but to award a penalty try. Score was 19-13 Hornets after 52 minutes. The Hornets again made inroads down the left side, and a great ball from Brad Christ put Matt Merrick through a yawning gap leaving him only 5 meters to trundle over for the try under the sticks. Easy conversion made it 26-13 Hornets after 61 minutes. But the Bombers wouldn’t go away easily. Pressure on a Hornets scrum inside their 22 saw the ball squirt out the side of the scrum and the Bombers blindside flanker picked up and crashed over for an opportunistic try. Conversion missed, 23-18 Hornets after 67 minutes. The Bombers made things even more interesting with a long range penalty goal narrowing the score further to 23-21 after 71 minutes. With time winding down, the Hornets focused on retaining possession and methodically worked their way downfield to earn a penalty about 30 meters out. Juice slotted the penalty to put the Hornets up more than a converted try, making it 29-21 Hornets after 76 minutes which held up for the full time score.
Man of the match was Tommy Bach who was tireless in both attack as well as his usual bone crushing tackles.
Score – Hornets = 29 (Tries – Brad Christ, Zach Hatraf, Matt Merrick, Penalty Try; Conversions – Juice = 2/3 + 1 automatic for penalty try; Penalties – Juice = 1/1), Bombers = 21
Scrums – Hornets = 6/9 (67%), Bombers = 5/6 (83%)
Lineouts – Hornets = 11/16 (69%), Bombers = 4/6 (67%)
Penalties – Hornets = 8, Bombers = 14.