Hornets vs Bombers - 04/14/2018.
Cold, wet, sloppy conditions for the St. Louis Playoff weekend. In the opening game, the top-seeded and undefeated Hornets took on their traditional rivals the St. Louis Bombers. The conditions made it tough going for both teams. An early penalty from Juice opened the scoring after 8 minutes putting the Hornets on top 3-0. The rest of the half settled into a war of attrition as both teams traded filed position through combinations of downfield kicks, defensive pressure, and costly handling errors. With the half winding down the Hornets advanced into the Bomber 22 with a late penalty. After calling a scrum, a solid platform gave clean ball for the backs. Matt Merrick drew defenders across field and slipped an inside ball to Sai who could not be stopped from 10 metres out. Hornet try right on half time, successful conversion made it 10-0 at halftime. The Hornets started playing field position in the second half with tactical kicking pinning the Bombers deep in their own half. A deep kick from Zac Hatraf and good kick chase from Tommy Cody forced a Bomber mistake, which Zac scooping up the loose ball for an easy try. Missed conversion made it 15-0 to the Hornets after 50 minutes. Some more territorial battles ensued, but the Bombers tried to rally and keep ball in hand. Despite camping inside the Hornet 22 for long period of sustained pressure, aided by a mounting penalty count, the stout Hornet defence would not yield. A quick tap from Zac off a penalty found him in some space down the left wing, and he chip kicked inside beautifully as the cover defence came across to find Sai in support who scooped up the ball to cross over for his second try of the match. Successful conversion extended the lead to 22-0 after 67 minutes. The Bombers showed their fighting spirit until the end and fought their way up the field. Sustained pressure saw them cross for a consolation try to make the final score 22-7 to the Hornets. No man of the match given as it was a solid team performance from the Hornets – Zach Klein had some great runs and tackles, Brendan Cody applied super defensive pressure, Adam Marlin was solid all over the park, Nate Clary was a powerhouse in the rucks, Nick Hildebrand tackled everything that moved, and the list goes on. Tomorrow is the final against the Columbia Outlaws as we find out who will emerge victorious from the St. Louis D3.
Score – Hornets = 22 (Tries – Sai x2, Zac Hatraf; Conversions – Zac 2/3; Penalties – Juice 1/1) , Bombers = 7
Scrums – Hornets = 8/8 (100%), Bombers = 7/7 (100%)
Lineouts – Hornets = 3/10 (30%), Bombers = 8/15 (53%)
Penalties – Hornets = 7, Bombers = 20.