Hornets held in relegation battle

PUBLISHED: 09:23 11 December 2006 | UPDATED: 10:20 24 May 2010

Hornets 10 pts Newton Abbot 10 pts IN a first meeting between the sides, Hornets were by far the superior team and only desperate defending by the Devon club and poor refereeing enabled the high-flying visitors to escape with a share of the points. An ea

Hornets 10 pts Newton Abbot 10 ptsIN a first meeting between the sides, Hornets were by far the superior team and only desperate defending by the Devon club and poor refereeing enabled the high-flying visitors to escape with a share of the points.An early try by Hornets' Mike Panaho came following an excellent driving maul that split the Abbot defence and more pressure on their line should have brought a further score, but strong defending kept the home side out.A strong break by Dave Underwood almost increased the lead, but he was bundled into touch just short of the line.After absorbing endless pressure, Abbot levelled the scores when they capitalised on a breakdown by the Hornets backs, which allowed their winger to sprint from the halfway line to score in the corner.Just after half time, Abbot took the lead with a simple but effective score when their winger came into the line at pace and outstripped Hornets defence to touch down in the corner.At this stage, Hornets pack took control and kept pounding the Abbot line. Penalties and attacking scrums brought no reward for the home side and with the referee disallowing a score when Panaho crossed, it looked like being another frustrating game Hornets needed to win to escape the relegation zone.Hornets pack continued to dominate in set pieces and mauls and with time running out, Panaho got his reward for another fine game with his second try to level the scores, but they were unable to clinch a deserved victory when the conversion attempt went wide.Hornets' pack produced another workmanlike performance, but a lack of enterprise in the backs, with several players playing out of position a real problem. Loyal supporters are asking why potential first-team backs are being selected in the lower sides when they are needed to enable the side to climb away from the relegation zone.Since the league system was established, Hornets first team have never been relegated and it would be disastrous for the club if it was allowed to happen this season, due to a lack of loyalty by some players.Now is the time to put the club first and to rally round in the second half of the season and discard the threat of relegation before it is too late.

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