Hornets no match for Bridgwater as they slip down the table

Hornets rugby v St Ives. Picture: Jeremy Long

Hornets rugby v St Ives. Picture: Jeremy Long - Credit: Archant

Hornets slipped to 11th place in the league after this latest defeat at Bridgwater in horrendous conditions.

Bridgwater 36 pts

Hornets 21 pts

After a run of poor results, Hornets were focused on changing their fortunes away at Bridgwater.

The weather conditions were horrendous and the boggy pitch did not suit their game. The stronger Bridgwater pack therefore dominated the afternoon and they ran out convincing winners.

If Hornets were looking for positives from the afternoon, the game marked the 100th first team appearance for full-back Joe Gadd and league debuts for three of the clubs promising youngsters.

Luke Harrington put in an impressive performance, starting in the back row and tackled well, while Quenten Querl and Tommy Bailey both made a significant impact when they came off the bench and all three will bring additional strength to the squad for the remainder of the season.

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The game itself started badly for Hornets. They could not get the ball for the first 25 minutes and in trying, gave away numerous penalties. Bridgwater soon worked out they had dominance at the scrum and therefore most of the penalties resulted in a scrum and by 20 minutes the home side were 12-0 up.

Hornets eventually got hold of the ball. They won a penalty kicked to touch and from the line-out Steve Pape drove forward, Joe Gadd burst the line and when the ball was moved Charlie Carter touched down. Jordan Humphris converted for 12-7.

Hornets looked to be back in the game, but just before half time a series of missed tackles allowed Bridgwater to extend their lead to 19-7.

The second half saw more difficulty at the scrum and after a series of penalties, Philip Hobbs was shown what appeared to be a harsh yellow card and at the reset scrum the referee saw fit to award a penalty try, even though the try line was still 15 metres away.

With the score 26-7, Hornets appeared beaten and a further try and a penalty all but confirmed it with Bridgwater leading 36-7.

However, as is often the case, with nothing to lose Hornets had their best phase of the game. Tommy Bailey made good ground and Adam Francis was able to break the line to score. Humphris with the conversion.

Hornets then hacked through a loose ball and Querl won the foot race to the line, only to agonisingly spill the ball forward as he went over.

With Hornets at last in the ascendency, Francis carved his was through again and this time fed Danny Bailey who crashed over to score. Humphris again converting to make the score 36-21.

Another score would have given Hornets two bonus points, but it wasn’t to be and they returned to The Nest with no points and now find themselves 11th in the league.

The Christmas break will give Hornets time to take stock as they prepare for some vital games early in the New Year against the other sides at the foot of the table.