Hornets finish successful pre-season with victory

Hands holding rugby ball

Hands holding rugby ball - Credit: Getty Images/Comstock Images

Hornets finished their pre-season friendlies with victory at home to a strong Clifton side.

Hornets 36 pts

Clifton 12 pts

HORNETS signed off on a successful pre-season, which had previously seen them draw 19-19 with Taunton from National Division 2, with a comprehensive victory over a strong Clifton side.

The early exchanges saw Clifton put together phase after phase of forward play, but for the first 10 minutes the defence held strong. The early pressure eventually paid dividends and the Clifton forwards went over for the first try which was converted.

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This sparked Hornets into life. Letherby, who was on impressive kicking form all evening, pushed the ball into the corner and the pack won the line-out. The forwards rumbled the ball forward and as they released the backs, quick hands opened a gap for Jermaine Jones to score.

A quick pick and go by Clifton caught the Hornets midfield by surprise and they were back in the lead at 12-5. With the first half drawing to a close, Hornets again pressed Clifton back into their own half. The backs were released and Jack Gadd received the ball in enough space to enable him to stretch over the line. Disney added the extras to end the half at 12-12.

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The second half was all about Hornets. The forwards were now dictating the set plays, with Chase particularly dominate at the scrum, as well as the loose, where the rampaging runs of Parker at No 8 were causing Clifton serious problems.

Despite the dominance, Clifton’s defence was still aggressive and provided Hornets with a great test. However, Hornets responded positively with some aggressive tackling of their own and slowly took the upper hand.

Bradley showed his pace and attacking flare to put Hornets 17-12 up and then Disney scored twice, the first being the try of the game which saw a great break and offload from Dibble finding Jack Gadd in enough space to put Disney through a gap to score.

With Disney adding two conversions, Hornets now had a convincing lead of 29-12.

The final try came as Clifton continued to take the game to Hornets. They attempted to run the ball out of their own 22, only to be met by a massive hit from Hogarth, who turned the ball over and sent a pass to Joe Gadd, who was able to stroll over the line. Disney added the extras and the game concluded at 36-12.

Hornets now need to take their pre-season form into Saturday’s first league match away at Cleve. With last season’s promotion seeing Hornets playing in South West Division 1, all the opposition will be strong and Hornets will need to be at the top of their game for every match.

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