Hornets hit by early injuries
- Credit: Archant
A series of injuries upset Hornets in their home match against North Petherton.
HORNETS 16 pts
NORTH PETHERTON 32 pts
HORNETS were forced to shuffle their front row at short notice due to a training injury to skipper and hooker Kent, in advance of the visit of a strong North Petherton side.
This appeared to be a bad omen for Hornets as the game started badly. First North Pertherton’s second row took a clean catch from the kick of and rampaged through the Hornets pack and made his way to the Hornets 22.
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He was stopped by full-back Cornish, but North Petherton quickly recycled the ball and the ball was spread wide and a try followed. To make matters worse in their attempts to stop the score, Joe Gadd and Jones clashed heads.
Jones, less than two minutes into his comeback following a broken rib, was forced to leave the field with a two-inch cut to his head. Before they had settled, North Petherton struck again and Hornets found themselves 12-0 down.
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However, Hornets took the fight back to North Peterton. First Gaulton slotted three points from a penalty and following a break from Jack Gadd and then Chase, North Petherton were penalised for failing to roll away at a ruck and were reduced to 14 men through a yellow card.
Hornets kicked for touch and applied pressure at the line-out and were awarded a five-metre scrum. Parker broke down the blind side and fed skipper Disney, who touched down in the corner to pull the score back to 8-12.
Hornets continued to build pressure and a deliberate knock-on by the North Petherton scrum-half saw another yellow card and Gaulton reduced the deficit to 11-12 with another penalty on the stroke of half-time.
The early exchanges of the second half saw Hornets at their best. Despite struggling at the line-out, they were starting to win the scrums on a regular basis. This dominance gave Hornets possession, but they were unable to register any points and it was North Petherton who pulled further ahead through a penalty.
Hornets had chances, first Hogarth touched down under the posts, but the final pass from Cheeseborough was adjudged to be forward and then Cornish spilled an opportunity.
North Petherton were showing all their experience to ride out the pressure and a late hit by Letherby on his opposing number saw a penalty awarded where the ball landed on the Hornets 22 and Letherby shown a yellow card. Hornets reduced to 14 men at a crictical point.
The penalty was slotted for an 11-18 lead and as Hornets pressed to get back into the game, North Petheron were able take advantage of some poor defending to break away for two late tries which gave them a bonus point and left Hornets, despite a late try from Cornish, on the wrong end of an unflattering 16-32 defeat.
More lessons will have been learnt from the defeat against one of the leagues top sides, who despite Hornets playing some good rugby, showed all their experience to hold out and take advantage of Hornets’ desperation to get back into the game.
On Saturday, Hornets have their first long away trip of the season with a visit to St Austell in Cornwall.