Hornets rise up the table after hard-fought victory

PUBLISHED: 11:01 05 October 2018 | UPDATED: 11:01 05 October 2018

Hornets  V  Devonport Services.    

Picture: MARK ATHERTON

Hornets V Devonport Services. Picture: MARK ATHERTON

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Hornets have risen to fourth in the league table after this hard-fought victory over Devonport Services.

Hornets 36 pts

Devonport Services 31 pts

Hornets clawed their way up to fourth in the league with this hard-fought bonus point win over Devonport Services.

Hornets started brightly and an early fluent passing move saw Courtney Harris crash through the defensive line and at the resulting ruck, Steve Pape dived over the top to score. Charlie Carter converted and Hornets were 7-0 up.

Devonport tried to gain a foot hold on the game, but Hornets’ early physicality forced repeated mistakes. Hornets were able to attack again and Adam Francis darted over to score out wide. Carter again converted.

Although the early scrums saw Devonport gaining the upper hand it was Hornets who again scored, this time the forwards punched holes in the visiting defence until Philip Hobbs crashed through and carried several defenders to the line with him before managing to ground the ball.

Hornets led 19-0 with 17 minutes gone and it looked as though they might wrap the match up by half time. However, Devonport had other ideas. They scored on 25 minutes to make it 19-7 and despite Carter adding a penalty for Hornets, it was the visitors who scored again to make it 22-12 at the interval.

Hornets started the second half brightly, but were unable to add points. Devonport scored again and with Hornets starting to lose their composure and discipline, Devonport added their bonus point try on 50 minutes to make it 22-26 and take the lead for the first time.

With their backs to the wall Hornets again found their rhythm. A big clearance kick from Letherby cleared the lines and when the opposition full-back kicked the ball straight up in the air, Letherby pounced on the loose ball and somehow wriggled over the line to score.

Carter converted and Hornets were back in front, while Devonport were reduced to 14 men in their attempts to prevent the try.

Hornets were now relishing the game breaking up. Joe Gadd enjoying more ball from the wing and causing difficulties.

The decisive score saw Matt Denton make a break and Ben Reseigh crash through and carry towards the line. Pape was on hand to continue the attack and crashed over under the posts. Carter converted and Hornets’ lead was now 36-26.

Devonport still had time to score again, but time ran out for them and Hornets will be pleased with their 36-31 bonus point win.

On Saturday, Hornets travel to Coney Hill, who currently prop up the league table, but are sure to give a physical challenge.

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