Hornets defeat high-flying Bournemouth at The Nest

PUBLISHED: 09:20 16 March 2018

Hornets v Bournemouth.

Hornets v Bournemouth.

Archant

A young Hornets side produced their best performance of the season to defeat second-placed Bournemouth.

Hornets 36 pts

Bournemouth 27 pts

Prior to kick-off, a minute’s applause was observed by both teams and supporters to remember two Hornets who passed away recently, Dave Pollard and Terry Cox.

On a bright, warm day and perfect conditions Hornets put out a young team which had an average age of only 23 to play second-placed Bournemouth and the home side proved that rugby is not all about experience as this young team outplayed their visitors winning by five tries to three.

Hornets started brightly and instantly put pressure on Bournemouth, pinning them in their 22, but Bournemouth were able to clear their lines. After eight minutes Bournemouth attacked and after sound defence, their large pack eventually got over the line for a converted try.

From the perfect restart by Carter, Hornets were awarded a penalty. Humphris shaped to kick to the corner, but the fly-half tapped and spun the ball out to Francis, who in turn shipped it to Somers who went over untouched.

Bournemouth made an error at the restart and Hornets had a scrum on halfway. A penalty won by Hornets’ pack and the kick set up a good opportunity on the 22 with the line-out.

Vivian, who was outstanding with his throw-ins all day, found Nettleton and good work by Disney, Francis and Cheeseborough set up Jackson to cross. The try was converted by Humphris and Hornets had the lead.

Bournemouth came back at Hornets, but Hornets’ defence, which was superb all day, stopped the onslaught. Bournemouth did get a penalty kick which they converted, before they managed to carve out another try to go up 17-12.

Hornets stepped up again and won a penalty on the 22 in front of the posts and an easy kick for Humphris.

The next score had the home supporters in raptures. A long clearance kick by Humphris had Bournemouth deep in their 22. The winger kicked back to Carter who carved his way through to round the full-back to score an excellent individual try. The conversion by Humphris saw Hornets change ends 22-17 in front.

After the break, Bournemouth reduced the lead with a penalty and soon after Francis was adjudged to have tackled too high and was shown a yellow card. The resulting penalty kick hit the post and Hornets were able hang on for the 10 minutes without conceding any points.

Francis returned and Hornets again were on the front foot. A high tackle and Humphris kicked the penalty to the five-metre line. The line-out was perfectly executed and Hornets’ pack inched forward and Reseigh was able to touch down, converted by Humphris.

Bournemouth did their best to get back into the game, but could not break through. Hornets had a line-out on the 22 and Cheeseborough and Denton had a couple of runs and when Harris spotted the line, the big lock forward was able to go over.

Humphris completed the kick and Hornets were three scores in front and with the clock on zero it was only the injury time left, before Bournemouth managed another try before the final whistle.

This proved to be the best performance to date this season and with a bonus point win at home against a strong Bournemouth team.

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