Hornets impress with open running rugby

PUBLISHED: 09:28 10 February 2017

Hornets v Lydney rugby, Courtney Harris scores a try in teh 1st half

Hornets v Lydney rugby, Courtney Harris scores a try in teh 1st half 4,02,17

(C)2016 Jeremy Long / JCLPhotography, all rights reserved

Hornets gave another display of open running rugby at The Nest, defeating Lydney 39-13.

Hornets 39 pts

Lydney 13 pts

With the sun shining at The Nest, the stage was set for another open running performance from Hornets.

Hornets were led out by 19-year-old Ryan Barrow, who captained the side in the absence of the injured Chris Francis. Later in the game, he was replaced at hooker and as skipper by 21-year-old Kieran Ward.

It was Lydney who started the stronger and for the first 10 minutes, the Hornets defence, led by Jacob Cox, was thoroughly tested with their try line under pressure.

After 10 minutes, Hornets had their first real attacking opportunity. Danny Bailey made a good break and won a penalty which Ben Fry took quickly. It looked like Hornets were in at the corner, but they were stopped just short.

However in defending their line, Lydney conceded another penalty and were reduced to 14 men due to a yellow card. Hornets elected for a scrum and pushed the Lydney pack over the line for Lewis Brake to score the opening try.

Lydney responded with a try of their own and on 15 minutes levelled the scores at 5-5, soon followed by a Charlie Carter penalty which nudged Hornets into an 8-5 lead.

Hornets then clicked into gear. A good series of play saw the pack and packs throwing the ball around and Jack O’Malley went close and as the ball was recycled, Courtney Harris crashed over to score. Carter converted for a 15-5 lead.

Brake then scored his second just before half-time. Another Hornets break was stopped just short, a penalty awarded and again a scrum elected for. The outcome was the same with Sonny Haines, Ryan Barrow and Conor Baker dominant in the front row as the scrum went over the try line and Brake touched down. Carter converted and the half-time score was 22-8.

Lydney started the second have in lively fashion and just failed to score in the opening minutes, before then slotting a penalty to make it 22-8.

With Lydney starting to get on top it was going to need something special for Hornets to extend their lead and it came from Oscar James. Lydney cleared the ball deep into the Hornets half.

James collected and immediately went through the gears, breaking out of the 22 and into the Lydney half, beating five or six men on the way. Just when it looked as though he might go all the way, he offloaded to Barrow who himself rampaged through a series of defenders. Ben Fry had kept up with play, picked up the ball and darted over to score.

Immediately from the kick-off, Hornets broke again through O’Malley and with Joseph Gadd now calling the shots at fly-half, the ball was moved quickly, Harris broke the line and offloaded to Ross Cheeseborough.

He was stopped short, but again Fry was on hand to dart over. A further try quickly followed, this time Bailey put James through a gap who scored in the corner to extend the lead to 39-8.

With it looking like the floodgates might open Lydney decided that the best form of defence was attack and started throwing the around themselves. The last 10 minutes saw both sides playing fast open rugby and it was the visitors who scored at the last try to give a final score of 39-13.

Hornets will be pleased with their bonus point win which sees them up to fifth in the table. They now need to turn their attention to next week’s visit to The Nest of Bournemouth, who have already registered some impressive results this season.

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