Hornets suffer heavy defeat against the league leaders

PUBLISHED: 11:24 02 November 2018

Hornets v Keynsham.    

Picture: MARK ATHERTON

Hornets v Keynsham. Picture: MARK ATHERTON

Archant

Hornets suffered a heavy defeat at league leaders Launceston, despite a spirited comeback at one stage.

Launceston 60 pts

Hornets 36 pts

Hornets travelled to Cornwall to play top of the table Launceston with four straight wins behind them.

Despite scoring six tries they were still on the end of a 60-point thumping which saw the home side stretch their lead at the top of the table.

The visitors started badly and despite Matt Parker cleanly catching the kick off, they were soon under pressure. The home side immediately started moving the ball around quickly and scored two tries in the first eight minutes.

Worst was to follow on 12 minutes when Hornets staged their first attack only for a routine pass among the backs to be intercepted by the Launceston winger who ran the length of the pitch to score under the posts.

Hornets however showed good spirit and even with their scrum creaking were next to score when Adam Francis found Rob Dempsey running a great line.

Dempsey pierced the defence and moved the ball to Charlie Carter. He was stopped short but the ball was recycled and Steve Pape crashed over to score.

The home side added a penalty before Hornets mounted an incredible comeback either side of half time.

On 30 minutes Sam Aplin hooked the ball to win a scrum against the head. The ball was quickly moved wide through Carter and Dempsey and Parker was on hand to crash over.

The referee ruled that Launceston had infringed as Parker scored and Hornets were awarded a restart penalty and were immediately back on the attack.

The ball was moved around well and Ozzy James scored out wide to make the score 24-17. Within minutes James was on hand again and looked to have scored in the corner, only for the referee to decide he had dropped the ball over the line.

At the start of the second half Pape went on a marauding run and was stopped just short. The home side lost a man to the sin bin and Hornets elected to tap and go from the penalty.

Several phases later a Parker crashed over for his second score. Carter converted and the game was all square at 24-24.

Unfortunately Hornets failure to catch the restart struck again and Launceston scored to go back into the lead. They scored again, but Hornets struck back once more through James to make it 36-29.

Launceston were awarded a penalty try and Hornets seemed to lose their focus. The home side scored again to take a 48-29 lead and the game was gone.

Parker scored again for Hornets, but the home side were running riot and added two further tries in the last five minutes to give a final score of 60-36.

With the consolation of a bonus point and other results working to Hornets advantage, they actually consolidated fourth place despite the heavy defeat.

However with the defence leaking like a sieve and the scrum continuing to creak, there will be a lot to work on before next week’s visit to The Nest by Lydney.

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