Rugby league match report: South Wales Hornets 42 – Nottingham Outlaws 32
By Ian Golden at Blackwood RFC
South Wales Hornets gained revenge for their defeat to Nottingham Outlaws last week by beating the same opponents 42-32 at Blackwood RFC on Saturday.
The Welsh were made to work hard for their win, especially after being on the wrong end of a number of debatable decisions, but in the end their determination showed through.
Hornets fielded Dalton Grant and Lewis Reece from the South Wales Scorpions first team, both of whom needed valuable match-time after being without a game for the last few weeks, and it was Grant who opened the scoring with the first of his hat-trick of tries, picking up a defensive high bomb and running 90 metres to open the scoring. Mike Hurley’s kick was missed.
But Nottingham struck back within five minutes when Will Thomas scored in the corner. Nick Tasker failed to convert and the score was level at 4-4.
The visitors then took the lead straight away when Steve Page charged through a gap in the Hornets defence. Tasker goaled this time for a 10-4 lead.
There could have been a third when Richard Johnson kicked aiming for Lawry Cook but the ball just bobbled into touch before the Outlaws sub was able to leap onto it.
Hornets scored their second on 20 minutes when Kevin James, not the Scorpions’ first team player, fed Lewis Reece to run through. Hurley’s kick was missed and the score remained on 8-10.
But, after some good attacking play from South Wales, which the Nottingham defence kept out, the Outlaws scored their third try. It was a freak interception from Alex Whittle, who chested the ball into space, picking it up and sprinting underneath the sticks. Paul Calland converted.
Hornets were next to score when Alan Pope made a clean break from 20 metres and grounded just left of the sticks. Hurley converted to put the Welsh two points behind again.
Johnson was centimetres short of scoring a fourth Nottingham try, but with a suspicion of forward pass, after consultation with the touch-judge, James Dinning was awarded the fourth before Callard missed the kick.
They extended their lead ten minutes into the second half when Joe Frobisher went over under the sticks from dummy half. Tasker converted.
Again the Hornets struck back when Grant was put through on the wing and he had no problems slipping through the Outlaws back-line to score and Hurley easily goaled.
They were unlucky not to score again when Nathan Bird raced for the ball after Nottingham had charged the ball down, keeping it in play after a penalty kick to touch. However his challenging attempt ended in an alleged knock-on and the chance was lost.
However Ian Newbury struck for the Hornets with ten minutes remaining, grabbing a loose ball and running past the watching Outlaws defence. Hurley converted and the scores were level at 26-26.
With the just six minutes left on the clock, Alan Pope charged 30 metres down the wing for an excellent solo try.
That made the score 30-26 after the conversion was missed, and Dalton Grant thought he’d put the icing on the cake, running through for his hat-trick which Hurley converted.
The Outlaws weren’t finished yet. They got another try back when Eddie Shaw scored under the sticks and Callard converted. There were less than 60 seconds remaining but the Hornets more than held on.
They got the ball back from a short kick-off and the ball was slipped to Ricky Allsop whose try, converted by Hurley extended the lead to ten points again as the final whistle blew in a dramatic exciting game.