Featherstone 80 - Hornets 4
“If you wish to reach the highest point, begin at the lowest…”
Pubilius Syrus was a smart bloke - pretty much the inventor of the soundbite and the guy from whom Shakespeare stole most of the phrases we think of as his.
But he was wise bloke too - and we’ve looked to his relentless optimism for inspiration as Hornets slipped beneath a tsunami of points at Post Office Road.
Crazy though it sounds, this game was a contest until the 20th minute. Had Hornets not dropped a Featherstone drop-out and gifted the home side possession for Walton to score and Hardman to convert to make it 12-nil, it would have felt like a good first quarter, but the introduction of Leeds DR utility Brad Dwyer on 21 minutes effectively changed the complexion of the game.
In the 19 minutes before the break, Dwyer scored four tries - pretty much at will; an unplayable force at the heart of a Featherstone side too big, to strong, too fast and too smart in every department.
Hornets did play some football of note at the start of the second half: kick to the corner by Tyler Whittaker deflecting off a defender, the ball whipped wide to Rob Massam who scored by the flag.
But it was a brief respite for the knot of Hornets fans stood shellshocked in the sun.
In 18 minutes after the break, Dwyer grabbed two more tries to equal Featherstone’s tries in a game record, Lockwood competing his hat-trick too. We can’t lie - it was tough to watch, as Featherstone racked-up 14 tries. Some of them painfully soft : Hornets shipped tries on the hooter in both halves.
Post match Alan Kilshaw attempted to pick through the debris: “I don’t think its a good competition at the moment, the way it’s structured. At the start of the season you get your funding and you know where people are going to finish. I’ve got a mixture of lads there who’ve played League 1, amateur, bottom-end Championship or Academy - against a team who are pushing for Super League.”
With the AGM looming, everyone will be looking for a quick fix - but what Kilshaw says is true. Clubs with vastly superior funding will always batter clubs who scrape by hand-to-mouth. And whilst it IS bloody horrible to watch, as a fan-owned club, the fans have a level of responsibility to help deliver that ‘fix’.
Our mate Pubilius Syrus said: “Anyone can hold the helm when the sea is calm” - and he’s right. When we’re winning, getting to finals, gaining promotions, everyone wants to take their share of the glory. But if we win as a club and lose as a club, everyone should also want to take their share of meeting the challenges our club faces on a day-to-day basis.
Last word goes to Pubilius Syrus: “Where there is unity there is always victory."
A wise bloke indeed.