Sunday, 8 September 2019

Thanks for Nothing.

Hornets nil - Bradford 82.

There is a quite literal nothing good to say about this game.

Hornets saved their worst performance of the season for last, shipping 15 tries and copping a third consecutive nilling. In the aftermath, the consensus amongst the loyal Hornets fans who've stuck by the club as this shambolic season has limped from rout to rout was relief that it's over.

Take nothing away from Bradford: they're strong, fast and well-drilled - and having scored with their first carry of the ball after just 90 seconds, they went through the playbook with all the intensity of a training run after a heavy weekend.

Hornets flailed and flapped. Out-played, out-thought, out-enthused, out-muscled and out for the count at the break trailing 0-46 as Bradford scored at will and stayed ahead of the clock throughout.

The second half looked pretty similar.

Hornets' shortcomings were exposed on attack and defence. Late on, having forced multiple drop-outs, they had four sets in Bradford's 20m zone, but couldn't find a pass or a kick to make Bradford think. The brief spell of pressure (and expectation), ended with a flaccid jab of a kick mopped up by Oakes who barely had to move. The season in a microcosm right there folks.

Some of the observations of the people around us were pretty apposite. One media guy described the difference in ability between the sides as "The Harlem Globetrotters v a school side". An ex-coach commented that there were "... no plays, no plan and no-one talks to each other". And one experienced RL official - in an attempt to be positive - said "at least you can't fault their effort - they're trying their hardest". Like Yoda said: "Do or do not - there is no try". And he was absolutely right. There was no try, for the third game running.

Ultimately, losing should hurt. It should f*ck-up your week until at least Wednesday. What we do has to matter or what's the point?

In an attempt to close the book on 2019 in a positive light, the Hornets faithful have been been absolutely stoic this season. It's that relationship with people who care - about the club and each other - that has seen us through. They're the true heartbeat of the club. It's you guys we'll miss between now and March. From Toronto and Toulouse to Bradford and Batley you've all been legends.

And there's nothing more certain than that.