Sunday, 14 August 2016

Third Time Sucky

Hornets 16 - York 36

Despite York’s basket-case existence; and despite heavy rumours that James Ford is on his way to Sheffield next season, York - once again - handed Hornets a lesson in Rugby League basics.

Despite early jitters, for 20 minutres there was no real indication of just how badly this game was going to suck.

York started with a steepling bomb to the corner, drawing a great catch under pressure from Dale Bloomfield, who was given a penalty for some needless afters in the tackle. But a scrappy pick-up by Jo Taira handed the ball back to the visitors.

Taira made amends for his error with a perfectly legitimate, bone-shuddering tackle as the ball was released, but the somewhat dramatic reaction of the York player involved milked a ridiculous penalty from referee Mr Roberts who maintained a somewhat tenuous grasp on the laws all afternoon.

Indeed, on 8 minutes, a Steve Roper dink into the in-goal was clearly knockeddead by a York defender, only for Mr Roberts to give the Knights a 20m restart.

Then three incidents that gave York impetus. Firstly Wayne English uncharacteristically fumbled a hit & hope bomb under no pressure. Followed within a minute by a booming hit by Dale Bloomfield that yielded another deeply dubious penalty. Followed a minute later by an arbitrary offside decision. A pattern emerging.

The pressure was temporarily relieved by a Jono Smith interception releasing Dale Bloomfield to half-way. But an exchange of knock-ons in York’s half of the field, followed by yet another York penalty finally took their toll.

On 22 minutes a York try out of nothing. A York attack running out of ideas, a half-break, a crap pass and Waller rumbling in off his first touch of the ball. Craig the two; 0-6.

As the game descended into a sloppy, error-strewn mess, it was hard to see where the next score would come from. And, just when the home fans thought Hornets would scrape it to the break and regroup, York hit them with a really soft double-whammy.

On 38 minutes Haynes strolled through a huge hole off the back of a scrum; then 60 seconds later Hornets’ defence completely switched off as Breining sauntered in from acting half. A shocker, really.

For the second successive home game Hornets went to the sheds on a nil - York simply having dine the basics better.

Hornets started the second half with a bang. York’s Craig coughed the kick-off, Jono Smith came barging onto a short-ball to crash in and score. Yatesey the two, Hornets a chance at 6-18.

On 44 minutes, Hornets overplayed the narrow-side to see the ball go to ground, but when Danny Yates launched a deep kick four minutes later, a great chase saw the gathering Buchanan bundled into touch.

From the resulting play Hornets whipped the ball to the right, but Jack Holmes’ cut-out pass cut out his winger, the touch-judge, the ball-boy and the first four rows of the main stand.

No matter. On 50 minutes Danny Yates’ kick and Jono Smith’s chaser forced a drop-out, from which Josh Crowley plunged in, but just short.

From the handover, Hornets’ were deemed not square at the ruck, the penalty marched York downfield, where they worked a ridiculous overlap for Craig to stroll-in untouched. 6-22.

Then another error: this time Jack Holmes getting his feet in a tangle collecting a no-pressure kick in the in-goal to concede a drop-out. Holmes was involved again three tackles later, deemed to have knocked on as he retreated into the defensive line towards his own posts. York finally capiialising on their building pressure as Spears barrelled in tio score through some ordinary defence. Craig the two; 6-28 - and with a quarter of the game to go, it was effectively over as a contest.

York continued to pile on the misery. Off the back of back-to-back penalties, Emmet stepped in off a flat ball from 5 metres to score. Craig the extras for 6-34.

Hornets flickered briefly when, on 70 minutes Ben Moores dived on from acting half after Jo Taira had gone close; then Taira featured again two minutes later when his pass hit Jordan Case with space to squeeze in and score.

The game delivered its kick in the nuts in the 79th minute when Hornets were snagged for a transgression at the play the ball and Craig took the two.

The game ended with Samir Tahraoui penalised in possession right on the hooter - the afternoon in microcosm right there, folks.

In the end this was a solid gold shocker. Hornets second best in every department all over the field, worsened by a litany of unforced errors and frankly oddball penalty decisions.

As the crunch point of the season gets closer, it’s clear that Hornets look to have the yips just as York and Barrow are running into form. And with a trip to Toulouse next weekend, it’s going to need something dramatic to turn this around.