Hornets first XV on verge of record breaking rugby season

The Hamilton’s Hornets First 15 are shooting for an undefeated season in Niagara Rugby Union play and a record setting points for/against showing.

Hornets 1sts and Waterloo in scrum. The Hornets obliterated Waterloo in a 67-5 win. (Photo: Ron Bernardo)

The Hornets top the Senior B division with an 8-0 record and demonstrated again on the weekend why they will be promoted to the A flight. Hornets pounded Waterloo County Rugby Club 67-5 in a game shortened by the referee because of the lopsided affair. The score gave the Hornets 488 points scored this season while allowing a paltry 42.

Perhaps sensing the outcome, the 1sts were clapped on to the field by the senior men’s second team which formed a tunnel to greet the 1sts following their earlier win over Niagara Wasps by a close 7 – 3 score.

The 1sts hung 11 tries on Waterloo before the referee decided enough was enough. Fly half Jamie Whan led the try scorers with a hat trick and 19-year-old, inside centre, Steve Ferreira, justified his call up to the first team by scoring a try on his debut. Contributing to the Hornets offensive prowess were Steve Reise and captain Peter Van Zyl with two each, and Sean Corner, Owen Clark and Tom Edwards with one each.

The Hornets play Stoney Creek next Saturday with the chance to set a club record for points scored for and lowest against.

In a defensive battle the Hornets 2nds won a hard-fought victory over Niagara Wasps to atone for the loss suffered in Port Colborne in July. Hamilton was in control for most of the match and rarely allowed Niagara to get within the 22 metre line.

Hornets 2nds and Wasps clash during a close game on Saturday (Photo: Ron Bernardo)

A dogged Wasps defence kept the Hornets from scoring several times during the game. In the first half, lock Dan Croskerry crashed over from 10 metres out but was wrapped up by a couple of Niagara players and the ball was held up. In the second half, Scottish Pete touched down in the right corner but the referee was not in position to award the try and ruled that the ball had been held up in goal. Late in the half, the ball was knocked loose by a Niagara player as Hornets winger Ian Dunlop, crossed the line.

With Hamilton defending well all game, the Wasps opted to go to the boot late on in the match in an attempt to break the deadlock. Niagara scored on a kick from about 30 metres out to give the Wasps a 3 – 0 lead with 15 minutes to play.

The Hornets bounced back and Hamilton set up camp 10 metres out from their goal for the final five minutes of the game. With less than a minute to play, Hamilton got the result they deserved with Hornets club president and scrum half Chris Gilks dummying his way to the try line only to be tackled short of the line before extending his arm for the score. Gilks converted the try to give Hamilton a very late 7 – 3 lead that would survive a desperate attempt by the Wasps.

The referee instructed both team captains that there was time for one more play before the final whistle. With Niagara needing to keep the ball in hand, they opted for a short kick-off to try and secure possession but the kick landed short of the required Hornets 10 metre line and the referee blew his whistle to end the contest.

In women’s league play, the Hornets lost a close 17-12 game to Norfolk in the B Division.

Scoring tries for the Hornets were Hope Jervis and Jessica Hill. Hill also kicked her own convert for another two points. The women finish their regular season schedule on Saturday with a game against Stoney Creek at the Mohawk Sports Complex. Kick off is noon.