The Halswell Hornets Premiers have started their 2013 season with a mixed performance against the Northern Bulldogs. After playing the Bulldogs in a trial only 7 days prior, the Hornets knew they were in for a tough encounter against one of last year’s strugglers. The Bulldogs had recruited well over the off-season picking up the services of Duane Wineti and Jermahl Carroll, while new Hornets coach Darrell Coad was lining up for his first game in charge of the top-grade side. While dominant for most of the first half, Coad had many nervous moments as his chargers failed to complete sets in the Bulldogs’ half.

Barnstorming prop, Jaye Pukepuke, was able to free his arms regularly to get away plenty of offloads. Fullback, Shannon Knight, replacing the suspended Erwin Sauni at fullback, prospered from such offloads as he nabbed two tries. While 2013 captain, Brad Austin, gave Pukepuke a fantastic inside ball who went over untouched towards the end of the first half. Northern then strung together a couple of quick tries as the Hornets side fatigued in the second stanza. A lack of communication from the Hornets with nine minutes remaining on the clock led to a try from a kick which put Northern within two points. The Hornets were able to get back on the front foot, pinning Northern on their own line. A string of passes then found second-rower Nick Phillips, who burrowed over from close range. After conceding a turnover from the kick-off, the Hornets then forced an error to end the game, and seal an eight point win.

While it was a far from convincing performance from last year’s Grand Finalists, Coad and the Hornets will be glad to walk away with the two points and move to Round two of the 2013 Pre-Season Tournament. In the Championship Semi-Final they will come up against a Hornby Panthers side that is fresh from a 56-10 demolition of the Papanui Tigers. The Hornets have a week to step up their game, as they prepare to take on the reigning Premiers and arch rivals for a spot in the Pre-Season Final. The stage is set for a huge game, so get on down to the Hornet’s Nest (Halswell Domain) at 1.00pm on Saturday 16 March to support our boys!


Go the mighty Hornets!!!


Halswell 20:  Tries – Jaye Pukepuke, Shannon Knight (2), Nick Phillips; Goals – Jamie Nuttridge (2);

Northern: 14

Share this:

No comments so far

Leave a Comment