While it is a long season, the Halswell Hornets Premiers have one up on their arch rivals after demolishing the Hornby Panthers 38-10. The Brent Stuart coached side came into the match after scoring a myriad of tries against a rebuilding Papanui Tigers the week previous. However the Panthers were unable to get the ball down over the line for most of the Championship Semi-Final. It was a much improved performance from the Hornets, who showed the same staunch defence that saw them appear in successive Premiership and Pre-Season Championship Finals for the past two years.


Halswell dominated for the majority of the game, and only during a short period late in the second half did they ever look on the back foot. While the excellent defensive effort was complemented with a fast-paced attacking game, coach Darrell Coad will be looking to reduce the errors and penalty count that often pinned the Hornets on their own line. Although, no less than three times did the Panthers cross the white line, only to be held up by the desperate Hornets defensive line. Fullback, Shannon Knight, had a huge part to play in preventing those tries, while in the middle of the field, Jordan Kane was like a brick wall on defence and again led the tackle count for the Hornets. The game also saw the return of Sam Kelso, who was able to make his return to the game after last season’s surgery and recent honeymoon. He was able to put a show on for supporters as he marked his return with two superb tries. But once again it was the Hornets’ middle that stepped up on both attack and defence, with Jaye Pukepuke and young gun Brendan Tusa making extraordinary metres. It was a solid all round performance from the Hornets this early in the season, and they will be looking to build on that as they progress to the Championship Final.


The Halswell Hornets Premiers will be hoping to repeat their sterling defence against a big Linwood side in the Championship Final next week. The Linwood Keas will be fresh from dispatching the Aranui Eagles in emphatic fashion with a big 34-6 win in their Semi-Final. With the first piece of silverware up for grabs in 2013, the Hornets will be looking to go one better than in last year’s Pre-Season Final. So get on down to the Hornet’s Nest (Halswell Domain) at 2.45pm on Saturday 23 March, grab a sausage (or two) and support our boys!

Go the mighty Hornets!!!



Halswell – 38

Hornby – 10

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