Hornets sting Bears for 33-17 loss
By: Dave Whitfield
| Posted: Thursday, Sep 06, 2012 06:00 am
With their Calgary Rugby Union playoff lives on the line, the Banff Bears Rugby Club absorbed a 33-17 loss to the second-place Calgary Hornets, Thursday (Aug 30) at the Banff Rec Grounds.
With a 6-4 record, the Bears were in tough against the 8-2 Hornets and Thursday’s game proved to be a battle of field position as close quarters rucks were the order of the day.
In a game that saw very few long runs completed, the Hornets opened scoring early, striking for a converted try at the five-minute mark to lead 7-0.
The Bears recovered quickly, though, and drove the ball downfield to the Hornet’s goal area. Calgary’s defence was solid, though, and play went back and forth along the goal line until Bear Iain Ramsey crashed in for a try at the 14-minute mark after Banff controlled a scrum on the Hornets’ four yard line.
Through the game, the defences proved tough to crack as both teams threatened on each other’s goal line several times. At one point late in the second half, Hornets players made it into the Banff endzone, but Bears defenders refused to allow the ball to be touched down.
At the 33-minute mark of the first half, the Hornets went up 14-7 when they went deep on a lineout toss in at Banff’s four yard line, then just crossed the goal line.
In the second half, it was the local’s time to shine, as Banffites Noah Maisonet and Matt Widmer scored for the Bears.
First though, Calgary went up 21-7 early in the half after winning a lineout and a Hornet was able to run it in from 20 yards out.
Nine minutes in, though, Banff pushed to the Hornets’ two yard line, were forced back, then went wide across the field where Maisonet was able to dive in for an unconverted try to close the score to 21-12.
At this point, it looked as though Banff was to turn the game around. At about the 12 minute mark, the Hornets were in the Banff endzone, but could not put the ball on the ground for a try. The Bears pushed them out both times, then out to centre field. The teams battled back and forth in the middle of the field, but the Bears closed the gap to 21-17 at the 23-minute mark when Widmer ran in a try from 20 yards out on one of the few long runs in the game.
The convert rattled off the post.
That was close as Banff would get, though, as the Hornets scored an unconverted try at the 33 minute mark after controlling a lineout ball and again at the final whistle when they ran in a ball from a scrum at Banff’s six yard line for the 33-17 score.
“I thought we played pretty well,” said Malcolm Wilson. “We did have some knock-ons, though, some missed tackles and our discipline was lacking the first half.
“And that’s a good team; they’re well organized and made some good substitutions.
“It was pretty much a power game for field position.”
Wilson is one of the local players who has moved up to mens’ play along with Maisonet and Widmer. “It’s been great,” he said, “we played in high school and now we’re here and these guys have helped us out a lot.”
Banff will play Saturday, however at press time, it’s unclear who they’ll face .