Strong sec­ond half se­cures win

Hinckley Times - - SPORT -

IT’S early days yet but, af­ter two games, Hinck­ley are rid­ing high at the top of the Na­tional 2 North divi­sion on points dif­fer­ence courtesy of what turned out to be an eight try to three romp at Peter­bor­ough Lions.

A hat-trick from Cal­lum Dacey, who had an­other out­stand­ing game, a brace from Ryan Hough and tries for Cap­tain Alex Salt, Jack Dick­in­son and Joe Wil­son saw Hor­nets put the newly pro­moted Lions to the sword in the sec­ond half, scor­ing 31 unan­swered points.

Few saw that com­ing in the first half, how­ever. There was a dis­tinctly au­tum­nal feel to the day as the teams ran out, with Hinck­ley fac­ing a stiff breeze.

Lions were very much in the as­cen­dancy in the early min­utes as Hinck­ley strug­gled for pos­ses­sion. The home side camped in the Hinck­ley half, forc­ing sev­eral penal­ties from the Hor­nets and when the Hinck­ley pack were pushed off their own ball, con­ced­ing a penalty 5m from their own line, things looked dis­tinctly omi­nous.

The re­sul­tant catch and drive was de­fended but only at the ex­pense of an­other penalty and Lions opted to scrum. Quick ball found it’s way to the Lions wing Hen­der­son to score and Ben Young con­verted - 7-0 to the Lions.

Hinck­ley evened the score on 14 min­utes when the Hinck­ley backs fi­nally saw some ball. A break from Tom Wheatcroft on the Lions 22m line al­lowed him to feed cap­tain Salt who crashed over. Joe Wil­son con­verted.

Ten min­utes later Hor­nets took the lead when an over­thrown Peter­bor­ough li­ne­out saw Joe Glover col­lect the loose ball 25m from the Lions line, and Dacey even­tu­ally crossed for his first.

Hor­nets were still strug­gling for pos­ses­sion, how­ever, and it was only a last ditch tackle from Dacey which saved an­other try for the Lions, al­though it was at the ex­pense of a yel­low card for Josh Smith.

Lions did cross the white­wash shortly af­ter­wards when the Hinck­ley de­fence fell for an out­ra­geous dummy which al­lowed fly half Young to ghost through the line, of­fload­ing to diminu­tive Ar­gen­tinian scrum half Per­ti­caro for the score.

The con­ver­sion put the Lions in front and poor mid­field tack­ling al­lowed Lions Jake Carter to ex­tend that lead fur­ther to 21-12 with half-time fast ap­proach­ing.

Then came what was ar­guably the game-turn­ing mo­ment. Some ad­just­ment in a creak­ing Hinck­ley pack saw Dave Peck take up his cus­tom­ary tight­head po­si­tion and the ef­fect was im­me­di­ate. The Hinck­ley eight forced their op­po­site num­bers back at a scrum and Henry Povoas picked up and drove to within 5m. The ball was worked along the line and Ryan Hough crossed in what proved to be the fi­nal play of the half.

It proved a cru­cial score. Hor­nets were back in touch go­ing in at the in­ter­val rather than hang­ing on to the Lions tail­coats, and they soon took the lead on the re­sump­tion. A chip over the top by Glover was not dealt with by the Lions de­fence and the ball was worked to Hough to score his sec­ond try and se­cure the bonus point.

Dacey scored his sec­ond a few min­utes later. Lions hooker Askham was carded 10m from his own line, Hinck­ley kicked for the cor­ner and the ball was worked along the line for Dacey to go over. The con­ver­sion took the score to 31-21.

Shortly af­ter­wards, Lions were lucky not to lose a sec­ond man when a noarm tackle floored Povoas as he tried to off­load with a two man over­lap. The re­sul­tant penalty was kicked to the cor­ner. The pack earned an­other penalty 5m out from the line-out and this time opted to scrum. Dacey, now at scrum half fol­low­ing an in­jury to Joe Glover, picked up from the back of the scrum and darted over for his hat-trick.

Hinck­ley were now ram­pant. Lions searched des­per­ately for a fourth try which would have given them their first point of the sea­son but there was no way through. In­stead, Hor­nets got two more. First Wil­son touched down, and then Dick­in­son went over af­ter sus­tained Hinck­ley pres­sure.

In the end, it proved a com­fort­able win but there were times early in the game when Lions looked the more likely to take the points.

Coach Ge­orge Chuter summed it up well say­ing: “It was a slow start against a team who came out fired up. We look rat­tled early on and could eas­ily have crum­bled.

“The try just be­fore half-time was cru­cial and we were much the bet­ter side in the sec­ond half. We spread the ball and stood up well in de­fence.”

Next up are fel­low early sea­son pace­set­ters Wharfedale at Le­ices­ter Road. Kick-off is 3pm.

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