It was a very hot an windy day down at Mountford Park on Sunday. The Hornets looked to secure their third win for the season and first ever away win. They were up against a very determined Manurewa Side who turned out in numbers for this clash.
The first quarter saw Manurewa start with a hiss and a roar. Slick kicks to key players meant Manurewa were able to move the ball quickly out of the ruck and down into the forward 50. After a determined effort from the Hornets backline they were unable to stop Manurewa set shot which took them into the lead. The Hornets realising that the win would not come easy started to fight back. Working hard in the middle to start with front foot ball, the Hornets were able to move the ball into attacking positions. Unfortunatley the Hornets were not as accurate as they had been. With a medium wind moving left to right the Hornets were not able to compensate and kicked 4 behinds and one goal. Howick Hornets 1.4 (10) to Manurewa 1.1 (7)
After a tough quarter time speech from the Coach the Hornets worked to correct the errors that went wrong. During the second quarter the hornets began to dominate sections of play. The Hornets managed to pin Manurewa down inside their 50 by kicking back to back behinds and swarming to obstruct their kick outs. The Hornets forwards were getting plenty of ball but were still struggling with the cross wind whilst the Hornets backline continued to cause disruption to the Manurewa attack keeping Manurewa to 2.3 (15) at the end of the quarter. The Hornets could not convert their shots at goal into 6 points and finished the quarter 3.11 (29)
Working with the wind in the third quarter the Hornet hoped to keep the play down in the Manurewa danger zone. Again as per the second quarter the Hornets were unable to take their shots and scored more behinds than points. Having another 5 shots at goal for the quarter but only achieving one. Meanwhile down the back the spirited Hornets defense worked extremely hard and kept the pressure on the Manurewa half forward line making it a scramble to pick up the spoiled mark and a snap shot at goal. The Hornets middle on-ballers were working together nicely and wining the ball out of the middle contest. If it wasn't for a contentious call inside the goal square, the Hornets would have kept Manurewa goal-less for the whole second half of the game. Howick Hornets 4.15 (39) to Manurewa 3.6 (24)
The final quarter is where the Hornets really shine. With their superb fitness they are able to dominate the scoreboard even against top teams in the final quarter. Sunday was no different with the Hornets reserve bench keeping fresh legs on rotation the Hornets were able to out run Manurewa. Working against the wind, the Hornets were shortening their kicks and working the ball up field. It became a full team performance with the Hornets linking well and getting the ball into the forward 50. In defense the Hornets stepped it up a notch keeping Manurewa to only 2 behinds in the quarter. Howick Hornets 5.19 (49) to Manurewa 3.8 (26)
The Hornets are now on 3 wins for the season on equal points with 4th place Mt Roskill.
Up the Hornets!
Final Score: Howick Hornets 5.19 (49) to Manurewa 3.8 (26)
Goals: Andrew Azzopardi (3), Daniel Bushett (1), Elliot Bennetts (1)