1st XV
Sat 18 Nov 2023  ·  National League 2 West
Hinckley Rugby Club
1st XV
Tries: B Pointon, R Vowles, J Dutton, E Drake - LeeConversions: R VowlesPenalties: R Vowles (3)Yellow Carded: S Harvey, M Lamb, A Salt
Redruth unable to handle masterful Hornets

Redruth unable to handle masterful Hornets

Nick Robinson19 Nov 2023 - 20:57
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Hinckley 31 Redruth 7

Hinckley’s Jekyll and Hyde season continues. After the disappointment of a mediocre draw last week against Hornets, Hinckley entertained Redruth who came into the game off a run of three impressive wins that had carried them into sixth place. On a miserable dank afternoon an old-fashioned forward slog on a heavy pitch was expected between two teams with a reputation for forward power. Instead, Hornets put on a rugby master class dominating their much-vaunted opponents in almost every area of the pitch. It was arguably Hinckley’s best performance of the season and saw them leapfrog the visitors into sixth place. Such was their dominance that Redruth were unable to cross the Hinckley line (their only score coming from a late penalty try) and Hornets were able to score their final bonus point try with only twelve men on the field to the delight of the home support. There is little question that, if they could reproduce performances like this on a regular basis, they would be riding high in the division.

To be fair to Redruth, they showed glimpses of class stretching the Hinckley defence on a number of occasions but they were badly handicapped by a malfunctioning line-out where Hinckley were able to steal possession almost at will, and by a reluctance to take points on offer from penalty kicks, preferring to go for tries. That should not though take away from what was an outstanding Hinckley performance.

It was no surprise therefore that, in contrast to last week, DOR Chris Campbell was purring after the game, while recognising the lack of consistency that has characterised Hinckley’s campaign to date. ‘That is the first time this season I feel we have shown our true potential across 80 minutes. It was very exciting. In wet and heavy conditions, the half backs managed the game very well and we played superbly to our game plan.’

‘Even though we suffered at the hands of the referee with three yellows at the end, to only concede the one penalty try was outstanding, and to then go straight back down the other end and get the bonus point try with just 12 men was fantastic. But we must back this up next week. It’s all well and good doing it once. We have to do it week in, week out.’

The first quarter was pretty much the anticipated ‘blood and thunder’ encounter with some brutal exchanges as both teams sought to assert their authority but with little in the way of points.

Hornets did take the lead from a 35m Rory Vowles penalty after nine minutes but it was not until the quarter was coming to the end that Hinckley scored their first try. Callum Dacey put in a delightful grubber kick from halfway and when the Redruth defence fumbled close to the line, Mitch Lamb was there to pounce on the ball and off-load to Jamie Dutton for the try. Vowles converted to give Hinckley a 10-0 lead.

Vowles extended the lead with a second penalty a couple of minutes later after an overthrown Redruth line-out just outside their 22m had been collected by new signing Aston Gradwick-Light who drove to 15m out and Redruth were penalised for not releasing.

Thirteen became eighteen on the half hour. Callum Rowe set up a Hinckley line-out on the Redruth 5m line. The drive was set up but held and the ball first went left then back for Ed Drake-Lee to go over in the corner. Vowles couldn’t convert the it stayed at 18-0 until the break.

Redruth declined an opportunity to register their first points in the first few minutes of the second period when Hinckley were penalised 10m out in front of their own posts. Redruth opted to scrum both the first and then a subsequent penalty but Hornets held out and cleared their lines with a penalty of their own.

Vowles added another three points ten minutes in from the Redruth 22m line in front of the posts and things were looking bleak for the Cornishmen.

Hornets’ third try arrived after 56 minutes. A deft kick from Vowles deep inside his own half was collected by the Redruth cover but Drake-Lee’s harassing forced the Redruth defender into a rash attempt to keep the ball in play. Mitch Lamb collected the loose ball and Vowles was on hand to run the ball in for the try.

Redruth were not rolling over yet though and Hornets found themselves under severe pressure in their own 22m for what seemed a good ten minutes. Desperate defence led to cards for Steve Harvey, Mitch Lamb, and Alex Salt in quick succession but Redruth simply could not breach the Hinckley line. Eventually, with Hornets only seven in the pack and facing yet another penalty scrum, they did crack and when the front row stood up, the referee went under the posts. It almost seemed like blessed relief!

It seemed even more so a couple of minutes later. A high kick from Dacey from just outside his own 22m was dropped by the Redruth defender and a few phases later, Ben Pointon with a typical sniping run from the base of a ruck went over for the bonus point try.

That was pretty well the end of the business and when the referee blew for time it was a dejected Redruth team who left the field.

Nick Robinson

Match details

Match date

Sat 18 Nov 2023




National League 2 West

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