The Herston Hatchets were beaten 3-0 by Warriors RFC last Friday night. Although the Hatchets worked hard, they simply couldn’t compete with the intensity in the forward pack by the Warriors. The result allowed Warriors to leapfrog the Hatchets into second place on the Queensland Independent Rugby League table.
Herston was coming into the game in need of a win, after a disappointing draw with Annerley the previous week. But they would have to do it without two of their star players – Nick and Trey, who are the top and second-top try scorers for the season to date, were both missing through injury. Studious gloveman Alex was also out, with understudy Niv stepping in to fill the gap.
It was clear from the opening kick that this wasn’t going to be an easy game for the Hatchets. The small pitch and muddy terrain at Rocklea Croatian Club prevented them from playing the slick brand of running rugby for which they have become known this year, and favoured the long-kicking game of their opponents. The older, stockier, more experienced, and in general grubbier Warriors also did their best to reduce their game to a scrappy contest, with the referee having his work cut out for him from the opening minute to keep up with their antics.
Although the game was tight early, a few good sets of five gave the Warriors strong field position, and they took full advantage. Their hooker found some space off the back of a scrum, and was able to run in to score. Despite a claim of forward pass being sent up to the video ref, the try was eventually awarded to make it 1-0.
The Hatchets’ best chance to equalise in the first half came when they were awarded a short-arm penalty almost on the opposition try line, electing to take the tap, but strong scrambling defence from the Warriors preserved their 1-0 lead going into half time.
At the break, Hatchets coach Wayne Bennett emphasised the importance of a direct game if the boys were going to get back into the match. “We have got to make those hit-ups count”, he said, gesturing wildly towards the 22.
But although Herston tried valiantly in the second half, it was not to be. Warriors extended their lead to 3-0 by the 70th minute, after a couple of lucky chip and chase moves. More and more frustration crept into the game from both sides as the match, which has been likened to ’22 pigs rolling in mud’ by enigmatic full-back Tom K, continued. Perhaps a fair comment, Tom, but I think we would all agree that some of those pigs were more piggy than others.
The referee struggled to maintain control of the game, with many players unable to take him seriously due to his bright pink shirt. He was forced to give five yellow cards and two red cards, all to the Warriors. Interestingly, this is a club record for the most cards given out in a Hatchets game ever, and they were all given to one team (you’ll thank me for that statistic at the next Herston Hatchets trivia night).
The match finished 3-0. A disappointing outing for the lads from UQ Med indeed. They will be hoping to bounce back quickly with a win against traditional rivals QUT FC this Friday night. They are also hoping to return to playing football.
By Simon (Wayne) B
The Hatchets play QUT this Friday night at Jack Speare Park, Taringa. Tickets are still available, and include entry to the mid season vote count which will follow the game.