Having successfully despatched Leicester Lions last Saturday, Hornets take on Sedgley Park Tigers this week. Again, it could be make or break for both sides at this critical stage of the season. Tigers currently lie fourth in the division, nine points behind Hinckley but with a game in hand. Defeat for Tigers could end their promotion hopes for the season; a loss for Hornets may well see Sale, who visit struggling Sheffield this week, take over top spot with a game in hand.
Over recent years, Tigers have proved one of the Division’s most consistent performers. Last season, they finished fourth and in the last five seasons, they have not finished outside the top 4. They are undoubtedly a force to be reckoned with.
Hinckley’s defence against Leicester Lions was little short of magnificent, holding out for their second clean sheet of the season against a Club who had previously averaged 23 points per game. Arguably, Tigers present even more of a defensive challenge, however. They are the only team in the division who average more points per game than the Hornets (34 against 30.7) and have only failed to secure a try bonus point in 2 of their 16 games. When the Hornets visited Park Lane back in September they were outscored 7 tries to 4 in a comprehensive 45-29 defeat. Defensively, Hinckley have the edge, however, having conceded only 18.4 points per game against Tigers 25. If nothing else, it would seem we can expect an entertaining game.
Sedgley’s away form does suggest that Hornets will start as favourites. Whereas, like Hinckley, they have yet to lose at home this season, they have lost 5 games away from home, including 3 of their last 4. Last time out, they narrowly defeated South Leicester 26-21 at home in a match that proved to be tight throughout.
Last season, honours finished even with, surprisingly, both sides losing at home. Hinckley lost the early season fixture 33-21, but recorded 26-5 victory at Park Lane.
News from the dug-out is very positive for Hornets with the coaching team expecting to pick from a full squad. Joe Glover picked up a knock to the ribs against Lions but is expected to be available for selection.
Weather forecast is for a fine if cold afternoon. Kick-off is 3.00pm as usual. It promises to be a very entertaining game.
Updated 11:22 - 17 Jan 2018 by John Tilley