Making their debut at the Australian Institute of Sport, the Pirates faced some stinging opposition from the Hornets and not knowing exactly what to expect from their adversaries, the Pirates struggled to get into the game.
Allowing the Hornets to take an early eight point lead did not bode well for the league’s newcomers but then some sound perimeter shooting from Darren Jamieson put the Pirates on the board, demonstrating to the home side that the Pirates were not going to lay down without a fight.
Nerves still plagued the Pirates in the second quarter with offensive turnovers costing them defensively as the Hornets pushed the ball beyond the Pirates ability to get back and challenge the shot, their fitness levels still adjusting from the CMG style of play.
Towards the end of the half, the Pirates almost made up a twelve point deficit thanks to some steals and rebounds made by Jamieson, Dan Bray and Todd Gregory who then turned the game around with some more outside shots by Kell Dullihanty and Darren Jamieson threatening to thrust the Pirates into the lead for the first time. Yet a half-time three-point buzzer beater by the Hornets gave them some added motivation going into the third period.
Gaining in confidence, the Pirates may have relaxed a little too much in the second half as the Hornets maintained their fast tempo and punished the Pirates for their offensive errors and their inability to get to open shooters in their back court.
Taking their lead out by twelve points, the Hornets looked to be in control of the game and even as the Pirates could only muster some limited runs before allowing the Hornets to take the margin out even further.
In the end the Hornets were too strong for the Pirates, taking the game 55 points to 35 yet there were many positive signs for the scurvy sea dogs who will no doubt use this first game to gain some valuable experience and make some adjustments prior to the next meeting between these two teams.
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