Chris Sandow's presence was not enough to inspire the Hornets to a win in their All Stars curtain raiser on Thursday.
Chris Sandow's presence was not enough to inspire the Hornets to a win in their All Stars curtain raiser on Thursday. PAUL MILLER

Hornets falter against ferns

A CHRIS Sandow-led Cherbourg Hornets side failed to overcome a first-half slump in a 34-12 loss against Redfern All Blacks in an NRL All Stars curtain raiser match last week.

The Hornets - who have bested all comers in Queensland and were representing the state against their New South Wales counterparts - were stunned by their hosts in Newcastle prior to the Indigenous All Stars versus World All Stars exhibition match.

Redfern shot to a 24-0 lead shortly after half time before the Hornets could respond.

Despite a couple of inside the final 30 minutes, the Hornets left themselves too much work to do on the scoreboard, coming up short by 22 points.

The match received national media attention because of Sandow's return to the field, following a summer of uncertainty surrounding his playing career.

The former South Sydney and Parramatta star walked out on Super League side Warrington Wolves late last year, returning to Cherbourg to be with family.

He was fined $300 in Murgon Magistrates Court in January after being filmed brawling in Cherbourg on New Year's Day, before agreeing to a request to be a public voice against violence in his hometown.

The New Year's Day troubles cast doubt on a potential return to the NRL, with many pundits eyeing Thursday's clash as a final chance for Sandow to prove his worth to a side in need of a talented playmaker before the season starts next month.

In the showpiece event, the Indigenous All Stars proved too strong for their World counterparts running out 34-8 winners.