HOSTS Henley Hawks Colts progressed to round five of the National Colts Plate on Sunday with a 35-7 victory over
HOSTS Henley Hawks Colts progressed to round five of the National Colts Plate on Sunday with a 35-7 victory over Weston-super-Mare.
In the early exchanges the teams appeared well matched, Weston using big back row players to punch holes in the Henley defence.
After some initial play in the Henley half, the ball was moved quickly into the Weston 22, for Ross Gilbert, starting in the back row, to dive over for the opening score after three minutes.
Winger Jack Antoniou set off on an audacious 40-metre run with the Weston players unable to tackle him until he was almost over the line.
Shortly after, following a scrum won against the head, the ball was moved to the far corner for John Clarke to score his first try of the season.
Gradually the Henley forwards began to gain ascendancy, pushing the Weston pack backwards in the scrum, and fiercely contesting the breakdowns, with Peter Browning and Josh Beech tidying up all loose ball, and scrum half Ryan Lee moving the ball quickly away from the rucks.
The third try of the half appeared to be fortunate, with a ball knocked on before being swiftly passed to the wing for Sam Grindey to touch down, leaving a half time score of 15-0.
The second-half saw Henley playing into a biting wind but further pressure led to a penalty kicked by centre Danny Hawkins.
With the Henley backs and back row forwards employing aggressive defence Weston’s players made more mistakes and from a lost ball Hawkins pounced to run in unopposed and convert his own try. Weston staged an attack in the Henley 22 and with a couple of penalties tapped for a large forward to burst through to bring the score to 25-7.
Flanker Josh Beech, playing first at seven and then eight, became more dominant in the loose and ran several times from the base of the scrum with great effect.
The Henley backs of Antoniou, Gibbs, Steiger, Borg and Somers tackled so aggressively defence was turned into turned over ball several times.
Henley attacked with a run by Browning who off-loaded to second row Tom Bartlett to score, who from the restart caught and ran some distance evading tiring Weston players, and soon after prop Ed Capstick finished a fine run with a pass to Hawkins for the final score of the match.
The match ended with Henley having 13 players on the pitch due to two yellow cards being issued but the defence held out valiantly to secure their side a place in the next round.