Sunday, 21 January 2018
THE RAF Hawks engineered a victory in the dying seconds under the lights at Dry Leas on Wednesday of last week.
Much of the first 15 minutes of the game was spent in the RAF half with the Bulls applying plenty of pressure through their hard running forwards and early dominance of the set-piece scrum as the RAF struggled to get a foothold in the game.
Lock Tyler Wint secured a line-out 10 metres out and scrum half Luke Huwlins ensured quick delivery to a back-line where centres Nico Petros and Sam Portland were making sizeable dents in the RAF defence. Luke Govier benefited from their penetrative running to score wide on the right flank.
From the restart the RAF enjoyed their first territorial gain but turned the ball over due to the pressure of the Bulls defence but as the Bulls attacked from just inside their own half a miss-pass from Antony Fitch was keenly intercepted by the RAF hawks wing who raced in unchallenged under the posts. They succeeded with the conversion to lead 7-5.
The Bulls’ ill-discipline at the breakdown and poor interpretation of the off-side lines cost them dearly and the RAF capitalised with a penalty to stretch the lead.
Soon back in control of the set-piece the Bulls again pressed for a second and Liam Trinder won a line-out and set a driving maul which saw Charlie Sichel steer his way over for a try to bring the scores level as they failed to add the conversion.
The score at the break was 10-10 with the Bulls looking the more dangerous of the sides but discipline again let them down early in the second half which again the RAF punished with six points from the tee in 10 minutes to restore their lead.
The Bulls back line responded with 20 minutes remaining as Antony Fitch scythed his way through the RAF defence to score close to the posts which made Toby Howe’s conversion easier to put the hosts 17-16 ahead.
The Bulls continued on the front foot with Scott White and Jimmy Wright leading the charge that led them close to the RAF line where Wright picked up and darted over for his 10th try of the season to put the Bulls 22-16 ahead after How failed with the kick.
The RAF benefited yet again from the Bulls’ inability to avoid the wrath of the referee and with 10 minutes remaining they landed a third penalty to narrow the gap to 22-19.
With less than a minute of play remaining the Bulls pressed for territory but the RAF forced a mistake from a wide ruck that was hacked through into the Bulls 22 and eventually put into touch to relieve the immediate pressure. From the resulting line-out the RAF set a driving maul that the Bulls failed to repel and scored with seconds remaining to take the spoils.
Henley Bulls: Elliot Wigmore, Charlie Sichel, Lou Morgan, Callum Large, Callum Cooke, Zaki Chamnaoui, Tyler Wint, Brad Harewood, Adam Cambridge, Liam Trinder, Josh Collis, Jimmy Wright, Scott White, George Lane, Luke Huwlins, Antony Fitch, Toby Howe, Nico Petros, Sam Portland, Sam Quelch, Oli Portch, Ash Hayden, Luke Govier.
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