Friday, 23 February 2018
HOSTS Henley Hawks Women remain unbeaten at Dry Leas after defeating Hove Ladies 12-0 last Sunday.
Early pressure came from Hove who kicked but retained possession. The visitors sent wave after wave of attack at Henley but the Hawks defence was solid, keeping Hove outside the 22. Increased pressure from Henley coupled with wet conditions saw numerous knock-ons and an attacking scrum to the Hawks.
Pressure from the heavier Hove scrum challenged the Hawks defence but they remained impenetrable with strong tackles from Wysocki-Jones, Mathews and Balmer. A quick turn-over and hands out the back of the ruck gave Hawks number 15 Hearn the chance to kick for ground.
Using multiple lines of attack Henley worked their way up the pitch with strong forward runs from Mathews and Collins. Close to their line, the pressure was causing Hove to give away penalties and quick thinking by Davis saw an instinctive tap and go find its way to Nash who scored an unconverted try out wide.
Henley let Hove off after the restart with knocks-on and penalties allowing them to stay out away from their own try line. However, better consistency at the scrum gave a platform for the backs to make ground and the ball began to stay with Henley for longer periods.
Hove’s desire to slow the game down stopped the Hawks from getting into their rhythm but penalties allowed the Hawks to kick for territory and into the attacking 22. A successful line-out saw a powerful driving maul which ended disappointingly with a knock-on over the line.
Determined to come away with points Henley restructured and a hard line from Solowin saw her break tackles to reach for the line. The conversion was successful by Humphries.
Hove tried to come out fighting in the second half but the Henley defence remained unmoved despite the forceable size of the opposition.
This proved to be a frustrating half of rugby as Henley had the majority of the ball but struggled to convert their opportunities.
Wheeler came within a metre of the line from the back of a scrum and a few phases later Mathews crossed the whitewash but was deemed held-up in the opinion of the referee.
Dudding and Hearn kept the play moving forward and kicked well with strong chases from Humphries, Thompson and Wilkie.
Ashman and Krabbe made impact off the bench with offensive tackles and solid handling. Hove couldn’t get out of their 22, and even though they kicked penalties to touch, Wheeler disrupted and stole their line-outs.
It seemed without any pressure against them, the Hawks couldn’t raise their game to find the tries for a bonus point as the score remained 12-0 as Henley secured their first home win against Hove.
05 February 2018
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