Saturday, 22 September 2018

Hawks Colts' strong defence helps side triumph on travels

HENLEY Hawks Colts continued their unbeaten league season with a hard-fought 21-7 victory at Beaconsfield on Sunday.

Henley applied pressure from the start and camped for some time in their hosts’ half before quick ball to fly-half Jamie Winch resulted in his running a switch move with James Rhodes who shrugged off several attempted tackles to score under the posts. Thereafter, both sides strove to gain the ascendancy with the Henley forwards, Ed Houghton, Will Thomsett, Morgan Zolkwer and Tom Priestley asserting themselves in their driving play.

Good line-out ball was won as hooker, Tom Grenfell, combined well with Benedict Madzar and Henley had the edge in the set scrums, securing the only tight-head. The backs also had their moments but the elusive centres, Henry Heath and Callum Brady, were tightly marked, whilst it was significant that Henley’s only defensive lapse on the left wing should lead to a Beaconsfield try on the stroke of half-time.

A 7-7 score-line at that stage reflected an uncompromising struggle in a game in which forwards Rhodes, Oscar James and Scott Carey proved adroit in heavy, sodden conditions. Moments after the resumption of play, Henley penetrated deep into Beaconsfield territory where Ben Venner charged down a kick to create a turnover that ultimately led to Henley finding a gaping hole in the Beaconsfield defence that created a good try by the hard-working Sam Williams.

It was an absorbing half in which Heath and Brady, well supported by the forwards, tackled and covered like men possessed and Beaconsfield were unable to add to their score despite playing downhill with the wind. Henley grew in stature and stamina as the game progressed, with Rhys Edwards producing swift counter-attacks from fullback which led to wings, Tom Purchase and Adam Porter, fully extending the Beaconsfield defence.

The final try came after a sweeping cross-field move was completed by a dashing Porter run down the right flank, with Winch kicking his third conversion in style from the touchline.

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