Wednesday, 21 March 2018

Powerful scrum helps Thurrock take Dry Leas honours

HENLEY Hawks Women suffered their first home defeat of the season against a strong Thurrock Ladies side on Sunday.

Within the first 10 minutes it was clear that this would be a brutal game, with fierce contact in the ruck.

Thurrock put the pressure on Henley in the 22 and eventually forced a scrum, where a boot from Hearne cleared the line but Thurrock worked it back quickly.

Pressure in the D by Solowin and Collins forced a Thurrock knock-on and gave Henley the scrum but the visitors powered over the line to score an unconverted try.

After errors in the Thurrock 22 Henley won a penalty which Hearn scored from to reduce the arrears to 3-5. After the restart Thurrock did not let up as quick hands and feet led to a further try for the visitors, running around the edge of the Henley defence.

After a Thurrock knock-on Henley won a scrum but the game was halted by a visiting player’s injury. Henley maintained the pressure and were determined to stay camped in the Thurrock half with runs from Copley and Wheeler. Another knock-on saw a Henley scrum with the Hawks pushing Thurrock into their 22. Repeated offsides from Thurrock saw the match official isssue the visitors a yellow card and reduce them to 14 players. Henley won the next line-out but a solid defence by Thurrock saw the Henley attack pushed into touch. After winning the line-out, Thurrock kept possession for the remainder of the half, with big hits from Wysocki-Jones, Matthews and Dudding keeping them from the try line.

Both teams came out fighting in the second half with Thurrock taking possession. After a penalty to Henley for not rolling away, Copley and Solowin were replaced for Wilkie and Williams on the wing. A big hit by Wilkie pushed Thurrock back before a Thurrock knock-on gave Henley the scrum with work from Davidson to secure, Hearn and Dudding produced a good run. Soon after Ashman replaced Simpson. As both teams put their bodies on the line Hearn picked up an injury and was replaced by Humphries.

The Hawks lost focus after the break in play and as the tiring game went on Thurrock had the opportunity to capitalise and get it over the line.

Henley hit back with big hits by Thompson, Matthews and Barrett keeping Thurrock at bay. Henley gained back the ball and Craig made a huge run but Thurrock had the momentum and scored once more in the corner before Timmins and Sealey came on for Wheeler and Collins.

Soon after a Thurrock scrum led to them scoring out wide once more in the final play of the game.

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