Henley Standard Property
HOME

Date:

Order your copy Advertise with us! HENLEY PAGES
Delivering the news from Henley on Thames and South Oxfordshire for over 100 years
  News     Sport    Celebrity   What's On Regulars Community Info Henley Standard TV Lifestyle Property Jobs Classifieds Gallery Trade
                               Follow us    Follow us    Newsfeed Search the Henley Standard  
Coach focuses on cutting out errors in push for promotion
Published 31/12/12



HENLEY Hawks boss Nigel Dudding remains confident his side can secure promotion this season despite a pre-Christmas downturn in form.

The Dry Leas outfit were quick out of the starting blocks by winning their first nine games in National Division 2 South.

However, their title challenge took a knock after they lost three out of their last five games, including defeats to promotion rivals Worthing and Redruth and a surprise loss to Dings Crusaders.

Last Saturday’s away match at Lydney was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch.

Head coach Dudding said he was disappointed with the Crusaders loss but insisted his focus had not changed.


He said: “There’s only two points separating the top four, which you could say is half a game’s worth.

“We’re in a better position than we were this time last year. Whilst we’re only fourth, we’re still very much in the hunt.” A breakaway group is currently forming the top four but Dudding believes it will become a three-horse race as Redruth fall away, citing their poor away form.

Despite recent setbacks, the Hawks maintained their 100 per cent home record with a 22-20 win against Hartpury College earlier this month.

At the beginning of the season, Dudding highlighted the Gloucestershire outfit as the key threat to his team’s promotion hopes this season.

He also set his side a target of being more consistent against inferior opposition.

Dudding said: “In the past few weeks, we’ve played three of the top four sides. We did well against Hartpury but not against Redruth and Worthing.

“Hartpury were pressing hard and hadn’t been beaten away from home all season but we were the first side to do that.

“Dings Crusaders was a big blow because of the way it was against a much lower side. It was a bit of a disappointment considering we were in control of the game.

“We had the right game plan and just made too many mistakes. It was handling errors that cost us.

“We made a mistake down there last year. It’s one of the difficult grounds to play at but we’re not making excuses.”

However, Dudding, who took charge of the Hawks in the summer after a previous spell in charge, believes his side is more resilient than the one that finished fifth last season.

He said: “We’re determined to put it right. I still maintain we’ve got a stronger squad but it’s made the job more difficult.

“If it means we’re going to have to rise to the challenge then so be it. It’s going to be tighter than we perhaps expected.

“We always think we’re the best side in the league but we’re mindful we can’t be overconfident and must respect every side we come up against.”

Henley were dealt a significant blow when Jack Shaylor damaged an anterior cruciate ligament against the Crusaders, side-lining him for the rest of the season.

Dudding said: “He’s been playing number nine and is a major part of the squad. We’ve had one or two niggling injuries that are bound to happen but we’re been reasonably fortunate until now.

“But if you are a side looking for promotion you’ve got to be able to handle it and we can.

“We’ve got a break over Christmas and our next game is at home to Southend, by which time we hope our longer-term injuries will have cleared up.”

The Hawks remain the top point scorers in the league this season with 588 points but Dudding believes this may be clouded by their early season achievements, in which they recorded score lines such as a 71-7 thrashing over Clifton. He said: “This season has been about developing an all-round game where we can attack from anywhere and one that we hope can be adaptable to all sorts of situations.

“We have a desire to make sure we play and keep the ball and want to develop a game based on high continuity.

“Whilst we’ve got the best attacking record this is mainly because of our early season performances where we were beating everyone by huge score lines. Since we’ve come up against tougher sides we’ve needed to adapt better.”

Dudding said cutting out the type of errors that were on display against the Crusaders is now a priority as his side prepares to enter the second half of the campaign.

“Turnovers have been killing us for a few weeks now and we need to stop them as well as tighten up the scrums. We need to make sure we can perform against the better sides.”

Should Henley secure promotion, Dudding said he has no doubt his team will be a match for any side in National Division 1. “We would have to strengthen certain areas but we’ve always said with this lot we’re trying to put together a National Division 1 side.

“We’ve got to prove that first of all but there’s no doubt we’ve got the players to cope with that.”

Published 31/12/12


 
MOST POPULAR
John Taylor of Duran Duran supports Henley charity
Lawyer jailed for tax fraud
Martin Clunes films new series in Nettlebed
12,000 worth of stock stolen in burglary
Duke Street roadworks could take a fortnight
High winds cause road closures
Christmas shopping? Think Local!
Supermarket applies to take 24 hour deliveries
LATEST SPORTS HEADLINES
Hawks make it eight out of eight
Missed chances prove costly for Hambleden
Peppard lift silverware at league’s awards
Mixed fortunes for academy at TV tournaments
Rotherfield Rebels move up table
Atkinson hat-trick leads to comfortable win
Little gets GB nod
Senior side has edge
Fifth spot for hosts
Goring off the mark
Visitors have no answer
Irish put to the sword
Latest Video View more from   Henley Standard TV
ADVERTISE WITH US
LATEST NEWS HEADLINES
Campaigners demand resignations as roadworks continue
'Wilful neglect' arrests at care home
Good news! Roadworks completed early
Henley is a 'gold waiting to happen'
Christmas shopping? Think Local!
Top Videos
 
Most Popular
 
 
 
 
Higgs Group
HIGGS GROUP
Tel: 01491 419400
www.higgsgroup.co.uk
HENLEY PAGES
Tel: 01491 419419
www.henleypages.com
HIGGS PRINTING & DESIGN
Tel: 01491 419429
www.higgsprinting.co.uk
HIGGS OFFICE SUPPLIES
Tel: 01491 419499
www.higgsofficesupplies.co.uk
HENLEY LIFE MAGAZINE
Tel: 01491 419449
www.henleylife.co.uk
HIGGS GROUP, Caxton House, 1 Station Road, Henley on Thames, Oxfordshire, RG9 1AD.

Cookie Policy | Copyright and Terms | Competition Rules | Contact Us | Advertise with us | Site Map
© Higgs & Co (Printers) Limited 2013  |  Registered in England number 1418717