Saturday, 19 June 2021

Henley College on the up

HENLEY COLLEGE may have narrowly missed out on a top three finish in the RFU AASE

HENLEY COLLEGE may have narrowly missed out on a top three finish in the RFU AASE League, but Academy manager Jack Wiggins believes the side are only going to improve as the competition progresses.

Wiggins took charge of Henley just two weeks before the season started after returning to the country from New Zealand, where he was the director of rugby at Hastings Boys’ High School and Hawkes Bay ITM Cup development coach.

Henley College have got better by the week and that was evident during the 15-12 win over third-placed SGS Filton on Wednesday of last week. Henley took the lead when Spanish centre Nico Petros broke the line following a set piece move and hooker Sam Clarkson went over from close range. Outside centre Caleb Sheppard then went under the posts before Filton reduced the deficit to 12-7 before half-time through a score by Ezra Cavan. The visitors pulled it level with another score through Jack Gibson before Petros kicked the deciding penalty.

Wiggins said: “It was pleasing to beat a side in the top three but it was also frustrating because it just highlighted how we haven’t been putting it all together over the 80 minutes during the rest of the season.

“Against St Paul’s we were 17-0 up before losing 28-25 and against Ivybridge we were 14-0 up and drew 17-17, so it was pleasing this week to play for the full 80 minutes.

“We want to have a good go at finishing fourth now. We have the chance to have another crack at Truro, who we lost to by just two points, and Ivybridge so we are really looking forward to the next stage of the season.

“The longer we are together, the more we are improving week-on-week and it is showing in our performances. We are getting better and better.”

• The Henley College and Wasps AASE Rugby programme offers talented young players the opportunity to combine professional training alongside their academic studies. A proven pathway to professional rugby, university or the work place the Henley College AASE programme is now recruiting for the 2016/17 academic year. Anyone interested in this unique opportunity is invited to attend the academy open morning at Rotherfield Campus sports hall at 10am on Saturday, November 7.

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