Friday, 19 August 2022

Superior fitness sees Hawks finish on top

IN a hastily arranged pre-season match Henley Hawks played Amersham who were promoted to National League

IN a hastily arranged pre-season match Henley Hawks played Amersham who were promoted to National League 3 last term.

The Hawks were put on the back foot from the start of the game by a terrier-like performance by a well organised side.

From the kick-off they established themselves in the Hawks 25 and put their line under intense pressure and their forwards scored a converted try.

Ten minutes later after again keeping the Hawks penned in their own 25 they showed some good handling before crossing for a second converted try to lead 14-0.

It took a stunned Hawks side 20 minutes to build up any pressure in the visitors’ half and they gradually made their way into their opponent’s half through their forwards holding sway in the set scrums.

From this beginning they put in a well controlled driving maul to touch down close to touch. This was converted by Hawks’ scrum-half George Jackson to make the score 14-5. But as half-time approached the forwards engineered a second try.

The Hawks took a grip of the game after the re-start and began to dominate territory by keeping possession and use their back line to good effect under the leadership of fly-half Joe Butler. This managed to get their strong running wings, Steffan Jones and Dynel Fessal into the game.

As Amersham began to tire the Hawks took the lead and they spread the ball across from left to right and were able to put Alan Awcock clear for a conversion by Jackson. Butler made the score 26-14 when he hacked through a loose ball to score under the posts which Jackson again converted.

The third try of the half came as the game finished when again another sweeping movement, this time from right to left to put Fessal clear but he off-loaded, close to the corner flag, to James Comben, up from fullback, to touch down making the score 31-14 to the Hawks.

After an indifferent start the pre-season emphasis on fitness and stamina was the major reason for the Hawks finishing the game as winners.

1 Jim Hadfield, 2 Tom Emery, 3 George Primett, 4 Dave Clements, 5 David Hyde, 6 Tommy Haynes, 7 Tom Hall, 8 Julian Watkins, 9 George Jackson, 10 James Comben, 11 Dynel Fessal, 12 Joe Butler, 13 Louis Flynn, 14 Steffan Jones, 15 Alan Awcock. Replacements: 16 Connor Morrison, 17 Jamie Cox, 18 Jake Albon, 19 Charlie Davey, 20 George Lane, 21 Scott White, 22 Simon Perry, 23 James Stephenson-Wright.

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