Sunday, 29 November 2020

Jackson penalty earns side a point from away defeat

HENLEY HAWKS lost out at Cinderford on Saturday despite leading at the interval.

HENLEY HAWKS lost out at Cinderford on Saturday despite leading at the interval.

In damp conditions they held sway in the first half leading narrowly 13-10 at the break but they could not sustain this in the second half conceding three tries in the last 20 minutes.

The visitors quickly took the lead with a penalty from the boot of leading scorer scrum-half George Jackson after three minutes. Cinderford fly-half James Moffatt quickly responded with a similar effort three minutes later.

The Hawks had difficulty in keeping possession due to a lack of understanding of referee Robert Bourke’s interpretation of the laws as they conceded nine penalties in the first 40 minutes. The home side favoured better giving away just three.

Nevertheless, the Hawks had the better of exchanges with their backs moving the ball to keep the home side on the back foot although the visitors had difficulty to break the line despite the best efforts of Joe Butler. When they captured a line-out the experienced prop Brad Cook was able to force his way over for a try at the second attempt. This was converted with a fine kick from near to touch by Jackson.

The Hawks were not able to build on their lead of 10-3 as immediately skipper Dave Clements was given a yellow card for a high tackle.

It was Cinderford who then took the initiative and using the pressure asserted with the extra man created a try for winger Harry Robinson who collected an inside pass from Moffatt and touched down after being held up. The fly-half levelled the scores at 10-10.

The Hawks struck back thanks again to the boot of Jackson who gave them the lead with a penalty from in front of the posts.

The ding-dong nature of the game continued for Moffatt was on target with a penalty to level the scores at 13-13 after 45 minutes. It was then that the Hawks looked to have rocked the home side back with the best created try of the game. Right wing Xavier Andre put in a scalding run starting in the Hawks half which completely left the Cinderford cover stranded which took him to their posts where Jackson was in hand to take the scoring pass to make the conversion a formality.

Soon after the Hawks’ fullback Liam O’Neill started a run out of defence and followed up a steepling kick but put in a head-high tackle on his opposite number Eamonn Rees after he put a clearance kick away which resulted in the penalty for the offence in the Hawks’ 22.

From this situation the hosts put in a good handling movement which took them to the Hawks’ posts where replacement prop Ciaran Knight forced his way over for a try which with another conversion by Moffatt equalised the score at 20-20.

Cinderford were now full of confidence and had a will to win which the Hawks seemed to have lost. Both sides then had a player each sin binned with home captain George Porter dismissed with Hawks’ replacement prop Zaki Chamnaui. This meant the introduction of non-competitive scrums which was to the advantage of Cinderford as they had the put in and were able to put Robinson over for his second try and fellow wing Alex Frame for the ultimate try, both unconverted and both scored as a result of ineffective tackling. The scoring was concluded by Jackson whose third penalty after 77 minutes from 40 metres gave the Hawks a little dignity securing them a bonus point.

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