Saturday, 13 August 2022

Hawks show clinical touch in final warm-up game

HENLEY HAWKS completed their pre season fixtures on Thursday last week when they entertained the Ealing Trailfinders Academy at Dry Leas.

It was a good run out for the Hawks squad against a youthful and committed Ealing but the visitors were not the force that Ampthill were last week and the Hawks were able to find some continuity in their play, running in four tries in the first half.

The star of the show of the first period was scrum half Connor Murphy. He dictated events with his tactical kicking but the outstanding feature of his performance was the speed of his pass away from the breakdown allowing the Hawks backs to show their skills.

The early exchanges were played at a great pace with full commitment from both sides but it was the Hawks who opened the scoring with a try from wing forward Jordan Scott. He finished off a good move involving both Henley props, Dave Manning and Ian Stock. Connor Murphy converted.

The Hawks dominated the game and put the visitors under immense pressure with some good forward driving and handling which culminated in a pushover try. Again Murphy converted.

The London side defended bravely and when they got the ball it was often in their own 22 but the pressure led to a series of mistakes allowing the Hawks to add two further tries before half-time. Scott got his second after a series of forward drives, and then outside half Joe Butler made a decisive break and fed Dave Hyde who scampered over. Murphy converted both to give the Hawks a 28-0 lead at the break.

Both sides made changes for the second period and it was the visitors who scored first. Ealing, who had a side full of promising youngsters looked dangerous as they took the attack to the Hawks and their centre Yun Shun Luk cut through some weak home defence to score. Ciaran Poynter converted.

Henley gathered themselves quickly and Butler took a quick penalty and was caught just short of the Ealing posts. A try seemed certain but the ball was spilled.

Both sides then showed their attacking intentions as the play went from end to end and prop Ian Stock eventually drove over for Henley’s fifth try. George Jackson converted. Ealing replied with a well worked try from Rugely which again Poynter converted.

Henley’s Number eight, Matt Tibbatts, completed the scoring with a try that Jackson converted.

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