Tuesday, 09 August 2022

Hove respond quickly to down Hawks women

HENLEY Hawks Women had to settle for a losing bonus point as they went down 17-12 at Hove on Sunday in a physical encounter.

The visitors kicked off and Hove gathered the ball allowing them to distribute to some big strong runners. Henley, defending well, forced Hove to chip the ball behind where Thompson recovered well under pressure but was driven into touch.

A blood replacement for Henley saw Moody off and Copley on. Good play by Henley allowed Barratt to break the line and with support either side she offloaded to Wheeler who got metres from the line. Henley worked well to stay in the 22m despite not having the ball, some solid tackling from Wilkie and Moody who was now back on the pitch.

Henley received a penalty which they opted to take quickly and received another for a high tackle, this time opting for the line out five meters from the line. Wysocki-Jones hit her target and the ball taken to the back of the maul and shipped out to Dudding who dummied back inside to get metres from the line.

Some strong runs from Matthews and Balmer kept the intensity up but the visitors couldn’t break the Hove defence.

A Hove lineout saw the ball layed out to their hooker to score the first try of the game after 20 minutes. From a scrum in the centre of the field Wheeler picked the ball up and offloaded to Dudding to grubber kick it through and it was chased by Davidson who was beaten to the ball but a penalty was awarded and taken quickly with Moody running the ball in to level the scores at 5-5.

Hove responded quickly from the restart and a few missed tackles from Henley allowed the hosts to score just before half time to make it 12-5.

In the second half the Hawks adapted well to a new game plan. Phase by phase Henley were building up the pitch as Hove struggled to gain possession. A crossfield kick from Dudding, chased by Humphreys putting pressure on the winger, forced her to knock it on.

Henley, with a full bench of replacements, started to bring on fresh legs — Timmins, Simpson, Wilkie, Barratt and Thompson making way for Krabbe, Ashman, Williams, Sealey and Craig.

Henley continued to work up the pitch and moving the ball to Moody whose good footwork saw her run in for the try to level the scores at 12-12.

Hove quickly responded with another try to make it 17-12 before Henley made the last of their substitutes with Dudding and Matthews making way for Copley and Davies.

Hove were awarded a penalty for a high tackle in front of the post but kicked wide.

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