Tuesday, 09 August 2022

Forwards dominate in Hawks friendly win

HENLEY HAWKS travelled to Cardiff last Saturday in the next phase of their pre-season preparations and produced an emphatic win against a dogged student team.

Cardiff Metropolitan University, formally UWIC and Cardiff College, have a strong reputation for producing quality players many of whom go on to international honours.

Henley had the kind of start that they were looking for as they scored twice in under five minutes to take a 14-0 lead. The first score came from a good set piece and relentless driving from the forwards to create space for Ryan O’Neill to step his opposite number and put in an offload for Sam Randle to score under the posts. Joe Butler added the extras.

From the kick-off, taken by Jake Albon, the visitors attacked again and quality line-out ball enabled Tom Hall to break the line with the ball being recycled to Robinson who scored wide out, once again Butler adding the extras.

Such was the dominance of the Henley forwards that the pressure was to show again and this enabled Lowe to score a try on 15 minutes after slick inter-passing and then some incessant forward driving enabled Mason to score his debut try for the club and seal a good all-round performance. Butler again converted well.

The set piece was working well and this provided the platform to attack but some early season errors crept into the game with lost ball and more handling errors. The visitors did show good resilience to thwart any danger from the pacey college backs with some ferocious defence at times.

On the stroke of half-time Butler put Robinson on another strong run to the corner with the winger outpacing the opposition to score his second try. The second half, playing into a strong wind, became a scrappy affair as both sides rang the changes to enable their full squads’ vital game time. This enabled the students to run in two breakaway tries to reduce the arrears. Henley were not without their fair share of chances as some of the younger players staked their claim for starting places.

This pressure saw Scott White crashing over wide out with young Pieterson adding a conversion to take the final score to 40 points to 14.

This was a good performance by Henley who used their squad of 28 players to good effect.

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