Friday, 22 February 2019

Relegation fight goes down to wire

Relegation fight goes down to wire

HOSTS Henley Hawks Women went down to a narrow Championship South defeat against Blackheath Women on Sunday.

The game started well with the Hawks leading the physicality with hard runs from Collins and Henderson while Wheeler was counter rucking and winning ball.

The forwards were strong upfront and providing the backs with a good platform to run with good moves from Baker on the wing and Moody stretching her legs from fullback but the Blackheath defence was well organised.

Blackheath were dominating and sending Henley backwards and the home side’s Davies had to leave the pitch after 12 minutes due to a knee injury to be replaced by Tavinor. The Hawks were dominating in the line-out and Wheeler was able to steal a couple to put Henley on the front foot.

Henley were camped in the opposition half but could not find a way through. Blackheath won the ball at scrum time and shifted it wide for their outside centre to find a way through the Henley defence. Moody, doing all she could to chase down, caught the Blackheath player who was able to offload out of the tackle to give what appeared to be a forward pass to the support player to cross the line. The referee awarded the try but the conversion was missed.

From the re-start the Hawks kicked deep and applied the pressure again in the Blackheath 22. Good phases of rugby were being played but the Blackheath defence were too strong.

The second half saw Henley come out fighting and again the Hawks pinned the opponents deep in their half. A penalty for offside allowed quick thinking from Davidson to tap and go and apply tempo. The forwards worked hard to make ground with carries from Wysocki-Jones and Matthews.

The Hawks were switching play from left to right for eventually quick hands down the line to Moody to finish off in the corner levelled the scores as the conversion was missed.

The result stayed the same for the majority of the second half. Henley had much ball but the tempo disappeared. Blackheath found themselves attacking the home sides line but the Hawks were relentless and did not allow them to cross the line.

The Hawks managed to turn the ball over and force play up to half way again but scrum after scrum the home side’s forwards were doing all they could to hold it. Blackheath were again attacking the try line and the Hawks luck finally run out as a penalty conceded right in front of the posts with just minutes to go was scored to make it 8-5 to the visitors.

The Hawks have two games left this season to try to secure their status in the league with the final match against Abbey Nuns at Dry Leas.

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