Friday, 22 February 2019

Lacklustre Henley Hawks fall short on their travels

Lacklustre Henley Hawks fall short on their travels

HENLEY HAWKS slipped to fourth place in National Division 2 South last Saturday after going down 23-12 at Tonbridge Juddians with a performance that the visitors will want to forget in their quest for a play-off spot.

The lacklustre display from the Hawks was in direct contrast to the impressive performance against league leaders the Rams from the previous week.

Henley struggled to get a foothold in the game as they failed to retain possession and were on the wrong side of the referee’s whistle as numerous penalties were conceded. As a consequence, ex-Hawk Will Robinson had an accurate afternoon to punish Henley’s indiscretions.

The hosts opened up a 13 point lead after 20 minutes with two well taken penalties from Robinson and a conversion of a try that resulted from Henley’s lack of concentration.

The hosts were able to build multiple phases of direct running and eventually Henley simply ran out of numbers for the powerful Tonbridge Juddians centre to cross for a converted try once again from Robinson.

Henley then had their best spell of the first half when for once they retained possession and patience to send Randle in at the corner, with the conversion failing. This should have been the signal for Henley to push on as they have done many times this season but another penalty extended the hosts’ lead at the break.

The second half performance was much better as the visitors started to put together some forceful running with Hyde and Lunnon playing key roles. In addition Hall was introduced to the fray and made an immediate impact with some direct hard running. In addition Bradley was carrying hard and got through a mountain of work.

Eventually the pressure paid off and Griffiths was able to open up the defence and dive over for Giles to convert. With only a four point lead and a man in the sin bin this was Henley’s opportunity to go and win the game. However, shortly after this score a missed tackle saw the home side power their way over in the corner for Robinson to once again convert.

Henley still had time to chase the elusive points but the home sides defence held firm for a deserved win.

Henley Hawks: 1 Brad Cook, 2 Tom Emery, 3 Dave Manning, 4 Ross Parkin, 5 Dave Hyde, 6 Sam Lunnon, 7 Marcus Lowe, 8 Alex Bradley, 9 Leo Webb, 10 Roddy Giles, 11 Liam O’Neill, 12 Dan Barnes, 13 George Griffiths, 14 George Wood, 15 Sam Randal. Replacements: George Primett, Zak Clarke, Scott White, Tom Hall, Ryan O’Neill.

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