Wednesday, 16 October 2019

Trojans turn up heat as visitors slip to first championship defeat of season

Trojans turn up heat as visitors slip to first championship defeat of season

HENLEY Hawks Women went down to a disappointing defeat in their Championship South 1 clash at Trojans on Sunday.

With the match being played out in warm conditions, both teams were feeling the effects of the heat and regular water breaks were essential.

The home side scored their first two tries in quick succession as their powerful ball carriers punctured the Henley defence.

With the Hawks trailing by 14 points within the first 10 minutes the visitors hit back with renewed vigour.

Trojans kept the majority of possession for the remaining 30 minutes of the first half but were unable to get further points on the board as the Hawks dug their heels in and pushed their opponents back multiple times.

When given the opportunity, Henley had intermittent periods of ball, showing a real threat on the outer edges from the likes of Jemma Thripp but struggled to retain depth and therefore possession was
passed forwards. The second half saw further line breaks from Trojans and good link
play resulted in them
crossing the whitewash yet again for an unconverted try to lead 19-0.

Not allowing their heads to drop, Henley gained possession and were able to make their way up the field. Good carries from the likes of Ellis Collins, Katy Wysocki-Jones and speed from Laura Wilkie took Henley forward, although poor organisation and decision making with the ball saw opportunities wasted.

Henley made Trojans work hard for their final two tries, and no more breaks were made through the centre of the pitch. The home side were able to take advantage of their rapid wingers and Henley’s lack of field coverage and crossed the line in quick succession at the edges of the pitch.

For the Hawks the coach’s player of the match was Ellis Collins and players’ player Nina Webb.

Speaking after the game Henley head coach Joe Harwood said: “We gifted the opposition two early tries and at any level of rugby, if you gift the opposition easy tries, you’re going to struggle. We were poor for large parts of the game and Trojans deserved the win.

“There were 40 minutes between Trojans’ second and third try, showing that when we performed well, we more than competed.

“We weren’t accurate enough with our handling, missing the few chances that we had. Had we scored when two tries down, the momentum of the game would have changed.

“What was pleasing was the reaction and character showed by the team. In the heat and given the injuries we suffered, we could have capitulated. But we didn’t. In fact we finished the match stronger and that’s pleasing.”

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