Wednesday, 16 October 2019

Visitors prove too strong for Hawks Women

HOSTS Henley Hawks Women slipped to their second Championship 1 South defeat of the season as they went down 38-7 at home to newly-promoted Old Albanians Ladies on Sunday.

After good carries from Katy Wysocki-Jones and Ellis Collins Henley had made ground early on but the ball was knocked on giving the first scrum to Old Albanians. This was a strong scrum with both teams contesting well, but the visitors got good ball off the scrum and used their hands and pace well to run and score their first try of the game.

The visitors continued the pressure for a further 20 minutes and profited from the conditions with two more tries.

Henley then applied pressure through good tackling and body position from Katie Philips to turn over the ball. Henley built up the phases and gained some ground to get the home side into the opposition half but the ball was knocked on to give Old Albanians the scrum.

The rainy conditions were taking their toll as Old Albanians knocked on at the scrum to give the ball back to Henley. Henley used the ball well and took it down the hands to Shannon Loney who was pushed into touch giving Old Albanians the line-out.

The line was disrupted and captured by Tina Simpson to give Henley the ball where they started to make progress with good pace to make ground through Wysocki-Jones and Sam Page. This gave a strong platform off the ruck for Henley’s backs and good pace and lines meant Loney had a blazing run through the middle to score Henley’s try to close the gap to 19-7 at half-time. Old Albanians started the second half in a similar fashion to the first and continued to make hard yards through their backs and scored two more tries.

Henley put the visitors under pressure for the next 20 minutes and brought fresh legs on to help keep the momentum going. This was halted by a bad injury to Ellis Collins which stopped the game for five minutes and then a further injury to Anne-Marie Shrimpton soon followed.

Henley continued to try to break through Old Albanians’ defences but to no avail, as knock ons and turn overs gave the opposition the ball, leading to two further scores.

Henley’s players’ player of the match was scrum half Olive McNaney while the coaches’ player of the match was co-captain Wysocki-Jones.

Speaking after the game Henley head coach Joe Harding said: “All we, as a coaching team, asked for from the players was improvement from the performance against Trojans two weeks ago. And, despite the scoreline, we got that.

“Our set piece gave us parity if not better than that at times, we went hunting for the ball in defence and we attacked wider. Retaining possession well. For large parts of the match we looked very good and showed great improvement which is very encouraging.”

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