Saturday, 31 October 2020

Imperious Webb notches hat-trick as rampant Vikings dominate

HENLEY VIKINGS came out of the blocks quickly in their Berks, Bucks & Oxon League 2 clash with Buckingham on Saturday.

Under the supervision of coach Chris Norton, who was making his debut in the dugout, the Vikings began to take control.

Stealing the opposition line-out and dominating scrum time the front row of Charlie Chavasse, Micky Molloy and Dan Folley were too strong for their counterparts.

Conditions perfect for a wide, fast-paced running game, Henley’s first try came from an outstanding breakaway.

Lock Richard Webb ran down the left and with a stunning offload, the mercurial Ross Lewis was left to finish under the posts.

Then sloppy play from Buckingham led to a Vikings penalty. The ever-adaptable Molloy linked nicely with Lewis to provide Webb’s first try of the day, which Lewis again converted.

Next to cross for Henley was the youthful Adam Porter. A magical, weaving run down the left side gave the already weary Bucks defenders little chance. Porter converted his own try.

With Henley taking their foot off the gas, Buckingham enjoyed a short-lived phase of possession. But thanks to the ever alert Ross Lewis, the Vikings turned over the ball, and away he went down the right flank and through the Buckingham line for his second.

Then came the first of three fantastic moments of Henley rugby. Molloy hit a deft chip over the pressing defenders before he soared into the air like a salmon and palmed the ball to Guy Rawsthorn who sailed away to cross the line.

The battle-hardened Webb proved that whatever the backs could do, the forwards could do better. He sold the day’s most outrageous dummy seen and laughed all the way to the line and scored. The second half started with a change at hooker, with Molloy going off injured and led to the scrums going uncontested. But the try fest continued.

Rawsthorn showed great skill and quick feet to dance his way down the left, with Lewis in support to dive over in the corner.

Sam Quelch made the conversion of the afternoon from tight on the touchline.

With the Vikings Captain Craig Johnston not wanting to be left out of the action, he charged up the centre of the field, knocking over about four helpless defenders.

The ball then made its way to Duncan Zacks who intelligently kicked infield for Lewes Collins to jot down. Henley wrapped things up when Lewis generously passed to Loick Bazzi to score easily under the posts.

Webb then crossed for his hat-trick and Tom Durrant got in on the action shortly after.

Folley, normally renowned for his ferocious defence, finished the Vikings’ third magic moment when, seemingly from nothing, he tucked the ball under one arm and ran out of his own 22, showing pace of an elite sprinter to finish plum under the posts.

Henley Vikings: Chavasse, Molloy, Folley, Attfield, Webb, Johnston, Porter, Kaijser, Lewis, Rawsthorn, Bazzi, Quelch, Stevens, Collins, Zacks, Durrant, Hughes, Robinson.

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