Monday, 04 July 2022

Hawks set to take on old rivals Crusaders

HENLEY Hawks continue their National 2 (South) campaign on Saturday when they take a trip down the M4 to Bristol, to face old rivals, Dings Crusaders RFC, writes Nick Pitson.

Kick-off at Dings Shaftesbury Park Ground is 3pm. The coaches and supporters were disappointed with the Hawks showing last week against Rochford and will be hoping to see an improvement.

It was a surprising defeat but a game they should have won. The injury list for the Hawks squad is ever-growing but with just five games to go until the end of the season, it will be important for the side to finish on a high with some good performances.

That starts tomorrow at Dings Crusaders, who, with their vociferous support will be a stern test for the Hawks who will need to show more composure and direction than last week if they are to come away with a result. Dings are old rivals and there have been plenty of tough encounters between the two teams over the years.

This season, the Bristol club have won 11 of their 25 games and are currently ninth in the league. Their tough, uncompromising style has given a few teams problems and they have had close matches with all of the top sides. Earlier in the season, the Hawks won the battle at Dry Leas 33-22, while last week, the Crusaders won 30-23 at Barnes.

The Hawks stay in fifth position in the league but are now only two points ahead of Leicester Lions. Last week, Esher, Redruth and Clifton all recorded bonus point victories while Worthing slipped up at Hinckley. Esher lead the table on 102 points, three ahead of Redruth and six clear of Clifton and Worthing. In the chase for the title, this week sees Esher travel to Guernsey and Clifton go to Canterbury but the
big clash is at Worthing
who host second-placed Redruth.

Hawks head coach Luke Allen has made just four changes to the side that lost to Rochford. The only change in the backs is Will Panday coming into the centre in place of James Davies. In the forwards, George Probyn comes into the front row, replacing the injured Brad Cook. Sam Lunnon and Tom Hall return to the back row with Marcus Lowe and Will Bordill taking bench duties.

The Hawks line-up is: 15 Cail Cookland, 14 Reuben Norville, 13 Will Panday, 12 Terence Barbarinsa, 11 George Wood, 10 Matt Dalrymple, 9 Toby Gilbey, 1 George Probyn, 2 Tom Emery, 3 Rory Mason, 4 Jake Albon, 21 Ben Harrison, 6 Tom Hall, 7 Sam Lunnon, 8 Alex Bradley. Replacements: 16 Finn Glass, 17 George Inoke, 18 Will Bordill, 19 Marcus Lowe, 20 George Amphlett.

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