Wednesday, 25 November 2020

Visitors put struggling Ivybridge to the sword

HENLEY COLLEGE got back to winning ways with a bonus point victory over Ivybridge in the RFU AASE League.

HENLEY COLLEGE got back to winning ways with a bonus point victory over Ivybridge in the RFU AASE League.

Following disappointing defeats to Hartpury and Filton, Henley had a good opportunity to rebuild some confidence against strugglers Ivybridge.

Due to persistent heavy rainfall the game was switched to a 4G artificial pitch in nearby Plymouth, and this allowed both teams to play their preferred style of open expansive rugby.

Ivybridge struck first with a penalty but Henley soon hit back thanks to a Liam Shields try, which he converted.

Ivybridge were looking to involve their dangerous outside backs at every opportunity and keep the ball away from Henley’s heavier pack. They were rewarded for their enterprise midway through the half when their full back went under the posts to restore their lead to 10-7.

This proved to be the wake up call Henley needed and they then started to dominate possession and play in the right areas of the field.

The first period of sustained pressure was rewarded by a penalty by Shields which levelled the scores before some high pressure defence hemmed Ivybridge in their own 22 and allowed Jackson Burton to rip the ball from an Ivybridge maul and cross the tryline almost unnoticed. Shields maintained his fine kicking form to give Henley a 17-10 lead at the break.

From the half time re-start Conor Corrigan re-claimed possession. The ball was swung right before being moved back to Corrigan’s wing who did well to hang on to the scoring pass.

With a two score buffer, Henley were able to relax and this signalled their best period of play, where backs and forwards combined to produce good phase play.

Despite a spirited rear guard effort from the home side they were unable to contain Henley who added further tries for in form centre Patrick Culligan and Rob Waldron, who finished off a set piece move. Ivybridge reduced the arrears with a final try.

Tonight (Friday) Henley College play Argentine side Tucuman Club at Maidenhead Rugby Club (kick-off 6.30pm).

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