HENLEY COLLEGE were able to field close to a full strength side for their friendly fixture against Brighton College under
HENLEY COLLEGE were able to field close to a full strength side for their friendly fixture against Brighton College under the lights at Dry Leas on Wednesday of last week.
Henley had a clear size advantage and as a result may well have underestimated their opponents. The early exchanges should have acted as a warning that, although lighter and smaller in stature, Brighton were a very proficient side. This was underlined when they registered the first score with a catch and drive try.
Henley’s discipline was also costing them in the first quarter and a number of soft penalties allowed Brighton to control territory and possession resulting in a second catch and drive try after 15 minutes.
At this point the home side woke from their slumber and started to implement their patterns and play with some real purpose. They were soon rewarded when Connor Eastgate burst through in midfield to score next to the posts, following a fine executed midfield move.
Eastgate produced a similarly muscular effort not long after and having converted both of his touchdowns Henley drew level at 14-14. Eastgate also registered a penalty to ensure Henley led at the break.
The shift in momentum was maintained early in the second half as Henley produced some good phase play and made a number of midfield bursts thanks to good distribution from fly-half Rob Waldron. Two of Waldron’s pinpoint passes led to Henley’s third try which was well finished off by Taylor Stephens in the left hand corner.
Ill discipline led to a yellow card for both sides and soon after Brighton executed a well worked midfield move to score by the posts and bring themselves back into the game at 22-21.
Fresh legs off the bench gave Henley some new impetus in the last quarter and after having gone close on a couple of occasions they finally ended Brighton’s resistance with a good try finished off by Scott White.
l The Henley College players of the month awards for December went to Matt Hopkins (forwards) and Charlie Stacey (backs).