Friday, 12 August 2022

Davies eyeing four-game plan to clinch promotion

HENLEY HAWKS head coach Pete Davies wants promotion to National Division 1 secured within his team's next four games

HENLEY HAWKS head coach Pete Davies wants promotion to National Division 1 secured within his team's next four games.

Davies believes his players will carry on their current form as the season reaches its climax. His side are currently on a run of six consecutive wins with just six games of the season remaining.

â??I am confident in the players because I know the groupâ??s desire to get promotion,â?� he said. â??They are desperate to get themselves promoted and if they apply themselves then that is possible.â?�

The Hawksâ?? final two fixtures of the season are both at home, first against fifth placed Worthing Raiders followed by a final day clash against second placed Dorking.

Henley have a 13 point lead over their fellow promotion challengers, although the team in second do have a game in hand.

The Surrey-based outfit face third-placed Taunton and fouth-placed Bishopâ??s Stortford in the next three weeks.

â??Dorking have got some tough games towards the end of this season, which gives me every confidence in gaining promotion,â?� said Davies.

The top side in both National Division 2 South and North automatically wins promotion to rugbyâ??s third tier whilst the sides finishing second in both divisions meet in a one-off play-off game for the third promotion spot. Henleyâ??s head coach plans for his side to have promotion sealed before the final two games, but vowed the clubâ??s supporters could make the difference if it came down to the final day, just like they did when Henley were promoted in 2013.

â??I think if we can get through the next four games unscathed then the last two games wonâ??t be too important.

â??Obviously, it will be exciting if it goes down to the last game. I know if it comes down to it the town will get behind us. Last time, when we were against Worthing for promotion more than 3,000 people turned up to support the team.â?�

Looking to the future the head coach underlined that he felt his side was in a far better place than last season to stay in National League 1 if they do get promoted.

â??We know what we need to do when we get there to stay there. We should not have gone down in the first place. If we do get promoted then we will strengthen the squad,â?� he said.

Last Saturday the Hawks came away from third-placed Taunton Titans with a 34-28 victory.

Reflecting on the win, Davies said: â??I was delighted with the result. Taunton are a real tough team to play and they have only lost once at home in the last two years.

â??It was a tough challenge as they have a team full of young players on loan from Premership side Exeter Chiefs. I had put a game plan together and the boys stuck to it, especially in terms of defence. I was really happy with them.

â??We lost our hooker after 15 minutes which messed up our scrums and line outs. This makes our performance even more pleasing.

â??With this weekend off the plan is to use the time to rest and shake off any niggles.â?�

Next week will involve an intense and focused week of training in the run up to their next fixture at home to Bishopâ??s Stortford on Saturday, March 7.

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