Monday, 15 August 2022

Last four spot for Henley

THE scoreline suggests that Henley College had a comfortable passage through to the AASE plate semi-finals

THE scoreline suggests that Henley College had a comfortable passage through to the AASE plate semi-finals but after a whirlwind start during which they scored five tries in the opening 20 minutes, Henley had to withstand a sustained fightback from Worcester that only ended when Henley scored a final decisive try in the last two minutes.

Henley were on the scoreboard in the first two minutes of the game. A catch and drive was illegally pulled down by the visitors but the referee played a good advantage, allowing Conor Eastgate to break the line in midfield and score under the posts.

When the Worcester restart failed to go 10 metres Henley made them pay from the resulting scrum as Dan Furnell was put away on halfway and showed a clean pair of heels to extend Henley’s lead. Liam Shields was successful with both conversions.

Henley continued to rack up points thanks to a couple of short-range tries from forwards Jacob Turner and Joe Batt, rewarding the pack for a dominant display in the set piece and at the breakdown.

When the Worcester second row was sin-binned for a dangerous tackle Henley took full advantage by sending Taylor Stephens into the corner after good handling from the midfield backs to extend the score to 29-0.

Missed tackles led to Worcester stringing together some worthwhile phases and they were rewarded with a catch and drive try despite still having a player in the sin bin. Although this score was cancelled out as Stephens crossed for his second try on the stroke of half time, the visitors were buoyed by their earlier effort.

Having lost captain Jack Willis due to injury, Henley lost their shape and ability to control the game and the tide had clearly turned as Worcester scored tries at regular intervals throughout the second half to reduce the deficit to 36-26.

Although they were 10 points down with 15 minutes to go, Worcester were in the ascendancy and looked as they would reel Henley in. Some desperate defence kept Worcester at bay for a little longer before Henley finally broke out and Shields put Conor Corrigan away to end Worcester’s comeback and seal the match.

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