Monday, 08 August 2022

Champion Hawks to ring the changes for Dings trip

CAPTAIN Dave Clements leads the list of Henley Hawks absentees for tomorrow’s (Saturday) trip to relegated Dings.

CAPTAIN Dave Clements leads the list of Henley Hawks absentees for tomorrow’s (Saturday) trip to relegated Dings.

Matt Payne, Gus Jones and Tom Allen also miss the game due to unavailability, as does Oskar Hirskyj.

This means head coach Pete Davies will have to ring the changes, where Theo Vukasinovic and Jake O’Leary will form a young second row.

The Hawks, though, will have a strong bench to call upon, which will include Nathan Taylor, who has returned to the club following a loan spell away at Aviva Premiership side London Welsh, where he provided cover for hooker Stuart Phillpott.

Conor Corrigan will also takes his place among the replacements.

He has been given the opportunity have shone for the Bulls, where Corrigan racked up 22 goals in as many games this term. Mark Bruce, meanwhile, will provide cover for Connor Murphy at scrum-half having returned from injury.

Dispite the changes, Hawks can make the trip in jubilant mood having secured promotion back to National Division 1 at the first attempt last time out. This was after thrashing Shelford 66-17 at Dry Leas a fortnight ago.

But on the same day, Saturday’s opponents saw their 11-year stay in the Division ended when a 31-5 reverse to Worthing Raiders confirmed their relegation.

A season of struggle has seen Dings win just three and draw one of their 27 games.

And this is despite coach Mark Woodrow being the sixth highest scorer in the league having amassed 193 points.

However the Crusaders would no doubt love to leave the league with a victory over the champions.

The Hawks have always found their narrow pitch not at all conducive to their open style of play but will not wish to get promoted without winning their remaining three matches. Kick-off is 2.30pm.

The Henley Hawks line-up for the match is as follows: Jake Randall, 14. Lloyd Owen, 13. George Eastwell, 12. Tom Gardner, 11. Fred Pierrepoint, 10 James Comben, 9. Connor Murphy, 1. Hugo Milford Scott, 2. Stuart Philpott, 3. Tim Coghlan, 4. Theo Vukasinovic, 5. Jake O’Leary, 6. Tom Hall (capt.), 7. Will Woodward 8. Robbie Stapley Dave Manning.

Replacements: 17. Ed Church,18. Nathan Taylor, 19. Mark Bruce, 20 Conor Corrigan

• HENLEY Hawks Women, meanwhile, put the defence of their Intermediate Cup crown on the line this weekend.

With the league already safely in the bag, the side make the trip to Lichfield on Saturday, where they will meet Eccles in the competition’s final.

Henley booked their place in the showdown courtesy of a 26-12 semi-final success over Loughborough last month.

Kick-off is 11.45pm

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