HENLEY kicked off their Women’s Championship South Division 1 campaign with a bruising trip
HENLEY kicked off their Women’s Championship South Division 1 campaign with a bruising trip to Â Cheltenham Tigers.
Last season saw two closely-fought battles in which the Hawks managed to secure wins.
With a third of the squad unavailable or injured Henley travelled with little cover and would pay for it.
The side was very different to the main core from last year and fielded six debutants.
Henley were also hampered by a disrupted arrival and rushed warm-up which meant they never settled.
An injury to skipper Wysocki-Jones in the first few minutes only added to their woes.
Cheltenham on the other hand were at full strength and keen to avenge last season.
It wasn’t until the 15th minute before the Tigers breached the Hawks’ defence.
Good offloading and strong runs constantly put Henley on the back foot. This continued throughout and soon the Hawks were seeing holes appear too often.
Within the next 15 minutes another three tries were run in and game was getting away. Ferguson and TadmanÂ continued to take the fight to them and the set piece caused problems. However, the Tigers had recruited well in the summer and their pacey back three were allowed too much space.
With the score 27-0 at half-time, Dudding was withdrawn due to a knock, allowing for the introduction of debutant Herrick and McFarland to move to fly half.
The Tigers No 8, who was a thorn in the side all day and the score kept mounting as a result. If not for the good work of debutants Braunerova at full-back and Hughes at prop it would have been a cricket score.
The misery continued, as Wysocki-Jones had to leave the field just after the final sub had been made.
Then 10 minutes later Herrick exited with a damaged collarbone. The Hawks were now down to 13 players and with the Tigers still scoring the game finished 57-0.
Far from the ideal start to the season and the Hawks will look to pick themselves up for Sunday’s home match with Bristol 2nds.
• Henley: Donna Hughes 2) Kelly-Anne Ferguson 3) Bobby Barrett 4) Emma Tadman 5) Rebecca Cornford 6) Tina Simpson 7) Jenni Balmer 8) Katy Wysocki-Jones 9) Maddy Peris 10) Carly Dudding 11) Charlotte Sealey 12) Charlotte McFarland 13) Ann-Marie Solowin 14) Pip Timmins 15) Tess Braunerova â?? Subs: Nicole Ashman, Samantha Herrick.