Tomas bags two first-half tries to help side record memorable victory
THE Henley Hawks Women’s side recorded their first ever victory against a Saracens side at Dry
THE Henley Hawks Women’s side recorded their first ever victory against a Saracens side at Dry Leas on Sunday.
The hosts ran out 25-12 winners in their league match with Saracens 2nds to gain revenge for the heavy defeat they suffered against them at Allianz Park at the start of the season.
Both sides started brightly and looked to bring in their forward runners early. Henley had to make an early change as Solowin left the field and reshuffled the backline with McFarland moving to centre.
Henley looked to use the kicking game to its advantage and both Dudding and McFarland provided early territorial advantage. The chase was good too and Burger pressured to force the error whilst almost scoring from the loose ball. It resulted in a kickable penalty.
Saracens started to apply the pressure and a charged kick allowed them to regain possession and make an assault on the Hawks line. Once again penalties crept in and a quick tap and simple off-load meant a score near the posts. The resulting conversion made it 7-3 to the visitors.
The following kick-off saw good hits going in from Dudding and Kemish to force turnovers and this kept Saracens deep in their half. With Wheeler being a constant problem for them at the line-out, they struggled to get clean ball and coupled with strong runs from Balmer, now on the wing, kept them pinned back. The ball then moved down the line and Tomas finished off in the corner. Minutes later the Hawks earned a scrum mid-field and a well worked move allowed Tomas to burst through and collect her brace.
The second half saw Saracens take a more direct route and caused Henley problems. Now with good front foot ball they punched their way to the line and narrowed the score to 13-12. Henley upped the tempo and kept the ball well but penalties for the visitors rose and the Hawks kicked to the corner.
The driving maul caused problems and a few phases after, Wheeler stepped through near the posts for Dudding to convert.
The hosts played smart rugby from here on in and kept Saracens in their half. Kemish and Ferguson put in further hard yards forcing the Saracens pack to retreat.
The penalties kept mounting and so did the territory and good running from the forwards meant Henley were in behind and the backs finished off a well worked team try, to put Burger into the left hand corner and seal the historic first win.
Henley Hawks Women: 1 Yas Matthews, 2 Kelly-Anne Ferguson, 3 Bobby Barrett, 4 Emma Tadman, 5 Katy Wysocki-Jones, 6 Tina Simpson, 7 Jenni Balmer, 8 Anne Wheeler, 9 Yaz Lathbury Haig, 10 Carly Dudding, 11 Charlotte McFarland, 12 Ann-Marie Solowin, 13 Nicole Burger, 14 Hannah Kemish, 15 Annette Tomas. Replacements: Lucy Allen, Maddy Peris.