Henley Hawks V Canterbury Match Report
Conveyancing Data Services are proud team sponsors of the Henley Hawks. The following is a match report from Saturday 14th February’s game where they played against Canterbury at Henley’s home ground Dry Leas. Our very own James Comben played at Fly Half. Henley Hawks’ next game is on Saturday 21st February at 15.00 against Taunton Titans.
HAWKS PRESS ON FOR PROMOTION DEFEATING CHALLENGING CANTERBURY SIDE
by Nick Burden
These two sides shared 59 points at the beginning of November at Canterbury when the Hawks can out breathless winners by one point.
This game again produced a hat full of points but once again the Hawks strength and fitness in the final quarter of the game saw them through this time to a slightly more comfortable victory against a side that challenged through the running of their backs particularly left wing Mason Raseval but it was again the powerful play of the Hawks' forwards that was the decisive factor. In Robbie Stapley they had the man of the match who was particularly successful in turning over Canterbury's possession and this was supported by the finishing ability of the backs in scoring three tries of five with tireless work by scrum-half Connor Murphy and the distribution of half back partner James Comben.
The game started with an avalanche of points .After nine minutes the score stood at 10 -10. Rarely have the Hawks been so quickly on the scoreboard. They controlled the ball from the kick-off. The pack were in s control and drove over the Canterbury line for lock Will Woodward to secure a touch down close to the posts for scrum-half Connor Murphy to kick the conversion with ease within two minutes
Yet from the restart Canterbury swept down the left and putting wing Mason Rosvall in possession he swept away through a surprised Hawks cover to score a try which fly-half Tom Best converted to make the score 7-7.
The dong dong nature of the opening exchanges continued when Murphy converted a straight forward penalty for offside for Best to have the opportunity to do the same to make the score 10-10 after just nine minutes.
In a free flowing game lost possession could be capitalises on. The Hawks made the most of a dropped pass by the visitors to move the ball to the swift running Lloyd Owen for the wing to outpace the fragmented cover with Murphy again adding the points for the conversion to which he added his second penalty to make the score 20-10 at half-time.
At the start of the second half with the Hawks shows increasing confidence to move the ball through the eager hands of both forwards and backs. Moving the ball from left to right wing Jake Randall stepped inside a tackle to score a well-executed try which again Murphy converted to make the score 27-10
Canterbury counter attacked and with the Hawks under pressure prop Hugo Milford Scott was given a yellow card. This somewhat changed the nature of the game although the Hawks dealt with the absence of one of their players with fortitude refusing the opposition to dominate. They had few opportunities to press for another score after Canterbury full back Martin Beaumont had used s strong finishing burst to score under the posts to reduce the Hawks lead to 27-17. It was not without question that the comfortable earlier lead of 27-10 would disappear completely when Mosvale finished off a break by Best to score fairly close to the posts for Best to reduce the Hawks lead to 27-24.
It was then the Hawks exercised their maturity of keeping control possession through their forwards driving mauls. They were put on the front foot by a powerful defence splitting run by full back Ed Yarnton of 60 metres which was not finished with a score as a pass failed to connect with to the ubiquitous Oskar Hirstyj-Douglas .However after 62 minutes George Eastwell used his running skills to touch down under the posts for Murphy to bring his total points for the game to 14.
The Hawks were able to complete their scoring through what is now becoming a trade mark try by a controlled mauling drive conceived with patience which was finished off by prop Jimmy Lichfield who touched down his seventh try of the season.
The Hawks thus stretched their lead over Dorking at the top of the league to ten points and also kept their unbeaten home record for the season intact.
15. Ed Yarnton, 14 Lloyd Owen , 13. Tom Allen, 12. George Eastwell, 11. Jake Randall ( Simon Perry 72), 10. James Comben ( Fred Pierrepoint 70), 9. Connor Murphy, 1. Hugo Milford Scott (Jimmy Litchfield 45),,2. Sturt Phillpott ( George Edgson 72), 3. Dave Manning, 4. Will Woodward (Dave Clements 60) 5. Jake O'Leary, 6. Matt Payne (capt.), 7. Oskar Hirskyj-Douglas. 8 Robbie Stapley
Yellow Card Milford Scott 45