Henley Hawks travel to Tonbridge to play the newly promoted Juddians for the first time on Saturday although Henley Colts and Women’s teams have recently had success against their sides.
The Hawks play this game under the shadow of their heaviest ever league defeat, 90-17 , in losing to Cinderford at Dry Leas last Saturday. The omens were not good for this game as the Foresters were tipped as the best promotion prospect as they had recruited heavily from Hartpury College who had not retained a number of players whom they were not going to be needed in their new Championship Level 3 status. This game was in fact their third game of three against clubs who were considered to be favourites for promotion the Division 1 and they had defeated Redingensians and lost narrowly away at Chinnor the previous week.
Henley sides have had in the past always had good defensive records some times the best in their league and certainly to concede 14 tries as they did against a side nicknamed ‘Cinders’ was not at all expected. However they were 33-3 down by half-time.
The team selected for this game was certainly nowhere their strongest. As previewed it did show seven changes from the previous game, against Chinnor. For this game Rob Bell (No.7) Dave Manning (prop) and Jack Robinson (No.11) return. There is a league debut at centre for Will Janes a product of Henley Youth and Shiplake College who has impressed in pre-season training which included the match against Cardiff Met University.
Ten of the players who started last week are retained with some positional changes. The selection thus demonstrates that the answer to last week’s performance is therefore is to keep cool with thorough preparation and concentration on defensive work and particularly technique in tackling.
Haws Selection v Tonbridge Juddians
1. Brad Cook, 2 . Tom Emery, 3. Dave Manning, 4. Jake Albon (Capt.), 5 Dave Clements, 6’ Dave Hyde, 7. Rob Bell, 8. Marcus Lowe, 9. George Jackson, 10. Joe Butler, 11. Jack Robinson, 12. Liam O’Neill, 13. Will Janes 14. Simon Perry/Xavier Andre, 15. Alan Awcock
16. Jim Hadfield, 17. Tom Hall, 18 Matt Tibbatts. 19. Michal Kruzycki 20. Connor Murphy /Harry Burn 21. Adam Lobbuck