Henley Hawks return to Dry Leas (kick-off 3 pm) this Saturday after a disappointing draw, 25-25, at Old Redcliffians last Saturday. Barnstaple arrive lying in 8th place with three victories having won a high scoring game at home to Clifton 37-24, scoring five tries with fly-half Jake Murphy, formerly of Launceston, Plymouth Albion and Cornwall, in good kicking form with three conversions and two penalties. This victory stopped the rot of three consecutive defeats for Barum, as they are known.
Last season saw the two sides share a victory apiece with Barum defeating the Hawks 31-24 in December with Henley then gaining revenge with a solid 52-27 victory back in April this year.
The Hawks in recent weeks have suffered from inconsistency from having to field much changed sides in consecutive weeks. However, this will not continue for this game as they are able to field a side showing just one change, apart from a switch at scrum-half where George Jackson will start with Connor Murphy on the bench.
The change is in the front row with the impressive Dave Manning not available at tight head. George Premitt is promoted from the bench but there is an interesting new replacement on the bench in John Wunder. He has played top grade rugby in Sydney, Australia. He did start in the first game of the season but suffered a shoulder injury from which he has now recovered. A useful addition to the squad as he is also an experienced hooker.
The Hawks will be keen to start moving up the league table but will be tested by a useful, well supported Barum side.
1. Brad Cook, 2. Tom Emery, 3. George Primett 4. Dave Clements, 5. Jake Albon (capt.), 6. David Hyde, 7. Rob Bell, 8. Marcus Lowe, 9. George Jackson, 10. Joe Butler, 11. Sam Portland, 12. Simon Perry, 13. Will Janes, 14. Xavier Andre, 15. Liam O’Neill
16. Ian Stock, 17. John Wunder, 18 Matthew Tibbatts, 19. Scott White, 20 Connor Murphy