After an enforced break because of the bad weather, Henley Hawks this week travel to Sussex to take old rival the Worthing Raiders in their latest National 2 (South) fixture. Kick off at Worthing’s Roundstone Lane Ground in Angmering is 2.00pm.
It remains to be seen if last weeks postponed game against high flying Taunton brings benefits to the Hawks. It will have given the squad another needed break after some hard fought victories in testing conditions recently. However, they would have liked to have played and kept up some momentum as the two other teams challenging for the runners up spot, Canterbury and Tonbridge Juddian both played their matches and won.
Canterbury had a resounding win against Redruth and are now second, six points clear of Tonbridge and Taunton and eight points ahead of the Hawks who have slipped now into fifth place. However, the Hawks and Taunton have a game in hand.
Despite Worthing losing surprisingly to London Irish Wild Geese last week, the Hawks will not find it easy on the south coast. As well as a few victories in the last few seasons, there also have been a number of heavy defeats but the games at Worthing always seem to be high scoring affairs. Last season the Raiders won 55-41 and the year before the Hawks triumphed 47-24. Earlier this season, Henley came out on top at Dry Leas by 32-21. Currently, Worthing lie in 10th place with 45 points having won eight of their twenty one fixtures to date.
Head coach Luke Allen has made just change to the starting fifteen with ex skipper Jake Albon coming back into the second row after injury. The rest of the side is unchanged but there are two changes on the bench. Liam O’Neill replaces his brother Ryan while Will Janes also takes his place as a replacement.
The full Hawks line-up for trip to Dings Crusaders is as follows:
1 Brad Cook, 2 Tom Emery, 3 Dave Manning, 4 Jake Albon, 5 Dave Hyde, 6 Tom Hall, 7 Sam Lunnon, 8 Alex Bradley, 9 Greg Goodfellow, 10 Ben Bolster, 11 George Griffiths, 12 Dan Barnes, 13 Xav Andre, 14 George Wood, 15 Leo Webb
Replacements: George Primett, Andrew Stobbs,Will Janes,, Liam O’Neill, Scott White
The Henley Bulls (2ndXV) also travel to Worthing on Saturday and play Worthing 2nd, kick off at 1.45pm.
Elsewhere, the Henley Vikings (3rdXV) travel to play Bracknell 2nd XV, kick off 2pm.
The Henley Vultures (Vets XV) play at home this week, kick off is planned for 12.30pm against London Irish Vets.
On Sunday the Henley Hawks Women have a very important league encounter against local rivals Reading Abbey Nuns. The game is being played at Dry Leas and kick off at 12.30pm.