This week, Henley Hawks welcome Cornish side Redruth RFC to Oxfordshire for their latest National 2(South) fixture. The kick off at Dry Leas on Saturday is 3pm.
The Hawks put on an excellent display last week at Worthing. They dominated proceedings through apart from the last few minutes and won comfortably 42-19 after being 42-7 in front. The Hawks still lie in fifth place in the league as the other three teams competing to finish in the top two, Canterbury, Taunton and Tonbridge all won, the Kent side beating runaway leaders The Rams. Canterbury, in second place are now eight points ahead of the Hawks although the Hawks do have a game in hand.
After two defeats in the first two matches of the year, the Hawks have now got the winning mentality again with three wins in the bounce.
The highlight of last week’s victory at Worthing was the performance of George Griffiths who grabbed a hat trick of tries. He has gained in confidence and is now one of Henley’s main attacking threats. Up until the last ten minutes, the Hawks spent most of the game in the opposition half and could have scored more than the six tries they did get. The kicking of Ben Bolster was also a feature as he converted all six tries. The front row of Brad Cook, Tom Emery and Dave Manning excelled as they have done all season.
Old rivals Redruth are a proud Cornish club who are well established in this league. They had a promising start to the season but have since lost consistency and don’t appear to be as strong as in previous years and with no threat of relegation or chance of promotion, they are cemented in mid table 7th position in the league, having won 10 of their 22 games. The Hawks won the game in Cornwall in October 20-16 in a tight encounter.
However, games against Redruth are always tough encounters and the Hawks will have to be at their best to deal with the ‘Cornish fervour’ that teams from that part of the country always bring. Cornish forwards are always committed and uncompromising but the Hawks pack has been highly successful this season so a good contest is expected.
There are two changes in the pack for this weeks match. George Primett comes in at prop in place of Brad Cook who is on the bench. Liam Goodison takes his place in the back row, replacing Sam Lunnon. In Lunnon’s absence, Jake Albon skippers the side.
The backs look settled with just the one change, Jack Robinson replacing George Wood on the wing.
1 George Primett, 2 Tom Emery, 3 Dave Manning, 4 Dave Hyde, 5 Jake Albon – capt
6 Liam Goodison, 7 Tom Hall, 8 Alex Bradley
9 Leo Webb, 10 Ben Bolster,11 George Griffiths, 12 Dan Barnes, 13 Xav Andre,
14 Jack Robinson, 15 Liam O Neill
16 Brad Cook, 17 Zach Clarke, 18 Scott White, 19 Will Janes, 20 Greg Goodfellow
The Henley Bulls have no game this week but the 3rd XV (Vikings), have an important away game at Chinnor 3rd, kick off 2.30pm.
The Henley Hawks Women have no game this week.