This week the Hawks travel the short distance to West London to take on Esher RFC in a vital National 2 (South) fixture. Kick off at Esher’s Molesey Road Ground in Hersham is 3pm.
The Hawks will want to put the disappointment of last week’s game against Clifton behind them. It was a game they should have won, having led 17-3. Although they have now slipped to third in the table, six points behind leaders Tonbridge, they are still right in the mix at the top end of the table.
The weather in the last few weeks has not been conducive to the Hawks open, expansive running game but they will need to learn to cope with it if they are to stay as one of the promotion favourites.
The Hawks cannot be faulted for their commitment and effort. The scrum and line out both showed up well last week in appalling conditions providing a good platform to build on in the weeks ahead.
Elsewhere in the league, top team Tonbridge and third placed Taunton both had big victories, picking up bonus points in the process. Tonbridge beat Westcliff 52-7 and Taunton accounted for Barnes 48-19. Taunton have now swapped places with the Hawks and are in second place.
This week’s game will be another tough challenge for the Hawks and Head Coach Luke Allen has made a number of changes for the important clash.
In the backs, Reuben Norville starts at full back allowing Jack Robinson to retake his place on the wing. Liam O’Neill is on the replacements bench. Samir Kharbouch makes a start at centre, taking the place of Xav Andre who is also on the bench.
In the forwards, Alex Bradley returns from injury to No 8 and joint skipper Sam Lunnon reverts to the second row. Dave Hyde makes way for Lunnon and takes his place as a replacement.
Reuben Norville, Jack Robinson, Samir Kharbouch, Alex Burrage , George Wood ,Ben Bolster, Ewan Fenley,
Brad Cook, Tom Emery, Charlie Hughes, Sam Lunnon, Jake Albon, Will Bordill , Alex Bradley, Marcus Lowe
Reps: George Primett, Dave Hyde, Rory Mason, Xav Andre, Liam O’Neill
Esher RFC spent six seasons in National League 1 before being relegated at the end of last season but are one of the favourites to go straight back up. They have made a solid start to this years campaign having won seven of their ten matches to date.
They lost surprisingly at Worthing last week 20-15 but are still in fourth place in the table, just three points behind the Hawks.
The last time the two sides met in the league was in National League 1 2015-16 season. Esher did the double over the Hawks that season winning 39-5 at Dry Leas and then 52-7 at Hersham.
Elsewhere, the 2nd (Bulls) XV also travel to the West London suburbs to take on London Irish Wild Geese. Kick off is 2.30pm.
The 3rd (Vikings) XV are also away, travelling to take on Buckingham 2nd XV, kick off 2.30pm
The Vets (Vultures) XV have no game this week.
On Sunday, the Hawks Women are at home to Trojans. Kick off at Dry Leas is 2pm.