Hawks Face Esher at Home in Tough Game

Henley Hawks return to Dry Leas for league action this week when they host Esher RFC on Saturday for their latest National 2(South) fixture. Kick off for this game is 3pm.

The Hawks put in a solid performance last week in atrocious conditions at Westcliff. Although the Essex side were missing a number of regulars, the weather could have been a leveller but the Henley side showed great determination and fortitude to come away with a bonus point win. They ran in six tries including one for Alex Harmes, making his debut for the Henley on the wing. As the season progresses, and now two successive victories, the Hawks are beginning to build some momentum and the 36-7 victory over Westcliff moves the them up to 11th in the table, with two games in hand on most of the other sides.

For the Esher game, Head coach Luke Allen has made just one change to the starting line up that began at Westcliff. Iwan Macrae comes in on the wing replacing Alex Harmes. The bench shows a few changes with Brad Cook, Olly Frostick, Toby Gilbey and Cail Cookland being added to the replacements.

Long established club, Esher visit Dry Leas this week and have had a mixed start to the season. They started strongly by defeating Rochford Hundred (38-14) and followed that with two big victories, an impressive away win at Dings Crusaders (45-19) and then a home thumping of Barnstaple (64-22). Since then, they have stuttered somewhat, losing at Leicester Lions 27-21 and last week they were held to a draw at home by Barnes, the score 17-17.

They currently lie in 5th place but only three points behind the leaders, Worthing.

During the 2019-2020 season, the Hawks did the double over Esher, winning 46-20 at Dry Leas, and 34-13 in South West London. Esher finished 8th that season. Prior to that, Esher spent six seasons in National League 1.

Elsewhere in the league, Worthing Raiders continue at the top with another victory, this time over Rochford, while Clifton bounced back after last weeks defeat to the Hawks with a home win over Hinckley that puts them in second place. Redruth are third and are the only side still to have a 100% record, coming from behind to pip Old Albanian 22-21. Guernsey Raiders, who the Hawks visit next week are fourth following their win over Leicester Lions. There were also wins for Dings Crusaders and Bury St Edmunds.

Henley Hawks

15 James Love, 14 Reuben Norville, 13 Will Panday, 12 George Amphlett, 11 Iwan Macrae, 10 Monty Bradbury, 9 Will Crowe

1 Charlie Hughes, 2 Tom Emery, 3 Rory Mason, 4 Jake Albon (c), 21 Sam Lunnon , 6 Tom Hall, 7 Will Bordill, 8 Alex Bradley

Reps: 16 Brad Cook, 17 Olly Frostick, 18 Marcus Lowe, 19 Scott White, 20 Toby Gilbert, 21 Cail Cookland

Also playing this weekend are the Henley Vikings (3rd XV). Following their success against Slough last week, they have a local derby to look forward to on Saturday. They are home to local rivals Marlow RFC 3rdXV, kick off 3pm.

The Henley Hawks Women are also playing on Saturday. They have a friendly away at Oxford University, kick off 3pm.