Rochford Hundred 15-37 Henley Hawks
The Hawks continued a vein of rich form against a determined Rochford fifteen in excellent conditions on the Essex coast. Jake Albon’s men showed their willingness to play expansively from the first set-piece where the slowly but surely gained dominance as the game progressed allowing themselves enough good possession to stretch Rochford’s defence from start to finish
Cail Cookland landed a penalty after 12 minutes to settle the early nerves and soon after, Tom Emery steered his way over behind a maul from a line-out after the Hawks first attempt had been cancelled out by an organised Rochford defence. Cookland again landed the kick 0-10.
New recruit to the Henley engine room Ben Harrison crashed over from close quarters to add a second try on his second appearance for the Hawks to stretch away from their opponents who had little field position or opportunities to stay in touch as the Hawks tempo was proving tough to contain.
Tom Hall and Alex Bradley carried courageously to create problems for the Hundred’s midfield and soon an opportunity appeared for the Hawks backs to burst through the middle of the Rochford defence from 15 metres out putting speedster Reuben Norville in under the posts for his first of a brace. With 3 minutes left of the first half the Hawks appeared to have a blip in concentration from the restart allowing Rochford’s lively backs to create a scoring opportunity and as the half time whistle sounded they had added a second try as the Hawks again failed to field the restart and several phases saw a rare gap appear in the Hawks defence which they capitalised on. Both conversions fell wide and the half ended 10-21 giving the Hundred a life-line.
As the second half got underway George Wood picked up a wide pass and with 3 defenders still to beat he thwarted all attempts to bring him down and touched down for the bonus score on the right flank. Cookland missed the conversion but soon added a penalty to take the Hawks 3 scores clear as the Rochford defence creaked under the continuing pressure.
Scott White and Marcus Lowe, now on the back row, reinjected further pace and the pack continued to dominate both line-out and scrum. The Hawks completed a comfortable win with Norville going over on the left wing for his 7th try of the season.
As in the first half, Rochford ended with a brief flourish and gathered the restart to press into Hawks territory and force themselves over for a consolation try which went unconverted. The Hawks return to Dry Leas next week for the visit of Dings Crusaders hoping to continue their exciting form. Final score 15-37
Brad Cook (Charlie Hughes 54), Tom Emery, Rory Mason (Olly Frostick 58), Jake Albon ©, Ben Harrison (Scott White 61), Sam Lunnon, Tom Hall (Marcus Lowe 54), Alex Bradley, Toby Gilbey, Joe Butler, George Wood, Guy Rawsthorn (Monty Bradbury 49), George Amphlett, Reuben Norville, Cail Cookland
Report by Andy Jones