Stern Test for Hawks This Weekend Against Barnstaple

Henley Hawks make the long trek west to North Devon on Saturday to take on Barnstaple RFC in their latest National 2 (South) fixture. Kick off at the Pottingham Road Ground is 3pm.

The Hawks are now beginning to build momentum as the league approaches Christmas. They have now won their last three games, and with other results at the top of the table going their way, Henley have now climbed to fifth place, just four points behind the leaders, Redruth. In fact, just six points separate the top eight sides so there is all to play for.

The Hawks comfortably picked up another bonus point on Saturday against Dings Crusaders but they will be looking to produce a more complete performance over eighty minutes this week. A 33-5 lead at half time was reduced to 33-22 and although the Hawks didn’t look like losing the match, it just shows what happens in this league if you give the opposition the slightest chance to get back into the game.

Henley did score another five tries, with Tom Emery and Reuben Norville getting on the scoresheet again, they both now have eight tries for the season so far.

Trips to Devon, especially when there is bad weather around, are never easy and Barnstaple, in front of their own vociferous supporters will provide a stern test for the Hawks. The Devon side have not found things easy so far this season and currently lie fifteenth in the league having only won two games, against Westcliff and Rochford Hundred. Barnstaple came into National 2 (South) having won the South West Premier League in the 2019-20 season. They were in this league before during the 2017-18 season but were relegated on the last day of the season. However, they did beat Henley 10-7 in Devon during that campaign which shows the test that awaits the Hawks tomorrow. Last week, Barnstaple lost 33-8 at Barnes.

Results in the league did the Hawks a few favours last week. Leaders Redruth were beaten at home 24-10 by third placed Worthing. Esher’s game against Guernsey was postponed and that allowed Clifton to get back into the mix by beating Canterbury. Amongst the other results, there were also wins for Leicester Lions, Hinckley and Bury St Edmunds.

As well as the Hawks, the Henley Bulls (2nd XV) have a friendly at Dry Leas on Saturday. They are playing Bishops Stortford 2nd XV, kick Off is 3pm.

There is no game this week for the Vikings, Vultures or the Henley Hawks Women.