Henley Hawks continue their National 2 (South) campaign on Saturday when they take a trip down the M4 to Bristol, to take on old rivals, Dings Crusaders RFC. Kick off at Dings Shaftesbury Park Ground is 3pm.
The coaches and supporters were very disappointed with the Hawks showing last week against Rochford and will be hoping to see an improvement this week. It was a surprising defeat but a game they should have won. The injury list for the Hawks squad is ever growing but with just five games to go until the end of the season, it will be important for the side to finish the season on a high with some good performances.
That starts tomorrow at Dings Crusaders, who, with their vociferous support will be a stern test for the Hawks who will need to show more composure and direction than last week if they are to come away with a result. Dings are old rivals of the Hawks and there have been plenty of tough encounters between the two teams over the years. This season, the Bristol club have won eleven of their twenty five games and are currently ninth in the league. Their tough, uncompromising style has given a few teams problems this season and they have had close matches with all of the top sides. Earlier in the season, the Hawks won the battle at Dry Leas 33-22, while last week, the Crusaders won 30-23 at Barnes.
The Hawks stay in fifth position in the league but they are now only two points ahead of Leicester Lions. Last week, Esher, Redruth and Clifton all recorded bonus point victories while Worthing slipped up at Hinckley. Esher lead the table on 102 points, three ahead of Redruth and six clear of Clifton and Worthing. In the chase for the title, this weeks sees Esher travel to Guernsey and Clifton go to Canterbury but the big clash is at Worthing who host second placed Redruth.
Elsewhere this week, the Henley Vikings (3rdXV) have a league game away at Reading 3rd. Kick off is 2.30pm.