Hawks Open Their Season to Rivals Bury at Home

All roads lead to Dry Leas on Saturday as the Henley Hawks open their National 2 (East) campaign with a home game against old Suffolk rivals, Bury St Edmunds RFC, kick off is 3pm.

Last season was a difficult one for the Hawks for many reasons and they will be looking to improve on their eighth position in the league last term. The squad have been preparing for a couple of months now and all the players have had an opportunity to push themselves for selection and show the coaches what they are made of.

Bury St Edmunds RFC are an established National 2 club and will provide difficult opposition for the Hawks opener. They finished sixth last season in National 2(S), four points ahead of the Hawks having won 16 of their 30 matches. In the game at Dry Leas last season, the Hawks won a tight contest 25-24 while the game in Suffolk was drawn 25-25 so tomorrow’s game promises to be another tight affair.

Results wise, the Hawks have been on the wrong end of the scoreboard in four of the five pre season games but too much shouldn’t be read into that. Most of last years squad have returned, along with a number of promising new players who should add to the quality of the side. The players have certainly showed the commitment and attitude so far that they will need for the rest of the season. That said, and with a number of new recruits in the ranks, including the returning Dave Manning as captain, Hawks head coach Luke Allen will want his side to start the season positively in their quest for promotion and put a marker down to the other teams in the league.

The newly formed National 2 (East) League will be a demanding competition with teams and players better prepared as each season goes by and so no game will be easy. All the opposition now come from London and the Home Counties with many  familiar teams and a couple who the Hawks have played in the league some years ago. The one club the Hawks have not met before in the league is Sevenoaks RFC.

The clubs in the league are Henley Hawks, Bury St Edmunds, Guernsey Raiders, Old Albanian, Barnes, North Walsham, Tonbridge Juddian, Westcliff, Blackheath Worthing, Dorking, Rochford Hundred, Canterbury and Sevenoaks.

Also playing on Saturday are the Henley Hawks Women who begin preparations for their 2022/23 RFU Women’s Championship South season with a home friendly against Chinnor Kites.

The game kicks off at 12 noon on the main pitch before the Hawks mens game and   this match acts as the first half of a Double Header for all rugby supporters.