Henley Hawks make probably their longest journey of the season on Saturday to deepest Norfolk to take on North Walsham RFC in their latest National 2 (East) fixture. Kick off at the Norwich Road ground in Scottow is 3pm.
Now with three successive wins under their belts, the Hawks are starting to build some momentum to their season. Last weeks bonus point win over Barnes has propelled the Hawks into second place in the league, level on points with title favourites, Blackheath. Although Henley are dominating teams with plenty of possession, they are still striving for the accuracy and cohesion needed for longer periods in the game.
After last week’s game, Head Coach Luke Allen commented, “I really believe we have a special team here. As long as the boys keep learning from mistakes made in the games and we keep our togetherness, we can really achieve something this year.”
Luke Allen has made just three changes to the starting line up for the trip to North Walsham. This week see the first change in the pack since the start of the season with young Welsh hooker Morgan Macrae coming in for his first game. Leo Webb, who played a lot of last weeks game plays on the wing in place of Seb Scott while Adam Hakimian returns to the centre. Charlie Sichel, Tom Wood, Cail Cookland and George Wood all come onto the bench.
15 Ryan Crowley, 14 Leo Webb, 13 Adam Porter, 12 Adam Hakimian, 11 Reuben Norville,
10 Max Titchener, 9 Ewen Fenley
1 Dave Manning (c), 2 Morgan Macrae, 3 Rory Mason, 4 Ben Harrison, 5 Sam Lunnon,
6 Scott White, 7 Tom Vooght, 8 Alex Bradley
Reps: 16 Luke Shpylka, 17 Charlie Sichel, 18 Tom Wood, 19 Cail Cookland, 20 George Wood
The trip to Norfolk will not be easy. North Walsham are a well run and proud club who were promoted into National 2 after finishing third in the then London and SE Premier League last season. Although they have failed to register a win so far this season, they are always a tough side to beat on their own ground and have scored tries in all their games so far. Last week, they lost in the Channel Islands to Guernsey 58-21. Henley last played North Walsham in a league game back in the 1990s. There were some tough encounters then and the Hawks will expect nothing else this weekend.
The league appears to be wide open at the moment with Blackheath leading the way in the with three victories and 100% record. Last week they hammered Canterbury on their own ground 57-12. They have 15 points and a game in hand over the other teams challenging at the top. The Hawks are second, also on 15 points. Jay a point behind are two teams that the Hawks have already played. Old Albanian beat the fancied Tonbridge Juddian 32-20 and Bury St Edmunds accounted for Westcliff 38-28. There was also a second win for Worthing Raiders, while Sevenoaks and Dorking fought out a 26-26 draw.
There is action at Dry Leas on Saturday with the Henley Bulls (2nd XV) taking on Rams 2. Kick off time is TBA.
The Henley Vikings (3rd XV) continue their league campaign with an away trip to take on Aldermaston RFC. Kick off is 3pm.
On Sunday, the Henley Hawks Women have a local derby league match against Reading Abbey Women. Kick off at Dry Leas is 3pm.