Henley Hawks 32 Rochford Hundred 22
Henley Hawks did enough to see off a spirited and tenacious Rochford Hundred RFC for a welcome bonus point victory at Dry Leas on Saturday. The Hawks bounced back from last weeks disappointing result at Sevenoaks by scoring five tries but Rochford gained a bonus point for scoring four of their own.
Although the visitors came back into the game in the second half, the Hawks managed to pull away with two late tries and see the game out, someth8ng they hadn’t done in the last couple of games.
After a scrappy opening from both sides, Tom Hall, playing his 150th game for the Hawks, found himself in space and broke clear to open the scoring for the Hawks with a try converted by Max Titchener.
Both sides tried to move the ball although the Hawks couldn’t get any fluency as they struggled to secure consistent line out ball. Also, Hawks second row Omar Ellabouday received a yellow card for a high tackle but the Hawks defence dealt well with anything the Essex side could muster in attack.
Despite being a man down, it was the Hawks who scored again extending their lead with a fine try from Rory Mason. A surge from skipper Dave Manning, also playing his 150th game for the Hawks, set up a good handling move with good support from Ewan Fenley and Ben Harrison which allowed Mason to crash over and give the Hawks a 12-0 lead.
Rochford struck back immediately when their dangerous wing Seth Mokuolu crossed in the corner before Titchener gave Henley a 15-5 lead with a penalty from one of a number of dominant scrums.
Just as it looked as though the Hawks would start to pull away, the visitors had other ideas and following some indiscipline from Henley, the visitors gained a line out close to the Hawks line. Rochford hooker Casey Gray then finished a driving maul from a line out to leave the score at 15-10 to the Hawks at the interval.
The Hawks made the best possible start to the second half. No8 Tom Vooght collected the restart and broke clear immediately and after good support play from Scott White and Reuben Norville, hooker Morgan Macrae crashed over to extend the Hawks lead.
The Hawks started to get better control with Morgan Macrae excellent at the breakdown and Sam Lunnon making a good impact the bench.
However, to their credit, back came Rochford when another penalty gave them a line out five metres out and after a huge drive, centre Sam Cappaert claimed the touchdown which was converted by Dudman to bring the visitors to within three points of the Hawks.
Although the game was fast and frantic, it was the Hawks scrum that began to take control with the Henley front row totally dominating their Rochford counterparts, giving the home side a good platform to attack from. They took good advantage of this twice in the last ten minutes. Another great scrum from the Hawks pack allowed Sam Lunnon to pick up and charge into the Rochford half, when he was eventually stopped, the ball came out to Ryan Crowley who scored in the corner for the bonus point try.
Shortly afterwards Crowley sealed the game for the Hawks when he broke through the Rochford defence again and beat a number of defenders to score his second try. Max Titchener converted.
It was Rochford who had the last say in the game, claiming their deserved bonus point for this fourth try from Kyle Johnson.
15 Guy Rawsthorn, 14 Seb Scott, 13 Adam Hakimian, 12 Louis Flynn 11 Reuben Norville,
10 Max Titchener, 9 Ewan Fenley
1 Dave Manning (c), 2 Morgan Macrae, 3 Rory Mason, 4 Omar Ellaboudey, 5 Ben Harrison,
6 Tom Hall, 7 Scott White, 8 Tom Vooght,
Reps: 16 Henry Penrose, 17 Tom Emery, 18 Sam Lunnon, 19 Will Crow, 20 Ryan Crowley