Henley Hawks continue their league campaign tomorrow (Saturday) with their first home game of 2023. The visitors to Dry Leas are North Walsham RFC from Norfolk and the kick off is at 3pm.
The Hawks will be looking to bounce back from last week’s disappointing defeat at Barnes. Despite playing with a strong wind and slight slope in the first half, the Hawks didn’t use the conditions to their advantage and found themselves 21-7 down at half time. They rallied in the second half, scoring two good tries but Barnes showed why they have had a good season so far and played better in the conditions to seal the game.
Last week’s loss mean the Hawks missed a good opportunity to get right in amongst the pack chasing leaders Blackheath. Henley are now seventh but there are still only six points separating the Hawks and Dorking who are second. Worthing and Barnes also have the same number of points as Dorking so a good victory this weekend will bolster the Hawks chances of challenging the top sides.
Head coach Luke Allen has made five changes, one of those positional for this weeks clash with North Walsham. Reuben Norville returning to the wing is the only change in the backs.
In the forwards, Morgan Macrae, who played well when he came on in the back row at Barnes, keeps his place. Sam Lunnon reverts back to second row allowing Tom Vooght to return at Number 8. Ollie Frostick gets a start in the front row in place of Rory Mason who takes up bench duties.
15 George Wood, 14 Reuben Norville, 13 Adam Hakimian, 12 Louis Flynn 11 Ryan Crowley,
10 Max Titchener, 9 Ewan Fenley
1 Dave Manning (c), 2 Tom Emery, 3 Ollie Frostick, 4 Sam Lunnon, 5 Ben Harrison,
6 Tom Hall, 7 Morgan Macrae, 8 Tom Vooght,
Reps: 16 Rory Mason, 17 Omar Ellaboudy, 18 Scott White, 19 Will Crow, 20 Zac Taylor
The Hawks played at North Walsham back in October. At the time, the Norfolk side had not won a game but they defeated the Hawks 29-23. The are now thirteenth in the league, having won four of their games, including a good 20-12 victory last week against Guernsey so they will come to Henley full of confidence. North Walsham we’re regulars on the Henley fixture list back in the 1990s and there were some tough encounters then, and the Hawks will expect nothing else this weekend.
Also playing on Saturday are the Henley Bulls (2ndXV) who make the short journey to Sonning to take on Rams 2ndXV. Kick off is 2pm.
The Henley Vikings (3rdXV) are at home on Saturday with a local derby against Reading 2ndXV. Kick off is 2.15pm.
On Sunday, the Henley Hawks Women are away at Beckenham RFC. Kick off there is 2.30pm.