Hawks Play Canterbury in Last Home Game of Season

A bumper crowd is expected at Dry Leas tomorrow (Saturday) for the last home game of the 2022-23 season for Henley Hawks. Old rivals Canterbury are the visitors with a kick off at 3pm.

The Hawks, prior to last weekends break, have won their last four games and should be full of confidence as they look to finish the season strongly. Realistically, they are battling with Bury St Edmunds for a fifth place finish, made all the more compelling as the Hawks travel to Bury next week for the final game of the season. Henley are still fifth at the moment, seven points behind Dorking but the Surrey side play Westcliff this week are expected to pick up maximum points.

The Hawks last outing was two weeks ago away at strugglers Rochford Hundred. With the home side fighting for their League2 survival, the Hawks came away with a hard fought 22-17 victory in what was a scrappy game on a heavy pitch. The forwards laid the foundation for the win and there were excellent performances from Ben Harrison, Tom Vooght and Morgan Macrae.

The game also marks the final home game for Director of Rugby Nigel Dudding who is standing down at the end of the season after over 50 years at the club in a number of roles. Tomorrow’s game will give the supporters a chance to show their appreciation for all he has done for the club.

Head coach Luke Allen has made just two changes to the team that won at Rochford. Club captain Dave Manning is away for the Army v RAF fixture so Rory Mason continues to play at loose head prop. Scott White comes into the back row, while Will Crow starts at scrum half in place of Ewan Fenley who takes his place on the bench.

Henley Hawks

George Wood, Reuben Norville, Louis Flynn, Max Titchener, Leo Webb,  Cail Cookland, Will Crow, Rory Mason, Morgan Macrae, Ollie Frostick, Omar Ellaboudy, Ben Harrison, Marcus Lowe, Scott White, Tom Vooght. Subs: Niazi, Charlie Sichel, Sam Lunnon, Ewan Fenley, Adam Hankimian,

Games against Canterbury are never easy and there have been some tough battles between the two clubs in the past. This season however, the Kent side have struggled to find any sort of form or consistency and are currently 10th having only won eight of their twenty four games to date. In their last outing two weeks ago, they had a good home victory over Guernsey Raiders by 41-24. Games between Henley and Canterbury are often low scoring affairs, and earlier in the season, Henley won a close contest in Kent, winning only 19-14 so a tough encounter is expected this week.

Last season they finished 12th with the Hawks doing the double over the Kent side, winning in Kent 19-10 and at Dry Leas 12-10.

Elsewhere this weekend, the Henley Bulls (2nd XV) travel to Esher on Saturday to take on Esher 2nd. Kick off is 3pm

On Friday evening ( tonight), the Henley Colts take on Beaconsfield Colts. The game is at Dry Leas under the lights and kicks off at 8pm.


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