Third Win in a Row for Hawks With Another Bonus Point

Sevenoaks 13-34 Henley Hawks 

Henley Hawks put together a strong performance on the road to come away from Kent with another maximum 5-point haul, following an excellent all-round showing against Sevenoaks on Saturday.

With three bonus point wins on the bounce, Director of Rugby Luke Allen will be very pleased with how his team are performing and now find themselves just 5-points off top placed Dorking.

However, it was a nightmare start for Henley with winger Seb Scott limping off after only a minute. This seemed to unsettle the Hawks and the home side took advantage. Early pressure from Sevenoaks resulted in a relatively simple penalty, with the ever-reliable Ben Adams duly dispatching to make it 3-0 after three minutes on the clock.

This spurred the Hawks into life and with a driving maul coming down just short of the line, Omar Ellaboudy managed to fend off several tackles to power his way over. The tricky conversion was excellently converted by the impressive Max Titchener, who was asking questions of the Sevenoaks defence all afternoon.

However, if Henley thought they would have it all their own way, Sevenoaks were keen to prove otherwise. Another foray into the Hawks half for the mighty oaks resulted in a second kickable penalty, which Adams converted to narrow the gap to just one point at 7-6.

With Henley now back in the ascendancy but with the home sides defence holding firm, a kick to the corner gave the Hawks another opportunity. With the rolling maul a potent weapon again for Henley, Will Benning peeled away and dived over for the Hawks second try of the afternoon. Titchener was just wide with his conversion attempt.

Henley continued to put increasing pressure on the home side, but resolute defence managed to keep them at bay and the Hawks went in at the break with a narrow 12-6 lead and all to play for in the second half.

Both sides cancelled each other out in the early exchanges of the second period, but it was Henley who had the first opportunity to put points on the board with 52 minutes gone. An excellent long-range penalty from Titchener increased the lead to 15-6.

Now playing with increasing confidence and fluidity in their passing game, the excellent Adam Hakimian spotted a gap in midfield to cruise in under the posts for the Hawks third. This was followed just three minutes later by Leo Webb securing the bonus point try after picking up a loose ball from a driving maul and dodging past several tackles to touch down out wide.

Barney Stone pulled a try back for Sevenoaks with ten minutes to go, but Henley never looked like relinquishing their lead and a Tom Emery try on the stroke of full time sealed victory for the Hawks with a convincing 34-13 triumph.

Special mention to Number 8, Alex Bradley who made his 100th appearance for Henley on Saturday, and Luke Allen was quick to pay tribute to Bradley post match. ‘He’s been a great servant to the club, and for him to collect 100 caps is a proud moment and we’re really pleased to have him as part of the squad’.

Next up for the Hawks is the visit of Tonbridge Juddians to Dry Leas this coming Saturday, kick-off 3pm in what is already a big game in the context of how the season is unfolding.

Henley Hawks side vs Sevenoaks on Saturday;

15. Evans, 14. Rawsthorn, 13. Hall, 12. Hakimian, 11. Scott, 10. Titchener, 9. Webb, 1. Manning, 2. Totic, 3. Mason, 4. Lowe, 5. Ellaboudy, 6. Benning, 7. White, 8. Bradley

Replacements: 16. Emery, 17. Collins, 23. Lunnon, 19. Strugar, 18. Fryer

By Alistair Beynon

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