Swindon Supermarine 8pts Henley Hawks 12Pts
After the Hawks receiving a bye in the first round of the Intermediate Cup, the second round saw Henley travel to Swindon to face old rivals Supermarine.
The Hawks did not underestimate the team from the league below as previous visits had always proven to be hard fought battles.
From receiving the kick off, Supermarines carried the ball well in the forwards. It was clear that they were up for it and wanted to dominate their home turf.
Both teams were being blown for offside and neither team could keep the ball for more than 5 or 6 phases; it resulted in a very messy first 10 mins. Eventually Supermarines were awarded a penalty in the Hawks 22 right in front of the posts, 3-0 to the home side.
The Hawks fought back into the the opposition half and managed to retain ball and build better platforms. However they were playing with little creativity and very one dimensional. All forwards were carrying well which allowed Dudding and Craig clean ball to make breaks. Yet the Hawks were still struggling to keep the ball and found themselves defending their line. Pressure was good and they forced the mistakes. The Hawks won the scrum allowing Hearn to clear the ball. Supermarine were furious not to come away with more points after phases and phases of play in the Hawks 22.
Another scrum in the Hawks 22 gave Leeds clean ball for Dudding to put Hearn away to make good run to half way. Quick recycled ball meant Dudding had gaps in front of her, she ran through with and just had the full back to beat, a perfect grubber kick past the 15 landing just over the try line meant it was a race between Wheeler and the winger, Wheeler won and ground the ball in the last play of the game, 3-5.
Supermarine meant business and came out in the second half with more fight and determination then the Hawks. They played most of the second half in the Hawks end. Similar stories, the Hawks were flat and losing too much ball in contact not allowing and wide ball. Henley were giving away too many penalties and found themselves defending their line again. Supermarines were awarded the scrum and beat the backs to score out wide, 8-5.
The Hawks had to re-build and score. The majority of the play was happening in the middle of the pitch, and Henley were struggling with Supermarines line speed. A change of play allowed Craig to pass the ball wide for Solowin to work her magic and run through and handing off what seemed like all 15 Supermarine players to score under the posts, 8-12.
8 minutes left on the clock and the Hawks had one job, keep the ball and run the clock down. Supermarines had a couple of chances only to be pulled back for a forward pass and a knock on. Murray had a sneaky run down the wing but tackled into touch to finish the game.
The Hawks won and move into the third round of the cup. The game was too close for comfort but a win is a win and that's all that matters in cup rugby.
November 27th the Women travel to Cheltenham for the return fixture. Henley are a completely new team from when they last met at the start of the season and are hoping to play some better rugby and provide a competitive game.