Redingensians make their debut at Dry Leasin Division 2 ( South) on Saturday (kick-off 3 pm)as they having now sesttled at the most senior levei in their history and with eight wins and ten bonus points are in seventhposition andare four places above the Hawks
The clubs met at Sonning in the third game of the season. A close match resulted in a victory for the Hawks 26-22. Neither side were at full strength on that occasion. Since then the Rams, as they are now generally known as, have been the more consistent side and were comfortable winners against London Irish Wild Geese 39-24 in their last game , at home, prior to Christmas. In contrast the Hawks scraped homeagainst London Irish Wild Geese a week beforewith a last minute try, 25 24.
However the Hawks form decidedly improved before the break having collect two bonus points away at Barnstaple and in a stirring performance away at Chinnor, the then league leaders, were well and indeed worthy of a 29- 29 draw having led by five points on the final whistle. However this result was enough to move Chinnor off the top of the league tablea position they had held from the start of the season.
The match todaytherefore has the makings of an exciting derby game which could well set the tone for the rest of theseason. The Hawks have indeed been able to strengthentheir line for up for this game with a number of players who were note available for recent games having recovered from injury or demands to play elsewhere. This does not however apply significantly to the backs. At fullback, Tom Parton, at presentreleased from playing commitments with London Irish, will start at fullback which is helpful as Alan Awcock suffered an injury in the Chinnormatch. .George Jackson takes over, however, at scrum-half from James Stevenson -Wright who moves to the replacements bench.
As far as the forwards are concerned the Hawks welcome the return of Dave Manningwho has been on military duties for all games to date. Other changes see a revamped back row with David Hyde, injured for the Chinnor match now fit to start at No.8 with Tom Hall moving to his familiar position at No 6.. The Hawks also welcome back Rob Bellwho comes in at No. 7 There is a strong bench as far as the forwards are concerned with tight head prop Brad Cook returning after injury. James Hadfield who has done yeoman service in recent weeks continues at loose head.
As far as the visitors are concerned they have now established themselves in Divsion 2 ( South). A number of their selected team are well known to followers of the Hawks amongst them being Robbie Stapley who now captains the side. It is now some time since they featured as a warm up fixture for the Hawks pre-season, when they were in National 3. The most memorable of these, about six years ago, was when the Hawks selected their second team for the first half of the game to be 27-0 in arrears at the break . Fielding the Hawks selected first team in the second half they turned the game found to run out winners 29-27. As far as today’s match id concerned – dream on as far as the likely result is concerned.
Henley Hawksv Redingensians
15. Tom Parton, 14. Xavier Andre, 13. Connor Hayhow, 12. Liam O’Neill, 11. Simon Perry, 9. George Jackson, 10 Joe Butler, 1. Jim Hadfield, 2. Tom Emery,3. Dave Manning,4. Dave Clements (capt), 5. Jake Albon, 6. Tom Hall, 7. Rob Bell, 8. Dave Hyde 16.Brad Cook, 17. Stuart Philpott, 18. Connor Morrison, 19.Marcus Lowe,20 James Stevenson-Wright