A buoyant Henley Hawks return to Dry Leas to play Bury St. Edmunds after defeating league leaders Taunton Titans 42-31 taking away their unbeaten record in the process.
Director of Rugby, Nigel Dudding, considered it to be their best playing performance of the last two seasons. It was an all-round performance, which truly hit the Somerset side scoring six tries, three tries by our backs and three for the forwards. Although flanker Rob Bell did not feature amongst the scorers, he was judged to be man of the match by Keith Brooking the Titans Team Manager.
There was a brace of tries by young wing Jack Robinson who has hardly featured in recent games because of injury. We will be looking to build on this victory with a solid performance against Bury St. Edmunds who we did the double over last season.
Bury St. Edmunds have had a much improved 2017/18 campaign having won seven of their matches to date under new head coach Ollie Smith. They are sixth in the league, two ahead of the Hawks.
Last Saturday they won a gruelling encounter with Clifton who relied on their pack in mauls whilst Bury used their backs to earn a 37-19 victory. It is indicative of Bury’s approach to the game that wing Dwayne Corcoran is their leading try scorer with 10, including one against Clifton.
The Hawks will be fielding much the same team as that which defeated Taunton. Unfortunately they may be without loose head prop Bradley Cook because of injury. His penalty goal from 50 metres, on half- time, was a feature of the game. A former Bury player, until last season, he featured as a regular place kicker for the St. Edmund’s side, the Hawks’ had previously not used him in this capacity. His place will be taken by Joe Morris who has recovered from the minor injury, which prevented him playing at Taunton.
The only other change will be at centre where Alan Awcock, now available, takes over from Will Janes.
We will be approaching this game with the confidence born of the victory at Taunton and be looking forward to taking steps to achieve their declared ambition to finish in the top six in the league.
1. George Primett, 2. John Wunder, 3. Joe Morris, 4. Jake Albon (capt.), 5. Dave Clements, 6. David Hyde, 7. Rob Bell, 8. Marcus Low, 9. George Jackson, 10. Joe Butler, 11. Jack Robinson, 12. Simon Perry, 13. Alan Awcock, 14. Xavier Andre, 15. Liam O’Neill
16. Brad Cook, 17. Tom Emery, 18, Matthew Tibbatts, 19. Tommy Haynes, 20. Will Janes