Henley Hawks experienced their heaviest defeat of the season, unexpectedly, when they played Canterbury away, at the end of October, 51 -17 conceding seven tries in in a game in which a total of ten were scored.
The Hawks will be fielding a much changed ide from that which suffered such a heavy defeat with only sixplayers featuringin the side on that day compares with players selected today. This in itself shows a changed side that went down last week at Old Elthamians 39-20.
Injury was a factor in the loss as fly-half James Comben was taken to hospital with a neck injury after just 22 minutes. It is pleasing to report he suffered no serious ailment aandwas released from hospital well before mid-night. He will , however be unable to play today amd as a result Joe Butler will take over at fly- half. Liam O’Neill moves to full back . Sam Portland will start his first game, since re-joining the Hawk,s on the wing. Helast played for the club in 2008/9
The pack is re-shuffled through out. Tom Emery starts as hooker in place of Stuart Philpott who is in the bench. Dave Clements reverts to his preferred at lock allowing David Hyde to move to flanker which is probably his first choice role.. here is a new name amongst the replacements, Harry Burn. He has been impressing asa scrum-half for the Bulls since he joined the club from Oxford Harlequins in October.
Canterbury lie comfortably in mid-table in seventh position with 64 points winning twelve of their 21 games and therefore23 points ahead of the Hawkshaving earned 16 bonus points. . Their r leading try scorer is wing GuyHilltonwith seventeen which included a hat trick when the sides met in November.. Last week they had a narrow victory at home 21-17 over London Irish Wild Geese scoring three tries all of which were converted by fly-half Ollie Best.
Hawks v Canterbury
15. Liam 0’Neill, 14. Simon Perry, 13. Xavier Andre, 12.Connor Hayhow, 11. Sam Portland 10. Jpe Butler,9. George Jackson, 1. Dave Manning 2. Tom Emery.3. Ziana Montou-Alexis, 4. Dave Clements (capt.), 5. Jale Albon, 6. David Hyde, 7. Rob Bell, 8. Marcus Lowe
16. Jim Hadfield, 17. Stuart Philpott, 18. Tommy Haynes, 19. James Steventon- Wright, 20. Harry Burn