Current National 3 Midlands Champions, Broadstreet find themselves in National 2 South for the first time. Due to an imbalance of teams, they have been level transferred to National League 2 South from 2 North as they are considered to be the most southerly team in the division. As such, this will be the first meeting between the two sides this afternoon.
It has been a difficult start to the season for our visitors with four losses from their opening four fixtures. Although their performances are clearly improving, despite losing at Taunton 41-21 on the first game of the season, they have since gone on to claim three bonus points from narrow defeats to Bury St. Edmunds and Clifton last weekend, whilst also picking up a try bonus point in the same game.
Founded in 1929, one year before Henley, they are based in Coventry and play at the Ivor Preece Ground, named after one of the leading players of Coventry’s great era which was immediately prior to the game going professional. They have excellent facilities there which emerging teams promoted to Level 3find difficult to match.
The Hawks returned from Tonbridge Juddians with a bonus point last Saturday but disappointedly were turned over after leading 14 -5 at half-time.
The team selected for this game shows that it has the opportunity to settle down with only two changes, one of which is positional in that Alan Awcock, at centre, switches with Liam O’Neill who takes his place at full back. The other change is in the back row where Matthew Tibbatts takes over from David Hyde at No. 6 who moves to the bench.
There is no doubt that the Hawks team selection is much more experienced than our visitors, for of the 20 Hawks on the team sheet, including the replacements, no less than eleven have played a level three and above.
At present the Hawks are in a very similar position as they were after four games last season with local rivals Redingensians Rams the one team beaten to date.
Henley Hawks v Broadstreet (kick-off 3 pm)
1. Brad Cook, 2. Tom Emery, 3. Dave Manning, 4. Dave Clements, 5. Jake Albon (capt.), 6. Matthew Tibbatts, 7. Rob Bell/Scott White, 8. Marcus Lowe, 9. George Jackson, 10. Joe Butler, 11. Xavier Andre, 12. Alan Awcock, 13. Will Janes, 14. Jack Robertson, 15. Liam O'Neill
16. Jim Hadfield, 17. Ian Stock, 18. David Hyde, 19. Michal Kruzycki, 20. Connor Murphy