Henley Hawks v Clifton - Saturday, November 3rd, kick-off 2pm
By Nick Pitson
Henley Hawks are at home this week for their latest National 2 (South) fixture. This week, the visitors are Bristol side, Clifton RFC with the kick off at Dry Leas at the earlier time of 2pm.
The Hawks now lie in an impressive third place in the league table following the excellent performance and victory in Cornwall last week. Not many teams will go to Redruth and get a win. Apart from the table topping Rams, the Hawks are now the form team in the division with five successive victories, including two impressive away triumphs in the West Country at Redruth and Taunton.
With this fine run of form comes higher expectations, both from the supporters and the squad itself, and they will be looking to further develop this week. They will also be hoping to convert more of the scoring chances that are being made, but it should be remembered that this is a new, young team, with new coaches and they have far exceeded expectations at this stage of the season.
With confidence high, Head Coach, Luke Allen has managed to keep continuity with just four changes to the starting fifteen from last week. Sam Randall comes back in at full back following his injury against Barnes back in September, with Finn Pietersen switching to outside half in place of the injured, Roddy Giles. In the forwards, Brad Cook replaces George Primett at prop, while Marcus Lowe returns to the side at No. 8 with Alex Bradley on the bench this week.
Clifton currently lie in 12th place in the league table with 16 points and will be tough, uncompromising opponents and the Hawks will take them lightly at their peril. The Bristolian outfit, one of the oldest clubs in the country, have won just three of their nine fixtures to date against Old Redcliffians, Worthing and Birmingham & Solihull.
Clifton have not found things easy in this league, finishing no higher than 10th and no lower than 13th over the last five years. Last season they finished 11th and it was honours even in the two matches against the Hawks. Henley won at Dry Leas 30-20, but Clifton triumphed at Cribbs Causeway, 29-22.
Saturday’s Match Sponsor is G.D Evans Interiors Ltd and the Match Ball Sponsor is The Head Partnership Solicitors - many thanks to you both for your continued support.
15. Sam Randall, 14. George Wood, 13. Ryan O’Neill, 12. Xavier Andre, 11. Liam O’Neill 10. Finn Pietersen, 9. Leo Webb
1. Brad Cook, 2. Tom Emery, 3. Dave Manning, 4. Jake Albon, 5. Dave Hyde, 6. Sam Lunnon (capt), 7. Tom Hall, 8. Marcus Lowe
16. Zac Clarke, 17. Andrew Stobbs, 18. Adam Neal, 19. Alex Bradley, 20. Ross MacDougall,
Also on Saturday, the Bulls (2nd) XV are away at Hertford RFC, kick off 2.30pm.
The start of the Autumn Internationals will also be shown on the big screen in the clubhouse and on Sunday, Henley Hawks Women play their latest league game at home to Bath, kick off 2pm.
The U13 travel to Aylesbury, the U14 are at home to High Wycombe and the U15 play a friendly at Abingdon.
On Wednesday next week (7 Nov), the Henley Hawks U20s XV play Ealing U20s at Dry Leas under the lights, kick off 19.45.