Hawks Women 15-22 Trojans
A day of sunshine greeted Trojans as they visited Dry Leas for the second game of the season in the Championship. Henley kept the ball from the kick off and made their way into the Trojans half with an early penalty. Pressure at the ruck led to a turn over and the fly half cleared the ball back to Henley hands. On a strong run, Davies took a high tackle which cruelly ended her match, and Nash was the first off the bench. Henley took advantage of the liberal enforcement of laws at the ruck and turned the ball over in the Trojans 22 to put them under pressure. Hard lines from Matthews and Wysocki-Jones kept the ball moving forward, and the Hawks moved the ball wide for Edwards to score her maiden try for Henley. Unconverted – 5-0.
Henley took the restart and make confident metres up the pitch, only to be quickly undone by an interception which sees Trojans run in uncontested to the try line; 5-5. The game continued to fluctuate with both sides finding space to run in, but unable to maintain possession for long periods. Trojans persevered with their kicking strategy with mixed results as the Henley back three are positioned well.
Davidson kept the Hawks on the front foot with several snipes from the rucks and quick tap penalties. The back and forwards linked well with Baker and Simpson both keeping the contact close and making metres. Solowin being typically difficult to tackle drew in several defenders and quick ball allowed Hearn to catch the defence on the back foot and power over. Unconverted 10-5. Saverton took the restart confidently but loose hands saw the Hawks back in their own 22 and under pressure. Despite winning a penalty and an extra 10 metres gifted by back chat, Henley concede the try and Trojans score an unconverted try just before the half: 10-10
As the score suggested, this match was very much in the balance. Henley came out fighting and Burger made good yards in her new role as a forward. Turnovers were a plenty for both teams but Henley were making themselves vulnerable by being too high with the ball in contact. Trojans reacted quicker to a loose ball and their flanker charged under the posts to take the lead; unconverted 15-10.
Tavinor and Hill both take the field and immediately contribute, with Hill making fast forward progress and Tavinor scrummaging effectively. Trojans were pushed back to their own try line, and given successive penalties were lucky not to lose a player. Quick thinking from Hearn on a penalty allows her to feed Edwards running hard to crash over. Unconverted 15-15.
With less than ten minutes to go, Trojans finished the more determined of the two sides, and forced their way into the Henley 22. The physicality of the match seemed to have taken it’s toll and a ragged Hawks defence was penetrated three minutes before the whistle for Trojans to finish the game 22-15. The Hawks came away grudgingly with only a losing bonus point, but this may prove crucial in the latter stages of the season. Coaches player went to Kate Edwards for her hard running and finishing capabilities, and the players voted for Ellie Davidson for her sneaky metres made and determined defence. The Henley women are have a weekend off before travelling to Cheltenham. They return to Dry Leas on 14th October for to face Thurrock.