Hawks relishing Redruth challenge

Henley Hawks v Redruth RFC - Saturday, October 12th, kick-off 3pm

By Nick Pitson

Henley Hawks will be looking to build on their impressive display against Worthing last week, when they entertain Cornish side Redruth RFC at Dry Leas on Saturday afternoon. Kick off for this National 2 (South) fixture is 3pm.

Pressure will be on the Hawks this week to continue where they left off against Worthing but they will be under no illusions that this weeks test will of a different level.  Young Worthing side were outclassed last week but Redruth will bring their own brand of uncompromising Cornish rugby built around a strong pack of forwards.

The Hawks looked to play an expansive game at pace and all nine tries last week were scored by backs including hat tricks for wings Reuben Norville and Jack Robinson. Samir Kharbouch had a confident debut in the centre and his partnership with Alex Burrage has given the Hawks back line a much fluent and reliable look about it. Ewan Fenley, at scrum half, is providing an excellent link between forwards and backs and scored a couple of tries himself. Ben Bolster’s place kicking was in excellent form.

The Henley forwards dominated most of the open play and Dave Hyde showed what the Hawks missed in the defeat at Taunton the week before with some surging runs. Tom Hall was the dominating figure in the first half and there were good performances from Jake Albon and Alex Bradley. Rory Mason also made a strong impact when he cane on into the front row.

Coach Luke Allen, has made just two changes to the starting line up, both in the back row. Marcus Lowe returns from injury and replaces Alex Bradley at No. 8 while Will Bordill makes his first Hawks start in place of Tom Hall.

Henley Hawks

Liam O Neill, Jack Robinson, Alex Burrage, Samir Kharbouch, Reuben Norville ,Ben Bolster, Ewan Fenley, Brad Cook,Tom Emery,Charlie Hughes, Dave Hyde,  Jake Albon, Will Bordill , Sam Lunnon, Marcus Lowe 

Reps: George Primett, Scott White, Liam Goodison, Rory Mason, Elliot McPhun

And what of Redruth? They have promised much in recent seasons but have never really found the consistency needed to threaten the top teams. They are ,however, capable of beating anyone in the league on their day.There have numerous battles between the Hawks and Redruth over the years, often close, tight games. Last season, the Cornishmen finished in 7th place in the table. The Hawks did the double over the Reds last term winning 22-16 in Cornwall and then 21-17 at Dry Leas.

The Reds have made a solid start to this season, winning three of their first five matches so far. They are currently ninth in the league table on 14 points, six behind the Hawks.

The Reds started with an impressive 10-8 victory over Esher before losing at Taunton and then surprisingly at home to Barnes. Since then, they won comfortably away at Worthing and last week fought off the challenge of Dings Crusaders at the ‘Rec’ by 26-23.

A big thank you again to G.D Evans Interiors for sponsoring the game.

Elsewhere this week, neither the Bulls, Vikings or Vultures have a game this week. However, Henley Hawks U20 are at home to Oxford University Whippets on Saturday, kick off is 2pm so a good chance to see some of the youngsters in action before the Hawks game.

On Sunday, Henley Hawks Women have their latest league game away at Thurrock RFC. Kick off is 2pm.