Griffiths back for Hawks as Guernsey come to town

Henley Hawks vs Guernsey Raiders - Saturday, April 6th, kick-off 2.15pm

By Nick Pitson

After their emphatic win last week, Henley Hawks have another home game this Saturday as they entertain Guernsey Raiders in the latest National 2 (South) fixture. Please note the kick off at Dry Leas is 2.15pm (to allow for Guernsey’s travel arrangements).

This will be the Channel Islanders first visit to Henley and as they are fighting to avoid relegation, the Hawks will be in for a tough match, particularly as the Raiders have won their last three fixtures.

The Hawks will be looking to build on last weeks victory against the Wild Geese. They did take time to get going against the Londoners and it did look as if the exploits of the previous week had taken their toll. However, it is at this stage of the season when teams need to show determination, commitment and togetherness and you cannot doubt that this Hawks squad has these qualities in abundance. They came out for the second half firing on all cylinders and scored immediately. It was one way traffic after that and although the Irish were one of the weakest teams seen at Dry Leas this season, the Hawks put them to the sword, scored six second half tries and kept the visitors to nil.

The Hawks are still in fourth position in the league, still on the same number of points as third placed Tonbridge, and now they are just six points behind second placed Canterbury. The Kent side failed to gain a bonus point in their win over Old Albanian last weekend.

Guernsey Raiders have struggled to adapt to the demands of the league and currently lie fifteenth in the table having won just seven of their twenty seven matches. However, they come to Oxfordshire with some form, thanks to three consecutive wins in the last three weeks and are now just five points behind Birmingham. They are right in the middle of a fight against relegation so the Hawks will be in for a stern test.

Last week, the Raiders held on for a good 27-20 win at home against Dings Crusaders, having previously beat the Wild Geese and Old Redcliffians.  

It was back in December when the Hawks visited the Channel Islands and came away with a hard fought 17-10 victory thanks to tries from Alex Bradley and Scott White in horrendous weather conditions.

Head coaches, Luke Allen and Tom Gardner have kept continuity in the match day squad and have made just one change from last weeks starting fifteen. George Griffiths comes in on the wing in place of George Wood who reverts to the bench.

Many thanks to Match Sponsors KJ Smith Solicitors and Match Ball Sponsors, Towergate Insurance for their support. Just a reminder that tomorrow is also Ladies Day at the Club, and as part of this we will be hosting the inaugural Henley Gin & Fizz Festival. Another massive thanks goes out to main sponsors, G.D Evans Interiors for sponsoring both the event and Harry the Hawk - who we’re pleased to announce has come out of retirement! We look forward to seeing as many people as possible come out to support both the Hawks and the event!

Henley Hawks line up.

Ian Stock, Tom Emery, George Primett, Jake Albon, David Hyde, Sam Lunnon (C), Marcus Lowe, Alex Bradley, Leo Webb, Dan Barnes, Jack Robinson, Ryan O Neill, Xavier Andre, George Griffiths, Liam O’Neill

Replacements:

Brad Cook, Elliot Deacon, Scott White, Liam Goodison, George Wood

The only other game being played at Dry Leas on Saturday is the 3rd XV (Vikings). They play their final game of the season at home to Reading 2nd XV, kick off is at 2pm.

The Henley Hawks Women have no game this weekend.