Preview: Hawks Clash with Cinderford

Henley Hawks travel to the Forest of Dean to play Cinderford this Saturday (kick-0ff 3 pm). The sides have become traditional rivals over the years. Neither side has exercise a particular dominance and the results usual favour the home side.

Last season the Hawks won at Dry Leas 27-13 whilst Cinderford, Cindy, as they are known in thus heart of Gloucestershire rugby, won ading dong encounter 34-27 there. Although the Hawks had the best aggregate score, it was a game that did not prevent either club avoiding relegation from Division 1.

An important deciding factor in the game at Cinderfordwas the place kicking of fly-half James Mossop, the home fly-half on his debut who scored 14 points from four conversions and two penalties. The Hawks won bragging rights as far as tries scored were concerned.

Henley returned to winning form last Saturday  with an exciting home victory in a high scoring game against league newcomers Bury St. Edmunds . The Hawks scored six tries to five and after falling behind in the first half 24-12 ran out winners 41-36. A feature of their try scoring was a brace by Tom Parton, playing at full back, on his debut. Also of note was the first game in the No 8.  positionof David Hyde.

The Hawks unfortunately have been forced to make changes for the game at Cinderford. Parton, who is dual registered with London Irish has been recalled by them to play in the  first round of the British and Irish Cup against Ospreys. Liam O’Neil reverts to N0.15 .lThe Hawks will also be without prop Ziana Montout-Alexis who is on loan from Ealing and they require him to be available for a game inthe same competitionagainst Leeds Carnegie.

As a replacement in the backs the Hawks will have Connor Hayhow who has recovered from the injury suffered against Barnes and he will feature at left wing with Xavier Andre on the right after not being available against Bury. As far as the front row are concerned Stuart Philpott will be available as a replacement after the safe delivery at the end of last week of his first child. 

As far as the Cinderford side is concerned they will include Moffatt who was again in fine goal kicking form last week against London Irish Wild Geese scoring 15 points in their 35- 24 victory in which they scored four tries. With points flowing aplenty this season this should again be a high scoring game

Henley Bulls are also travelling to play Cinderford United in a Zoo Premier merit  table game.

Henley Hawks v Cinderford
15. Liam O’Neill, 11. Connor Hayhow,12. Joe Butler, 13. Tom Gardner, !4. Xavier Andre, 10. James Comben, . 9.George Jackson, 1. Bradley Cook, 2. Tom Emery, 3. Barnaby Abdel-Weir, 4. Dave Clements (Capt.) , 5. Jake Albon,6  Tom Hall, 7. Connor Morrison, 8. David Hyde 16.Stuart Philpott, 17. Zaki Chamnaoui, 18. Iwan Davies,19. Charlie Davey, James Stephenson-Wright

Henley bulls v Cinderford
1 George Primett (Oxford), 2 Charlie Sichel, 3 Jamie Woodstock, 4 Tyler Wint, 5 Matt Thomas, 6 Scott White , 7 Jimmy Wright, 8 George Lane, (Burford), 9 Liam Eaton (Burford), 10 Toby Howe, 11 Cameron Ives , 12 Dave Hankinson (c) (Burford), 13 Will Janes, 14 Harry Burn (Oxford), 15 Tommy Haynes, 16 Ash Hayden, 17 Josh Collis, 18 Sam Middleton, 29 Teddy Hewins

The Way Ahead

The great work over a number of years sees the clubhouse development edging closer to completion. I am reliably informed that we are well on target for the official opening on Saturday 10 September when we meet Chinnor RFC in our opening home fixture of the 2016/2017 National Two South campaign.

The clubhouse provides the backdrop to the great enthusiasm shown by members of the Hawks, Bulls, Vikings and Women who have already started pre-season training.

We have retained a high percentage of our squad from last season and have made a number of new additions as you will see from Nigel’s update. The opening match of the season will be down in Cornwall at Redruth on Saturday 3 September, so why not take a short holiday down in the West Country and get behind the Hawks.

We are currently awaiting the fixtures for the Henley Bulls. These will be available once Premiership and Championship fixtures are confirmed.

The Vikings have a new Head Coach in Chris Parrott who will be supported by Murray Hughes, Matt Mann and Sam Quelch. The Vikings will commence there 2016/2017 season at Windsor RFC on Saturday 10 September in Berks, Bucks & Oxon League Division Two.

Ali Mortimore after eighteen years’ service with the Club will take up a coaching role with Harlequins RFC within the Women’s section. Therefore, I welcome  RFU qualified coaches in Mark Peris and Chris Skaife to coaching roles, Karen Peris, Team Manager and Aisling Byrne as Physiotherapist. The Women’s XV will continue in the RFU Championship South for 2016/2017 season.

Further details will be released on Bears, Vultures and Colts shortly.

The Club is currently working with the RFU, Oxfordshire RFU and Henley College to help recruit and retain players throughout the age range 16 – 24. A key area to grow our talent for the future and ensure individuals continue to play rugby. 

Henley College will continue to use Dry Leas for both training sessions and matches within the ASSE Leagues, well worth watching on a Wednesday afternoon or evening. The Club is very grateful for the support and assistance of the College and to the support from Jack Wiggins the Rugby Academy Manager.

The Club has received confirmation from the RFU that our RFU Accredited Club status has been retained. However, we have further work to undertake as part of our three and five year plans agreed with the RFU. This relates to updating the RFU Game management System (GMS) and DBS records to ensure integrity with our safeguarding arrangements alongside plans to grow Women’s Rugby and retention of players within the game.

Work continues with both the RFU and Oxfordshire RFU to ensure we secure an appropriate grant and loan towards the continued development at Dry Leas with the addition of the following:

·       Two changing rooms

·       Medical room

·       Match officials changing room

·       Kit store

·       Club Shop

It is planned to commence work on the next phase in April 2017. If you are able to assist with support to this project then I will be really pleased to hear from you as I wish to ensure we continuethe momentum we have in improving all the facilities at Dry Leas.

I would appreciate you support with the RFU Core Values which Henley RFC fully supports as follows:

Everyone involved in rugby in England, whether as a player, coach, referee, administrator, parent or spectator is expected to uphold the Core Values of our sport.

Teamwork – Respect – Enjoyment – Discipline - Sportsmanship

·       Play to win – but not at all costs

·       Win with dignity – lose with grace

·       Observe the Laws and regulations of the game

·       Respect opponents, referees and all participants

·       Reject cheating, racism, violence and drugs

·       Value volunteers and paid officials alike

Enjoy the game

Looking forward to an enjoyable season.

Aubrey Doran

Director of Rugby Administration