Match report – Henley Hawks V Canterbury 1st XV
HENLEY HAWKS 33 CANTERBURY 24
by David Haigh
This last away game defeat was fairly typical of Canterbury’s inconsistent National 2 East season. After looking confident and organised for 60 minutes, and scoring three tries which gave them a narrow first half lead, they handed the initiative to the Hawks. They came away with a losing bonus point with a try from the final play but that was small consolation after the earlier good work. It was disappointing after a bright start which took the city side ahead in the second minute when wing Tom Halliday scored from Lewis Hollidge’s probing kick. Hawks replied through Will Crowe, who finished smart work by his backs, and a Max Titchener conversion and penalty goal kept the hosts happy. However, it was the Canterbury forwards who looked the hungrier of the two packs and they satisfied that appetite in the best way. Dave Irvine crashed over from short range and when Hawks hauled down a driving maul illegally the penalty try opened a seven point gap. With Henley’s lineout wobbling and their back division well policed it all looked promising until penalties undermined the Canterbury effort. Hawks used one to put Rory Mason across the line shortly before the break. It was a warning Canterbury failed to heed as the penalties continued to flow from a referee who was unhappy with the set scrums and it was their undoing. Titchener bounced a successful penalty goal off the crossbar and as the city side regularly conceded field position they were punished with two catch and drive scores by hooker Morgan McCrae, Titchener adding a conversion. Those scores came in the space of five minutes and while Canterbury lacked the accuracy to make something of two good chances it was Hawks who had a grip. Titchener’s third penalty goal widened the gap to sixteen points but in the 80th minute Canterbury found a final flourish and Frank Reynolds’ try and conversion rescued the bonus point.
Canterbury: C.Kingsman, T.Halliday W.Waddington, T.Best, F.Morgan L.Hollidge (repl F.Reynolds), B.Cooper (repl T.Williams), B.Young, S.Rogers (repl B.Dunkerley), D.Herriott (repl E.Lusher), D.Irvine, J.De Vries (repl A.Evans), J.Stephens, H.Furneaux, T.Oliver.