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RUGBY: Nine-try Hawks expose the class gap
10:00am Tuesday 23rd October 2012 in Sport
Henley Hawks made it seven wins in a row in National League 2 South as they outclassed newly-promoted Bournemouth 63-7 at Dry Leas.
Hawks were on top of their game, playing fluid, attacking rugby and although the visitors’ pack battled hard, the side lacked strike power.
Bournemouth actually took the lead in the first five minutes when fly half George Drake followed up his shrewd kick ahead and beat the Hawks’ cover to the touchdown. Henley were soon hammering away at the Bournemouth line, replying with a textbook try from Richard Briggs in the corner. Fly half James Comben, who was in immaculate kicking form, converted all of the Hawks’ nine tries.
Veteran scrum half Sam Hardcastle deliberately knocked on a Hawks pass which earned him a yellow card and Henley were quick to exploit his absence by scoring two tries in the space of two minutes, both touched down by centre Ali James.
Leading 21-7 at the end of the first quarter, the home side eased off a little before Comben put in a devastating sidestep to set up Ryan Newman for a try.
Bournemouth began the second half well, but sound home defensive work kept them at bay and Henley resumed their scoring spree with the most dramatic try of the game by replacement prop Alex Penny, in his first game of the season after a serious shoulder injury.
He took a flat pass to blast his way through a couple of tackles and crash over the line.
A tiring Bournemouth side found it hard to contain a dominant Hawks in the last quarter. Comben ran in the first of four more tries and flanker Matt Payne also touched down with a few minutes left.
Replacement wing Xavier Andre also got on the scoresheet and right wing Martin Nutt put the icing on the cake with the final score after a 40-metre run, shaking off two attempts to tackle him.
Chinnor went down 44-14 away to Redruth, conceding seven tries.
Tries from wing Frazer Kellythorne (2) and Sam Parsons, plus a conversion by Paul Thirlby put the Cornish side 17-0 up before Chinnor replied with a try from skipper Jonathan Winpenny, converted by James Cathcart.
Redruth ran away with it after the break, with further tries from Tom Duncan (2), Chris Fuca and Owen Hambly. Thirlby added two conversions, while Ashley Hosking added a drop goal.
Chinnor replied with Philip Seymour try, converted by Cathcart, but their misery was complete when Seymour was sent to the sin-bin for a technical offence and scrum half Frank Jones was shown the red card for foul play shortly afterwards.