1881s And 1stXV Win At Henley
Our thanks to Henley for hosting both sides and their hospitable welcome which included the newly completed and exceptional club house facilities at Dry Leas.
Both games were highly competitive, the 1881s played exceedingly well to first lead 0-12 at half time and then prevent the home side scoring while adding a further 22 points by full time to win 0-34. Tries included 2 for Will Goodge and 1 each for Paino Hehea, Matthew Collins, Elliott Reeder and Peter Weightman.
Academy graduates Lewis Sharp, Eugene Eukaban & Shay Howes made their senior debuts acquitting themselves very well. All have put their hands up to retain their places in the match day squad for next Saturday’s pre-season fixture against Peterborough Lions (kickoff at 13:00).
The 1stXV led 10-12 at half time but stretched away in the second half to win 15-38.
On 20 minutes right wing Owen James, dual registered with Wasps, fielded a loose kick, chipped the defence and gathered to score a try converted by Lawrence Rayner.
5 minutes later at a scrummage on the halfway line number 8 Billy Johnson picked up and fed James who, after beating the cover, scored his second try, this time unconverted.
Straight from the restart Henley responded with a try on 27 minutes and consistent pressure saw a second try on the stroke of half time, both tries unconverted, to leave the score 10-12 at oranges.
The second half began with a 43rd minute 5m line out catch and drive try with hooker Josh Taylor coming up with the ball, Rayner adding the extras.
In the 50th minute with Amps camped deep in the home side’s red zone, Henley rebuffed multiple forward drives before last season’s leading try scorer, left wing Sam Baker, ran an inside line to ghost through to touch down with Rayner again successful with the conversion.
On 63 minutes Henley scored a really well worked backs try from first phase which went unconverted.
In the 69th minute full back James Pritchard gave an inside pass to centre Sam Sterling who broke 30 metres up field, offloaded to the supporting Baker who gave the scoring pass to blind side Simon Pitfield on his shoulder with Rayner adding the extras.
On 75 minutes a penalty was kicked to the corner, the resulting lineout catch & drive saw second row Carl Burgess touch down the final unconverted try of the game leaving the score 15-38 at no side.
The nine debutants included Josh Taylor at hooker, Carl Garside at tight head, Carl Burgess & Alex Woolford at lock, Simon Pitfield at blind side, Billy Johnson at number 8, Laurence Rayner at fly half, Sam Sterling at outside centre and wing Owen James.
Next week the 1stXV host Welsh Premiership side Newport, kick off at 15:00