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Home > News > Rosslyn Park 48 - Henley Hawks 3
Your News Rosslyn Park 48 - Henley Hawks 3

This was a commanding performance, emphasised by the fact that Henley despite the score line were by no means at all a poor side. Hawks were unlucky to lose their fly half and kicker to a knee injury early on, but there had at that early stage already been signs that this was going to be Parks day. Henley took the lead, against the general run of play, with a 4th minute penalty from fly half Will Fulton. Park immediately served notice of intent with a telling maul, but were penalised before being able to capitalise. Soon they caught Henley offside for Ross Laidlaw to equalise. Laidlaw increased the pressure with a shrewd long kick to the corner. Hawks defended that well but were soon again caught offside for Laidlaw to make it 6-3 after 13 minutes. To compound the visitors misery, moments later Fulton was stretchered off with a knee injury. Park were straight back with an attack up the right sucking in defenders and when skipper Rob Jewell received the ball, spotting no one in front of him he simply pinned back his ears and went for the line, Laidlaws conversion bringing up 13-3. Play restarted with a bout of aerial ping pong, brought to a conclusion when a Henley player almost completely missed his kick and sliced the ball off the outside of his boot directly to James Strong for one of the easiest tries he will ever score. But credit to him, he was alert to the situation and wasted no time. Laidlaw added the extras for 20-3 after 19 minutes. Henley showed they were not just around to make up the numbers with a good attack of their own, forcing the home side to concede a penalty. They opted to kick for position and Park were able to snuff out the raid. Park were soon back with a good attack. Laidlaw hammered a kickable penalty to touch and the investment bore dividend with both Marc Sweeney and Mark Lock having good tilts at the line before the ball spread across for Jonny Barrett to go over. Laidlaw again converted. Park were now playing spectacularly entertaining stuff. A superb mazy run from Ollie Lyndsey-Hague saw the ball spread quickly across the field. A great run by Laidlaw nearly bore fruit. Graham Barr was at the centre of most moves, unleashing runs with his shrewd passing. A long diagonal kick put Park back on the Henley line, but when the visitors were awarded a penalty it was the end of the half. The home side were straight back onto the attack after the interval and within two minutes had pocketed the 4-try bonus point. The ball was whipped across to full-back Richard Davies, running into the line to scamper over in the corner. Ross Laidlaw now the Leagues highest points scorer nailed a peach of a conversion for 34-3. Young Brett Williams replaced Will Collier at prop during the interval. He is an outstanding young talent but has yet to learn totally how to resist provocation, and Park were forced to reorganise when temporarily reduced to 14 as a result of his allegedly throwing a punch. However, before Henley could even think of how to capitalise a shrewd pass from Laidlaw saw Davies grab a second try when the full-back scythed through the middle of the visiting defence, catching them flat footed. Again Laidlaw converted. It was time to play fast and loose with some vastly entertaining stuff. Another mazy run from Lyndsey-Hague drew defenders and made space for Strong to bag his second try, between the posts, for 48-3. Henley showed great spirit by still trying to exploit any gaps Parks commitment to attack might leave, and on several occasions forced the home side to show that they could defend as well. Speedy Anthony Fenner came on for Strong and almost scored a corkerwith a kick ahead and chase, but he ran into a Henley defender whose despairing dive saw Fenners knee accidentally catch his head at full gallop. It looked nasty; Fenner didnt wait for the referee but immediately rolled the player onto his side: the Park medical team were straight onto the pitch to assist their Henley colleagues. Mercifully the player was able to leave the pitch on his legs, albeit distinctly groggily. Park were now rampant. Fenner had a great run down the right stopped for foot in touch, then twice he sped close to the line, throwing speculative passes back over his head, but neither found a colleague. Two eminently kickable penalties were spurned in pursuit of the try line, but Henley held out, even finishing with an attack of their own before the referee blew for time. On this form, Park would have to be favourites for promotion; rugby as entertaining as this surely deserves to bring back the crowds.

Park: Davies; Strong (Fenner), Sweeney, Jewell (ODriscoll), Lyndsey- Hague; Laidlaw; Barr; Huggett, Ritchie, Collier (Williams; Blemings); Quigley, Slade; Jones (Gates), Barrett, Locl. Park scorers: Strong (2T), Davies (2T), Jewell (T), Barrett (T), Laidlaw (2P, 4C).

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