Buckingham Swans 19-31 Henley Hawks Women
By Ali Mortimore
With only one game in the last 6 weeks, the well-rested Hawks women travelled to Buckingham returning with 5 points and a 31-19 victory against a much-improved Swans side.
Having beaten their opponents convincingly in the earlier home fixture, there was a chance for complacency and a lack of match intensity to creep in. It appeared this might be the case, as in the first game, Buckingham scored first and were looking for an upset. The Hawks however responded well with 2 tries from surging runs via Lauren Mueller and Carly Hadfield, back into the squad to help with the injuries to the back line. Both finished off under the posts to which Rachel Humphreys converted.
Buckingham were not dismayed and came back strong to make the score 14-12. The ding-dong battle continued as each side saw chances go missing before end of the first forty.
The second half saw the Hawks, now play up the slight slope, look to add a try right from the kick-off, through a scything run from Nicole Burger. It was stopped short, but the intent and pace had upped. Now in the hosts twenty-two and the pressure mounting, Burger cut through again under the sticks.
The Swans then replied with 7 of their own after a few missed tackles allowed for a score near the posts. It was now 21-19 and Henley needed to find another gear. This they duly did as they increased the tempo and with it the Swans penalty count. With the line out operating well and more strong carries from Hari McCormack another penalty led to another tap and go and Mueller to claim a brace and the bonus point.
Henley then looked to capitalise on the growing penalties and managed the remaining 15 minutes and clock well. Then with only a few minutes left Humphreys slotted a kick to make it 31-19 and seal the win.
Players player went to Lauren Mueller and coaches to Hari McCormack.
Tries: Mueller 2, Burger, Hadfield
Cons: Humphreys 4 Pens: Humphreys
The next game is another away fixture at Hove this Sunday as they look to cement their 4th place in the table.
Match photos courtesy of Steve Karpa; https://www.flickr.com/photos/steve_karpa/albums/72177720295860348