TOUGH AWAY DAY
By Katie Daunt
Henley Hawks 60 Raiders 28
WE ARE down.
Results elsewhere combined with the heavy loss against Henley Hawks means that despite the capture of a bonus point Raiders relegation is 99.9% guaranteed.
A miracle was needed at Henley and it did not come, although the lads again gave everything.
Henley’s offloading of the ball in the tackle was sublime and within three minutes of the first whistle they had scored their opening try.
Raiders failed to find touch and the Hawks backs duly ran the ball back to score in the corner.
It was soon 19-0.
The Hawks backs and forwards again cut open the Raiders defence with another try run in from their own 22, this time converted and straight from the following kick-off the Hawks delighted the home crowd with excellent offloading in the tackle for another try under the posts.
While Henley’s backs shone throughout the Raiders forwards were, at times, the more dominant pack and eventually a catch and drive in the Hawks 22 produced dividends.
The forwards sent Owen Thomas on his way with a fine break and he glided in for a try which he converted for a 19-7 scoreline.
With 10 minutes to the break Dom Rice received a yellow card and Hawks' quick tap and go brought them another try.
It quickly got worse.
Raiders were in the process of completing another catch and drive move in the Hawks 22 when they spilled the ball on the Henley line and the Hawks backs charged back down the pitch to score for a 29-7 lead.
It quickly became 34-7 and Raiders' misery was compounded when Doug Horrocks' blindside break and pass to Daly Aremu saw the winger playing his final game for the club, fumble the ball five metres short of the line and a certain try. From the following scrum the Hawks again demonstrate their offloading in the tackle and cut through for a fine try.
However the Raiders kept plugging away, as they do.
Undeterred they drove their way over the line for Matt Creber, who had now moved from the midfield to No.8, to come up with the ball. Owen Thomas converted and it was 39-14.
Hawks then stretched out to 60-14 before a late Raiders surge brought two converted tries and a bonus point.
Firstly Harry Baron scored in the corner after a quick lineout and Baron scored his second try from a Raiders catch and drive with seconds to go.