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Henley 28 - 32 Ealing Trailfinders 1871 U23s
Date: 01-02-2020 14:30
Type: Match
Section: Adults

LocationDry Leas
Pitch TypeGrass
CompetitionRaging Bull Div 2
CaptainOscar Avis
Vice CaptainEnrico Rolfo
CoachesTom Gamage, Paul Johnson
Team ManagerRob Williams
PhysioShane Gore
Press AttachéRob Williams
TravelAll direct. If you need a lift ask other players or team manager
Team MeetingChanging room 12:00. £5 fine into team kitty for late arrival. Message or phone team manager if running late.
Team RotaPost-match duties players 1 - 4
Dress code post-matchGrey Ealing Polo

If Friday or later cry-off then message or phone Ricky immediately 07956 442502

Team Selection

1 Tim Hitchcock
2 Lewis Perkins
3 Andrew Barton
4 Nyall Wake
5 Chris Ward
6 Oscar Avis
7 David Niven
8 Kairo Rodrigo
9 Harrison Slater
10 Enrico Rolfo
11 Jack Marsh
12 Manuel Viviani
13 Stanislas Duhamel
14 Kenenna Chukwuma
15 Toby Holt


16 Evan Poole
17 Forgotten

Bonus-point win for the U23s in stirring comeback

A crushing home defeat by the same opponents in October and a deficit of 14 points with just 3 minutes on the clock did not offer much hope of a positive outcome for the 1871 U23s at Henley’s scenic Thames-side ground, but a magnificent comeback in the latter stages of the first half and dogged defence at crucial moments in the second period enabled them to come away with a deserved bonus-point victory.

Ealing kicked off with the slight disadvantage of a strong diagonal breeze in bright sunshine. Henley collected, and showing great confidence ran the ball back at pace. After a couple of phases the Henley fly half put up a searching kick along the left-hand touchline, where the ball was allowed to bounce to the benefit of the chasing left wing, whose try was well converted. Another teasing kick from a similar situation following the restart was collected by the Ealing defence, but panic and a loose pass led to a turnover and a second 7-pointer. Undaunted, the visitors began to show some signs of the vast improvement apparent in recent weeks, and pick-and-go’s by the forwards eventually created space for full back Toby Holt to score a much-needed try. Ealing were starting to believe the game could be won, but were grateful to Holt for a thumping tackle into touch when the Henley left wing was put into space and looked more likely than not to make the try line. With the half-hour mark approaching the deficit was reduced to 4 points with a second try by Holt after the Ealing pack had driven their opponents back at the scrum. On 33 minutes the dangerous Bulls left wing was again tackled into touch, this time by scrum half Harrison Slater, the forwards took a clean line-out catch, the ball was worked along the back line and centre Manuel Viviani burst onto the ball at pace to score under the posts and put the visitors into the lead at 17-14 with a conversion by Slater. Just 3 minutes later neat passing along the line led to a try on the left wing by Kenenna Chukwuma, who ran strongly throughout the game. There was still time before the break for a bonus-point try by Jack Marsh on the right wing following a powerful run by No. 8 Kairo Rodrigo.

Turning around with a 13 point advantage after an inauspicious start, the U23s might have expected to pull away in the second half with the breeze slightly favouring them, but Henley came back strongly and 14 minutes after the restart reduced the deficit when their full back darted over from close range. The 1871 U23s were next to score through prop Tim Hitchcock following a quickly taken tap penalty, but with the home side upping their intensity and Ealing for a while slightly losing focus and giving away penalties, a converted try from a quickly taken penalty set up a nail-biting finish. The last 2 minutes of the game were spent with Ealing camped on their own line, but resolute defence kept their opponents at bay for a memorable victory against the Henley second string.

Man of the match was Lewis Perkins, who started at hooker before moving to the flank, for his line-out work and strong carries and tackles.

Event Photos 21
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