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RUGBY UNION: Hawks are pegged back by Esher
10:00am Tuesday 17th September 2013 in Rugby
HENLEY Hawks could not hold on to their lead in a 40-30 defeat at promotion hopefuls Esher.
Hawks were unlucky not to secure a bonus point from the match, which also saw their wing Xavier Andre sustain a potentially long-term shoulder injury.
Esher full back Luke Daniels and Henley centre Danny Wells traded early penalties, but lock Cameron Gentles strode through for the hosts’ opening try, Daniels converting.
Wells’s second penalty reduced the arrears before he converted wing Alan Awcock’s try to make it 13-10.
Daniels and Wells each added a penalty, but Henley No 8 Robbie Stanley plunged over after a superb driven lineout. Wells converted.
Although Henley led 23-13 at the break, Esher turned the game on its head with three converted tries in ten minutes.
The first came from replacement scrum half Robbie Shaw, who ran wide from what appeared a crooked lineout throw, while hooker Neil Sweeney and prop Neil Maguire added the others.
Daniels’s conversions took the score to 34-23.
Andre showed great pace and skill to touch down Hawks’ third try, which Wells converted.
Henley then had full back Neil Baggett sin-binned for a high tackle and two Daniels penalties sealed it for Esher.
Andre’s injury came late on when he collided with scrum half Luke Carter as they raced to touch down a kick in Hawks’ goal area.
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