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RUGBY UNION: Manning blow as Hawks are held to home draw
HENLEY Hawks prop Dave Manning suffered a double leg break during their battling 6-6 draw at home to Rosslyn Park.
Neither side created many chances in an attritional encounter that saw Manning stretchered off with a double fracture of his fibula in the first half.
Two penalties apiece from Hawks centre Danny Wells and Park fly half Sam Katz ensured it was honours even.
Henley assistant coach Pete Davies said: “Based on the performances, it was an absolutely fair result.
“Park will probably feel they could have sneaked it and we feel that as well.
“It became a bit of a slug-fest in the end with two packs going hammer and tongs at each other.”
Park lined up with former London Welsh man Paul Mackey at centre and were captained at No 8 by ex-Wasps and England Under 20 forward Hugo Ellis.
Henley were without eight potential first-teamers due to injury, but began full of purpose.
Wells put Hawks ahead with a 12th-minute penalty, having earlier missed an almost identical kick.
But they soon had fly half Tom Allen sin-binned for a dangerous tackle.
Park looked set to cut Hawks open, but a forward pass from wing David Vincent denied full back Peter Hodgkinson a run at the line.
The visitors’ flow was interrupted by the loss of Ellis with a leg injury, although their scrummaging improved.
Hawks had their own injury worries when Manning went off.
Man-of-the-match Liam Dwyer continued to impress for Hawks at openside flanker and later hooker.
Henley almost scored late in the half when Wells played in wing Alan Awcock, but he couldn’t get his off-load away.
Katz made it 3-3 with a penalty five minutes into the second half.
Park wing Dominic Shabbo was denied a try due to a foot in touch, but the visitors were turning the screw in the scrums.
One of many Henley infringements earned Katz a shot at goal and he made it 6-3 on 58 minutes.
Park went close again through Shabbo, but then had centre Henry Staff yellow-carded for not rolling away and Wells levelled with the resulting penalty.
Wells went wide with another penalty soon afterwards, but Hawks could not take full advantage of their extra man.
More Park pressure saw them threaten in either corner, while Henley’s late surge could not break the deadlock.
Henley Hawks: O’Neill, Baggett, Nutt (capt), Wells, Awcock, Allen, Carter, Manning (Milford-Scott 35), Brennan (Haynes 59), Penny, Clements, McNally, Long (Woodward 50), Dwyer, Stapley. Reps not used: Bruce, Reeves.
Referee: T Davis (Oxfordshire).
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