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Wharfedale prove to be doves, not Hawks
Henley 52, Wharfedale 22
A very poor first half performance by Wharfedale meant that they went in at half-time trailing 37-3, with a Tom Barrett penalty their only score in this SSE National League One match.
The Dalesmen's lack of application and effort was overwhelmed by committed attacks from a team threatened with relegation.
Henley's head coach Nigel Dudding praised the way his team had played, saying: "This was a standard I knew we could reach. We built this on a secure scrum and line-out.
"There was a collective spirit in the side which has given the club a lifeline and the supporters a palpable sense of relief."
Six tries were run in by Henley before half-time, although Wharfedale gave a better performance after the break, winning the second half 19-15.
Jake Armstrong, Nick Taylor and Scott Jordan scored the tries, with Barrett converting two.
A fourth bonus-point try eluded Dale but coach Jon Feeley commented that the second half performance was "a response full of character". He went on to say that he "would not let that gloss over what happened in the first half".
Feeley can "forgive mistakes at any level of rugby but could not forgive lack of application or effort".
He took full responsibility for the performance on the field and added an apology to the supporters who had travelled south, saying: "They deserved better than what had happened in the first half. The players are answerable to me and I am answerable to the club and the spectators”.
He finished with comments on Rob Baldwin and Aaron Myers, "who tried their very best to carry the team with typically brave performances", and also "Scott Jordan, who took over at scrum half and did admirably in a difficult situation".
Wharfedale: Georgiou, Jordan, Donkin, T. Davidson, Prell, Barrett, Dudman (Taylor 35), Steel (Howard 64), Larkin (Stockdale 40), Armstrong, Brown (Burridge 40), Powell (Mason 72), Barnard, Myers, Baldwin.
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