The Wasps Apprentices got off to a winning start to mark their inaugural season in the RFU AASE League with an impressive 36-20 away win at Truro College.
The AASE, playing under the name of Henley College, had enjoyed a good preparation in their build up to the league with some encouraging performances at the Truro and Hartpury College pre-season tournaments. At the warm up events they recorded narrow victories over Truro and Millfield School, drew with Myerscough College and lost narrowly to both Exeter and Hartpury Colleges.
Henley’s final preparation was a disappointing defeat at the hands of Oaklands College, however the performance of the College reserve team who comfortably accounted for Oaklands 2nds was some compensation and demonstrated the strength in depth within the College squad.
Having completed their preparations Henley faced the daunting prospect of a five hour coach journey to Truro. Determined not to use the journey as an excuse,Henley got off to the perfect start when fullback Ollie Foster crossed in the 2nd minute after good lead up work by Lewys Weaver and Liam O’Neill. By dominating the lineouts and putting together some useful phase play Henley were finding plenty of holes in the home side's defence, resulting in four more well worked tries in the 1st half courtesy of Weaver, George Eastwell, skipper Ryan Kirby and Tom Inglis. Truro had shown some glimpses of their attacking ability, especially out wide, resulting in one well taken try in the first half.
Having to play up a slight slope in the second half it was clear that Henley were unlikely to dominate proceedings as they had in the first 20 minutes. Truro came back into the game strongly, capitalising on some sustained pressure they recorded two early tries to bring themselves right back into the game. Henley responded well however and by keeping the ball in hand they started to re-establish their dominance , David Hughes muscled his way over following a catch and drive, then the impetus provided by the substitutes allowed Henley to seal the victory with a sixth try finished off by former Reading Abbey junior Ryan Smith.
Henley College’s next AASE league fixture is a local derby against the apprentices of London Irish, St Pauls RC. This has now been switched to a home fixture on 12thOctober. This is likely to be played at Dry Leas, Henley RFC. If you would like to watch please check the Henley Hawks website for confirmation and kick off time.
The AASE's next fixture is against St Pauls College on Wednesday 12th October, 6:30pm kick off.
The AASE would like to invite supporters and parents or friends to come down to watch what is set to be a great rugby, with the clubhouse open for the game.