PETE Davies is calling on Henley Hawks to build on their winning run when they take on leaders Chinnor in a Christmas cracker of a derby tomorrow.

Dry Leas plays host to a National League 2 South encounter between two of the division’s in-form sides.

Chinnor boast an unbeaten record in the fourth tier, while Hawks have won nine of their last 11 games.

Henley’s run has seen them climb to fifth in the table.

And head coach Davies, who makes four changes, is plotting a first defeat of the season on their Oxfordshire rivals ahead of the festive break.

He said: “We’ve had a good first half of the season.

“It was a tough start with injuries and we played the top three teams in the first three games.

“But we’ve recovered brilliantly, improved every week, and got ourselves in this position. We’re looking to kick on, starting against Chinnor.”

Their opponents recorded a 41-7 victory over Canterbury last week to remain a point clear at the top of the table.

Davies accepts it will be a tall order to earn victory, but takes heart from their 29-29 draw 12 months ago.

He said: “Every team is beatable. Having watched their last three fixtures, they’ve got some really good performers and tough decisions to make with such a strong squad.

“We were in a bad place this time last year. We had loads of injuries, not playing well and we went up there and upset the odds.

“We’re in a much better place and so are they.

“The odds are stacked against us even though we’re at home, but we’ll give it a crack.”

Chinnor name an unchanged starting XV as they eye a 15th victory of the campaign.

And director of rugby Matt Williams is under no illusions all the pressure is on his side.

He said: “It’s a perfect weekend for Henley to finish 2017.

“They have absolutely nothing to lose and can throw the kitchen sink at the game.

“We’re fully aware the pressure is on ourselves to deliver, but the thing is that has been the case in every game.

“This is no different, it just so happens to be a local derby.”


Henley Hawks: Awcock, Andre, O’Neill, Perry, Portland, Butler, Jackson, Morris, Wunder, Primett, Clements, Albon, Hyde, Haynes, Tibbatts. Reps: from Ball, Hodson, Hadfield, White, Macrae, Robinson, Townsend, Janes.

Chinnor: Goss, Hayhow, Barnes, Dancer, Lamont, Hopkin, McDonald, Price, Birch, Gilding, Green, Ramshaw, Manning, Bordill, Bradley. Reps: Bingham, Oliver, Waddingham, Gliksten, Chesters.