A STUNNING second-half comeback from Henley Hawks inflicted a 28-24 defeat on Redingensians Rams in their opening National Two South game of the season at Dry Leas on Saturday.

The visitors fell behind to an early try from second row Dave Hyde, converted by Connor Murphy, only for a Jak Rossiter intercept to open Rams’ account for the season, Simon Humberstone converting to level the scores.

The sides traded penalties, but Rams appeared to have taken control with Steve Bryant dotting down before their impressive pack earned a penalty try, with Henley’s Brad Cook sent to the sin-bin.

Leading 24-10 at the interval, the visitors had their lead cut early in the second period courtesy of another Murphy penalty, the former London Irish man producing a fine display.

Henley suffered a blow when Alan Awcock became their second player to be yellow carded, but Rams’ Greg Illingworth was also given a 10-minute break following an infringement.

The pressure began to tell on Rams, and Rob Bell crashed over on 59 minutes before Murphy again converted to make it 24-20.

Robbie Stapley – back at his former club – became the second Ram to be sin-binned, and Hawks moved in front when Dave Manning dotted down at the back of a driving maul.

While Murphy failed to land the conversion, he did succeed with a penalty as the home side held on to take the honours in the Battle of the Thames.

Redingensians will hope to return to winning ways when they entertain London Irish Wild Geese at Old Bath Road on Saturday (2.30pm).