Outstanding weekend performances were the perfect tonic for England fans dismayed by the host nation's RWC2015 exit. The 1st XV powered home away to Hove, and the 3rd XV beat Old Gravesendians last Saturday. The Minis swung into Festival mode on Sunday,demonstrating how the future of rugby is alive and well; 200 players took to the fields at Medway, Guildford and at Foxbury, where three age groups won the Cup!
World Cup Rugby on the new big screens this weekend
The Clubhouse will be open on Saturday for the Wales versus Australia match, 4.45pm KO and England v Uruguay, 8.00pm KO – come down and enjoy a pint among rugby fans and friends. Then on Sunday the fixtures will be showing in the Clubhouse as business as usual. Enough of a crowd still at the Club post the junior sessions will see the doors held open for the big Ireland versus France showdown at 4.45pm.
Senior Rugby Saturday 10 October
1st XV: Crowborough Away 3:00pm KO League
2nd XV: Old Alleynians Away 2:00pm KO League
3rd XV: Dover Away 2:00pm KO League
There's plenty of junior action over the weekend, including Blackheath Festival on Saturday for the younger year groups and Sunday for the older ones.
Annual Quiz Night comes of age – 18th Anniversary
Put Saturday 28 November from 7.30pm in the diary. Tables of 8 for £15 per person, includes supper and wine. All sponsored by Fraser Williamson Fine Wines
Although teams of 8 are the order of the day, if you are not in a team, come along anyway and join up with other singletons or doubletons. All welcome. As usual there are many bottles of excellent wine to be won, plus loads of Raffle Prizes. Contact Howard Pearl 01732 763431 or firstname.lastname@example.org to book early and avoid disappointment.
When Lions roamed the Paddock
Longstanding Oaks supporters need no introduction to the Sevenoaks Sevens, a key staging post on the south east rugby circuit from the 60s to the 90s. Your editor was lucky enough to catch up with John Taylor, now a man of Kent, at Old Deer Park on Tuesday night for a celebration of London Welsh and Wales Rugby. He revealed the remarkable story of a hat-full of British & Irish Lions stars coming down to Sevenoaks to play for London Welsh in the Sevenoaks Sevens.
The composition of the London Welsh sevens squad that day was a roll call of rugby's greats – as well as John and JPR, there was Merve 'the swerve' Davies, John Dawes, Gerald Davies plus London Welsh stalwarts Billy Hullin and Rhodri Ellis-Jones. The Tournament was used as a warm-up event by Welsh, and other prominent clubs such as London Irish and London Scottish, for the Middlesex Sevens, a rugby institution held at Twickenham each spring.
"It was 1969 or 1970," says John, who played for Wales and the British & Irish Lions and is a renowned rugby commentator. "The Jaguar XJ had just come out and JPR Williams' father, a doctor, had bought one. We thought we'd be flash and JPR borrowed the car and drove us down. When we arrived it didn't take us long to decide where to park, right in front of the Sevenoaks Clubhouse!"
The fact the internationals were turning out under orders from London Welsh management the day after playing for Wales against France in the Five Nations shows how much rugby has changed.
John, a Loughborough University graduate, extolled the virtue of sevens for conditioning and development. He lamented how its standalone status from rugby union's mainstream format denies players the chance to hone 'sevens skills', which in turn add flare and quality when transitioned to the 15-a-side game.
Sadly fans no longer enjoy the opportunity to see the modern equivalents of the likes of Jonah Lomu, Waseli Serevi, Martin Offiah, Lawrence Dallaglio and Andy Harriman, players adept at both 7s and 15s, make their mark on rugby's consciousness in seven-a-side rugby. Who knows, maybe the new surface so close to the Clubhouse will tempt Lions back to roam the Paddock once more...Look out for the next insight on the Sevenoaks Sevens from yours truly the Club Pres and organiser of the Sevens, Phil Bradshaw.
Tweet of the week
We liked this one from @drmartintoms: The foundations of grass roots club sport reflect the foundations of society. Both are priceless when they reflect a family environment.
1st XV Report: Hove 13 Sevenoaks 63
Last Saturday saw Sevenoaks Rugby 1st XV make the long trip to Hove for their toughest encounter to date of the fledgling season. By the time the final whistle was blown, Oaks found themselves at the head of proceedings in London SE2 for the first time in nearly a decade and the only team in the league with three bonus point wins.
Sevenoaks took to the paddock on a perfect autumnal afternoon, with minimal wind off the nearby shore and a large helping of seaside sunshine. The pitch at Hove boasts a significant gradient from one end to the other and Oaks skipper Robinson chose to play up the hill in the first half. Oaks registered the first score of the day through the effervescent Vaihu who powered through several would be tacklers to score under the black dot. Fly half Winter added the extras and registered a penalty to give Oaks an early 10-0 lead.
Oaks pushed hard for a second try to give them some breathing space but just as flanker Desmith was going to go over the line the final pass was intercepted by Hove who raced the length of the pitch to notch their only try of the day. Oaks soon made amends for this aberration by executing a well worked catch and drive that saw Man of The Match Desmith score the first of a brace for the flanker on the day. After a quick exchange of penalties the half time scoreboard saw Oaks leading by 20-13.
With the elements in the visitors' favour and the Oaks pack beginning to dominate, victory for the Knole Paddock boys always looked likely. Despite having an excellent back line that threatened the visitors all day, Hove were unable to contain a relentless wave of Oaks attacks that saw a brace of tries from full back Streather and further scores from Winter, Tree, Saunders, Desmith and an absolute showstopper from Adams who rounded off a 14 man length of the pitch effort. With Winter kicking five from seven and Adams three from four the final score was 63-13 to the visitors.
After the match Coach Vaughan noted: "Today's performance was excellent especially as were missing players. Hove are a much better side than the scoreline suggests and I am certain they will cause other teams a lot of problems. To have three bonus point wins at the start of the season has given everybody a real boost and we look forward to the next challenge which is Crowborough away on 10 October."
Yours in rugby
Sevenoaks Rugby Club