With the 1st team going three wins on the bounce on Saturday, one would have expected Head Coach Adam Bowman to be relaxed and extremely happy with the world during his sides 45-13 win against Chiswick. However, up until 42 minutes into that match, the Head Coach was not the most joyfoul of souls. Bowman let his 1st XV know at half time on Saturday that the performance levels were not acceptable after an error strewn first half. It certainly seem to work, as two minutes into the second half Oaks scored through Shadyn Osgood which set a platform for a second half that saw Oaks home, scoring a number of excellent tries to the delight of the Paddock crowd.
‘I think the players would have been more shocked if I had come in and patted them on the back at half time. They all knew that the first half was not where our performance levels should be. It lacked zip, accuracy and was just flat across the board. What was great is that we reacted immediately and in the second half played some very good rugby. We did remind ourselves as a coaching group that, if you had told us during pre-season that we would beat Chiswick, who are experienced campaigners and a talented team, by 45-13, then we would have bitten your hand off. So whilst we were frustrated for the first half, we have put it into perspective.’
It was another tough day at the office for the 2s, who went down to Sidcup who won the match with the last kick of the game. ‘That was a real kick in the teeth. There were again some new combinations in the 2s, but the guys really acquitted themselves well. They have a very tough match against Dartfordians, who we just sneaked passed this season, but it’s at the Paddock so hopefully that will help them get over the line.’
Whilst both the 1s and 2s have suffered defeats this season, the 3s remain unbeaten, coming out on top last weekend against Vigo. ‘The 3s shows what great strength in depth we have in the Club. Some of their performances have been outstanding, particularly coming back against Cliffe a couple of weeks back. I hope that it is showing that the senior squad ethos that we have tried to bring in is working. We’ve really focused on trying to be as organised as possible and ensuring that every player feels they have a chance to play the best rugby they can.’
The Oaks 1st XV travel to CS Rugby this weekend, who currently sit in fourth and two points ahead of Oaks. The 2s face Dartfordians, a side that the Oaks beat in the Invicta Cup earlier in the season, whilst the 3s have Ashford at home as they look to keep their unbeaten run intact.
Having beaten Tunbridge Wells, the only side in the league to do so, CS Rugby will be a serious force to be reckoned with and will provide another stern test to Bowman’s men. ‘We will be going up by coach again and have to get our mind-set right. The last time we had a trip we didn’t perform well at all (against Tottonians), so it will be another test in our journey against one of the strongest teams in the league. Above all, it’s exciting. I don’t think we have played CS Rugby before, so it’s another weekend of going into the unknown and these are the fixtures that we have worked so hard to play in.’
The Oaks 1st XV travel to CS Rugby this weekend, whilst the 2s and 3s are both at home against Dartfordians and Ashford respectively. Please note that all Kick Off times are 2.30pm.