As the month of September closes, with teams now having played four league matches, one could forgive supporters of all London 1 South teams to start making predictions of title challengers, relegation fodder and ‘league within leagues’ . At Sevenoaks Rugby Club though, Adam Bowman is once again living to the mantra of ‘each game at a time’ and believes that the league won’t really settle down until the early knockings of December.
‘Of course we look at the other results each Saturday evening, but to then base how a game is going to pan out the next week would be pretty short sighted from a coaching and management point of view’ says Bowman. ‘I know that even though it’s only September and I must sound incredibly boring already to our supporters, it really is a long season and each game will pose a different challenge’.
Last weekend saw Oaks senior sides claim a clean sweep of victories, with the 1st XV posting a half century of points against Dover, but the most pleasing result for Bowman was the 2nd XV winning away at Medway, with the Head Coach commenting ‘I can’t remember the last time a 1st or 2nd XV went away to Medway and won. I know the 3rd XV have had success against them in recent times, but we saw in pre-season how strong they are as a squad, so for our boys to go away and win is a real feather in the cap. We had a number of players in that game stick their hands up for 1st XV selection, so there will no doubt be a lot of debate during the coaches selection meeting on Tuesday’
Another area that delighted Bowman from Saturday was the performance of a number of Academy graduates in both senior sides, commenting ‘We have worked really hard to create an environment where our junior players can flourish in the senior side. I was delighted to see Alex Rolfe get some good game time on Saturday – he was great around the park and even managed to score a try, which you don’t really expect from a prop! And Max Skinner has been brilliant for us since he has come in. He is off to Loughborough University now and I know all the boys wish him the best of luck – he will be really missed as he is great player but also an extremely mature young man who has adapted extremely quickly to the rigors of senior rugby.’
Looking ahead to this weekend, the 1st XV take the long trip to Tottonians against a side that beat Maidstone at the Mote last weekend and Bowman is under no illusion how tough the trip to the south-coast will be ‘We are going into the unknown a little with Tottonians. I think we played them a couple of seasons ago in the Intermediate Cup but I would imagine that both sides have changed quite a bit since then. The addition of a fairly long journey down there means we will have to prepare slightly differently on Saturday and make sure we are switched on come kick – off. We’ve been shown in every game we’ve played in so far that if you switch off for a minute or two, you will get punished.’
‘And the 2s need to keep up the momentum as well. They have Dartfordians in the Invicta Cup, a competition it would be great to have a run in, whilst the 3s havethe local derby against TJs which is always a tough derby, so we really are getting into the meat of the season now – we just have to keep our head down and work hard as a group and improving week on week’
Oaks 1s travel to Tottonians this weekend for a 3pm Kick Off, whilst the 2s are away at Dartfordians in the Invicta Cup, again a 3pm KO. The 3s play Tonbridge Juddians at the Slade with kick off at 3pm.