The start to 2017 for Sevenoaks 1st XV was certainly not what Adam Bowman had in mind. A lacklustre performance that was error strewn, Bowman and his team were reminded, if they needed it, that if they are not at the races in London 1 South, they will be punished. In more positive news, Oaks 2s came away with a very good 20-17 victory at home to Westcliff, whilst the 3s continued their winning form, remaining unbeaten with a 54-12 win away at Medway.
The assignment for the senior squad does not get any easier, with an away trips to Dover and Tunbridge Wells for the 1st and 2nd XV’s respectively, whilst the 3s host local rivals Tonbridge Juddians at the Paddock.
‘There are two ways to look at Saturday’ says Bowman when commenting on his sides performance against Maidstone. ‘We can either have our chins on our chest, feel sorry for ourselves and mope around this week, or we can puff out our chests, face up to the fact we were poor and lift ourselves and performance in preparation for Saturday – clearly I’m expecting the latter. I was really pleased with the performance on Saturday of the 2nd XV and no doubt we will see some of those guys pushing in training this week to be involved with the 1st XV. It’s a long season and we will have good and bad days at the office – the key is not to get carried away when either happens. The boys involved at Maidstone know it wasn’t up to our standards. I might sound like a broken record but we are at the start of our journey as a squad and hopefully when the next time comes around, we will know what to expect and perform better when heading to places like The Mote.’
In fact Oaks get to show if they are quick learners as they travel to Dover this weekend, against a side who’s results have steadily improved and are notoriously tough to beat on their home patch. ‘They’ll have no doubt seen the result from last weekend and thought ‘we can really have a crack at these boys’. They have narrowly missed out against some of the top sides so we will need to be on out mettle right from the off. The result at the beginning of the season (when Oaks won 55-10) will have no bearing this weekend – conditions will be different and it’s on their patch, so we are expecting a really tough contest.’
Whilst the 1s look to get back on track, the 2s are now stringing wins together, whilst the 3s are taking their league by storm, remaining unbeaten so far this season. ‘The 3s have been outstanding all season – they have a really close knit squad and have been playing some really good rugby – you just have to look at the scores they have been posting. Phil and James have also been really good at giving the young guys a go – although that may be down to the fact they make them do most of the running! And I’m really pleased with the 2nd XV- they have another tough assignment this weekend at Tunbridge Wells, who beat us in the 2s league earlier this season. They had a bit of a sticky patch in October and November, but with injuries returning we have managed to bolster that team with some physicality and also some experience which has enabled them to compete up front and also fling it about a bit behind the scrum.’
Sevenoaks 1st XV take on Dover away this weekend at The Crabble (KO 2pm), whilst the 2nd XV are away at Tunbridge Wells (KO 2pm). The 3rd XV are at home this weekend, taking on Tonbridge Juddians at 2pm. Get down and support the boys!