A lot of column inches have been filled in the national press this week on the topicof increasing injuries. If the pain is been felt at the top of the game, then the same can be said for six levels down from the Premiership as Adam Bowman and his medical team surveyed the damage from Saturday afternoons exploits in a weekend that had seen the 1st XV draw with Tottonians in a physical battle, whilst the 2nd, 3rd and 4th XV’s all claimed victory in their respective games.
‘We are very lucky that we have strength in depth and are able to slot in players who we have 100% faith in across all teams’ said Bowman. ‘But it can take its toll and it is a juggling act, particularly with four teams. We have been really unlucky with some of the injuries the boys have sustained, which has meant that they are out for a long time. We are starting to get some players heading towards the end of their rehab programmes which is the good news. Our medical department have been outstanding and have managed the boys really. It’s part and parcel of the season, but it can be frustrating when we don’t get to see those talented boys get out and show what they can do’.
Bowman’s 1st XV make the long trip to fourth placed Havant this weekend, whilst the 3rd XV face Dover 2nd XV at home and the 4th XV Gentlemen travel the short distance to Edenbridge RFC to take on a side who sit top of the league above Oaks on points difference.
If the two encounters last season between Havant and Oaks are anything to go by, then those in attendance will be in for a cracker. ‘I’m hoping that this weekend’s match will be a little bit kinder to my blood pressure!’ joked Bowman. ‘Both games last year were really close and were only decided in the dying minutes on both occasions. Our match at home was probably our most controlled performance last season and the match down in Havant showed how much of an attacking threat both sides are. Havant are a powerful side, with players who have National rugby experience, so we are in for a real battle this weekend. They are also at home and will expect to get the win.’
He continued ‘the challenge for the players is to implement the game plan that the coaching staff set out. We try and feed as much information as possible to the players, but they are the ones that have to action it. We’ve seen it in patches this season that when we get it right, we are a difficult team to beat. I might sound like a broken record, but we need to find consistency with that execution for the full 80 and not just for five or ten minutes here or there’.
Last weekend saw Oaks 2nd, 3rd and 4th teams glean a sweep of wins, meaning all three sides sit in the top places of their respective leagues. ‘We are really pleased at the moment with how those teams are performing. Naturally, due to injuries and availability, there have been some changes of personnel within those sides but because of the consistent playing framework we are implementing, the players that come in know the structure and pattern we want to play. It’s exciting to see those sides produce those performances – the guys have been working hard and are reaping the rewards every Saturday.’
Sevenoaks RFC Senior Fixtures | Saturday 7th October 2017
1500hrs Gavant RFC 1st XV v. Sevenoaks RFC 1st XV
1500hrs Sevenoaks RFC 3rd XV v. Dover 2nd XV
1500hrs Edenbridge RFC 1st XV v. Sevenoaks RFC 4th XV (Gents)