With a convincing 27-10 win over fifth placed London Cornish last weekend, Sevenoaks RFC 1st XV proved that when they are at the races, they can mix it with some of the top sides within London South 1.
There were times against Cornish when perhaps Oaks showed they had learnt the lessons from previous away trips, with the boys from the Paddock quicker out of the blocks than their opponents, something which always hasn’t been the case. ‘I think, away from home, that was one of the first times that we’d scored first’ said Head Coach Adam Bowman. ‘Myself and the rest of the coaches could tell that the boys had a determination in their eyes to get off to a good start and that was probably the most focused I have seen us away from home.’
Throughout the season, much has been made regarding the need for strength and depth and Oaks reliance and trust in their youthful squad and if any proof was needed that the Paddock is a breeding ground for talented young players, then James Fotheringham and Charlie Corrigan showed in spades that a focus on promoting from within will allow the Senior Squad to reap rewards. ‘Both were outstanding on Saturday. James came to us last season from Westcombe Park and he has gradually immersed himself in the group, coming to the fore this season. Charlie was a star player in his age group and has only recently started senior rugby. Both have trained well and played some good rugby in the second team and the reports I have had back from the other coaches is that they have both been knocking on the door for a while, but I want to give players the best opportunity to succeed when they play 1st XV rugby, so it’s about picking the right time to introduce the guys. They both showed on Saturday why we put faith in them as they played with a maturity and confidence beyond their years.’
Whilst Bowman was clearly pleased with the 1st XV’s performance, his focus almost immediately switched to Brighton Blues at home this weekend. So far this season, Oaks has failed to string a run of consistent results together, posting a strong result one week and then losing or drawing the next. ‘We’ve had a bit of a stop-start season so far. We now have two games left before Christmas and so will be doing everything in our power to make sure we go in with two wins under our belt. Brighton will no doubt be reeling from their result at the weekend (losing to Colfes in the last minute), but we will once again focus on what we did against Cornish and then see how we can go up a notch this weekend.’
The twos and fours also backed up the 1st XV win at the weekend, with the 4th’s impressing with a 31-3 win, putting them top of the table and setting them up nicely ahead of the derby away at Tunbridge Wells this weekend. The 2s made the most of their match time, which in recent weeks has been few and far between, with a 22-21 win over Warlingham. They return to league action this weekend away at Old Alleynians RFC, who currently sit in second and two points above Oaks, having played a game more. The 3rd XV are also back in action, after their week off, as they face the tough test of Cliffe Crusaders. Oaks still sit in first position, but will be severely tested by the Crusaders.
The Brighton Blues match will also be the last home game before Christmas for the 1st XV and the Head Coach is hoping that his side will be cheered on by a big crowd. ‘The players really want to do themselves justice this weekend and back up the performance from Cornish. With it being the Vice President’s pre-match lunch, it will be great to have another big home crowd to cheer us on and hopefully show how we are developing as a side.’
Senior Fixtures | Saturday 9th December 2017
1400hrs Sevenoaks RFC 1st XV v. Brighton Blues RFC 1st XV
1400hrs Old Alleynians RFC 1st XV v. Sevenoaks RFC 2nd XV
1400hrs Sevenoaks RFC 3rd XV v. Cliffe Crusaders RFC 1st XV
1400hrs Tunbridge Wells RFC 4th XV v. Sevenoaks RFC 4th XV (Gents)