What Sevenoaks 1st XV can do, England can do too. Perhaps that was the talk in the Clubhouse bar after Elliot Daly screeched over the white wash in Cardiff on Saturday evening to give England victory over Wales in the Six Nations Championship.
Two hours earlier, the Paddock had been stage to similar late drama as the home side scored with the last play of the game to not only clinch victory, but also a try bonus point, as Adam Field won the race to a loose ball to dot down. The victory over Gravesend moved Oaks up to seventh in the league, moving them above their visitors.
Oaks now travel to Chiswick on Saturday, a team that have now been dragged into the relegation fight due to the recent good form of Brighton Blues. Despite winning handsomely at the Paddock in late October, Adam Bowman and his side are in no doubt of the tough fixture that awaits them. ‘Looking at their results, Chiswick are a different beast at home. They’ve beaten Tottonians there recently who are a top four team and knowing some of their players personally, they certainly have the quality to put us away. It’s something that I’ve been saying all season – this league is very tight and anyone can beat anyone, so you have to be on your guard every week. We have had two good results in the past two weeks, but we are definitely not getting ahead of ourselves. We can’t forget what has got us the two victories – sheer hard work and an improvement in our skills and execution. All of this really comes down to concentration so we need to make sure we maintain that level this weekend.’
Bowman continued ‘They will be fighting for their lives as well. With results around them not really going their way, they will see this as a perfect opportunity to turn things around so I have no doubt it will be nip and tuck throughout.’
The 2nd XV return to action this week with the visit of Beckenham, a team they are yet to face this season. With the squad struggling with a number of injuries to the forwards, Bowman is hoping for a few returning bodies in the coming weeks to bolster the squad ahead of the end of season run-in. ‘It’s been a difficult past few weeks for the 2nd XV. There have been cancelled fixtures and a lack of fit bodies, particularly in the forwards, which has meant players being out of position etc. But the players have adapted really well and also kept their head down and not complained, which I am pleased and thankful for. Games against Beckenham are always a big test and they are a bit like us in the way they play, liking to use the ball as much as possible, so it should be a good game. After the game was abandoned last week due to an injury to an opposition player, the 3s are looking to continue their run at home as well against Vigo 2s, so for those that can’t make the trip up to Chiswick, there will be plenty of rugby on at the Paddock as well.’
Monday brought the sad news that Marcus Lyne, a former academy player, had been involved in a road traffic accident at the weekend. Marcus is currently in Kings Hospital receiving treatment for his injuries and Bowman, who coached Marcus when he played for the Academy, was keen to wish him all the very best with his recovery. ‘Clearly it was very sad to hear the news about Marcus being involved in an accident at the weekend. Apart from being a very good rugby player, he is a great guy and is highly thought of and respected by his peers. Marcus and his family are in all our thoughts at the moment and we hope he makes a full recovery. We are a family Club and Marcus is part of that – although no doubt he has a tough road ahead in terms of recovery, we will support in any way we can and look forward to welcoming him back down to the Paddock in the near future when he is better. From everyone at Sevenoaks RFC, get well soon Marcus!’
Senior Fixtures Saturday: 18th February 2017
(All Kick Off at 2.30pm)
Chiswick RFC 1st XV v. Sevenoaks RFC 1st XV
Sevenoaks RFC 2nd XV v. Beckenham RFC 2nd XV
Sevenoaks RFC 3rd XV v. Vigo 2nd XV