One could forgive Sevenoaks RFC Head Coach Adam Bowman for having a grin like a Cheshire Cat on Saturday evening. His 1st XV side had just beaten Maidstone by 44-17 in a bonus point, local derby win, whilst news had also reached him that the 2nd XV side had posted a fine win away from home against Charlton Park 2nd XV, winning 88-5. These two results all underpinned by the 4th XV setting the tone for the day with a 43-7 win against Swanley 1st XV at the Paddock.
‘As days go, I couldn’t have really dreamt for a better one’ said Bowman. ‘Both the 1st and 2nd XV’s were frustrated with their performances from the previous week and the boys worked incredibly hard in training to rectify the errors that we made. The 4th XV just continue to do what they do and win! I’ve said it before, but they are a great group and continually show the strength in depth we have at the Club. Their performance really kicked off the day in style and set the bar for the other teams to follow’.
And boy did they follow. Maidstone RFC have had the hoodoo over Oaks 1st XV for the past decade, nicking the game at the death in the same fixture last season before resoundingly beating Oaks in the fixture at the Mote at the turn of the New Year. ‘Those fixtures are two that perhaps showed the level we were at last season. We were naïve in the dying minutes at home and were bullied their place so it was nice to put in a solid performance and come away with a bonus point victory, particular in front of our own supporters. The 2nd XV were outstanding as well and put in a full 80 minute performance. It’s given the coaching staff a lot to think about during selection this week!’
The Oaks 1st XV travel to Old Colfieans this weekend, new boys to the league having navigated the same route as Oaks did via the play-offs a season before. They have lost on both occasions so far this season, to Maidstone and Medway, but Bowman and his side are wary of taking their eye off the ball. ‘It’s easy, after a good result at the weekend for all teams to think we have cracked it. Well, we know we are far from cracking it. Yes, of course we enjoyed Saturday, but Old Colfes are a strong side and Club – they will be itching to put in a good performance and win in front of their own crowd. They’ve played away from home on both occasions, and I know from last year that it takes time for a side to settle in the league. The challenge for us is to back up our performance from the weekend and show that we have taken a step forward from last season. Its challenge for all our four of our sides – to back up a good performance with another and be consistent.’
‘The two’s have a tough fixture against Tunbridge Wells 2nd XV, who will no doubt be wanting to get their season started after losing against Dartfordians last weekend. Those guys have set the standard now for the level of performance we expect so they will need to back it up this weekend.’ Saturday will also see our 3rd XV in action for the first time this season as they take on East Peckham. With the 4th XV taking on Gillingham Anchorians 2nd XV at home, Oaks will be fielding four senior sides for the first time in a number of years, a proud moment for Bowman and his coaching team. ‘We have worked really hard to create a squad environment and ensure that players are looked after and improve as rugby players. The social committee and leadership group have also done a great job in making it a fun environment to be part of. Running four teams is going to be hard work – injuries and availability will all play their part, but we are really keen to have a rugby offering for all of our senior players.’
1st XV match report v. Maidstone RFC click here
2nd XV match report v. Charlton Park RFC 2nd XV click here
Sevenoaks RFC Senior Fixtures | Saturday 16th September 2017
1500hrs Old Colfieans RFC 1st XV v. Sevenoaks RFC 1st XV
1500hrs Sevenoaks RFC 2nd XV v. Tunbridge Wells RFC 2nd XV
1500hrs Sevenoaks RFC 3rd XV v. East Peckham 1st XV
1500hrs Sevenoaks RFC 4th XV v. Gillingham RFC 2nd XV