The month of November will kick off the same way it did in October for Oaks – against the league leaders. After beating then league leaders Brighton Blues, Oaks 1st XV navigated their way through the remainder of the month of October unbeaten, with two excellent wins against Westcombe Park and Tottonians.
And so this Saturday, on the 3rd November, Oaks will travel to top of the table Medway, a side that is currently unbeaten and a team that Oaks 1st XV haven’t beaten since 15th February 2014. It doesn’t really get much tougher then for Bowman’s troops. ‘Saturday is the acid test really’ said Bowman. ‘Based on league position and the fact we were playing at home, last weekend we maybe went in against Tottonians as slight favourites, but this weekend sees us as definite underdogs. Medway were unlucky not to go up (to Premier League South) last season and will no doubt want to put that right this term. They are unbeaten and I can’t remember the last time they lost at home. I know that we haven’t won their since I have been involved with the Seniors as a player or coach, so if we are to pull off a win, it will be something that hasn’t been done in a long time.’
Oaks 1st XV come off the back of a strong performance at home, scoring eight tries against Tottonians to the delight of the Paddock crowd. ‘It was nice to see a number of our boys, particularly in the outside channels, get the ball and have a go. The forwards laid a really strong platform and the desire from the whole team meant we finished off a lot of the chances that we created. To only concede six points as well was very pleasing – Totts had the ball for some time, particularly in the second half and we showed some resolute defence.’
Saturday began well for Oaks Senior Squad, as the 2nd XV overcame Westcombe Park in a tough, physical encounter, whilst the Gents made it three wins from three when they beat Cranbrook 2nd XV 43-5. All four Oaks senior teams will take to the field this weekend against Medway, with the 1st XV and 3rd XV playing away from home, whilst the 2nd and Gents entertain their counterparts at the Paddock. ‘It’s great that we have all four teams playing against the same Club – where possible, if we can have as many senior sides playing against the same club, on the same day, then I am all in favour. Medway are a strong outfit and have lots of depth, so whichever team we play, it’s always a tough, tight contest. We will be doing the same again in a few weeks, when we take a 1s and 2s down to Havant because it certainly helps logistically but also from a bonding side as well.’
As for Saturday, Bowman is under no illusion as to the size of the task that faces all four Oaks teams saying ‘We will have to go some on Saturday though to get anyway near the three wins that we had last Saturday. Taff (Gwilliam, Medway Head Coach) and his staff will have them revved up across all teams – they won’t give an inch and I know his sides will be extremely well organised and will play precise, physical rugby. But, if we can put into practice our learnings from the past few months, then we will be there or thereabouts. Whichever matches the supporters choose to watch, it should be a cracker.’
Senior Fixtures | Saturday 3rd November 2018
1430hrs Medway RFC 1st XV v. Sevenoaks RFC 1st XV
1430hrs Sevenoaks RFC 2nd XV v. Medway RFC 2nd XV
1430hrs Medway RFC 3rd XV v. Sevenoaks RFC 3rd XV
1300hrs* Sevenoaks RFC Gents v. Medway RFC 4th XV
*The Gents have requested this Kick Off time with Medway RFC.