September proved a happy hunting ground for Sevenoaks RFC 1st XV, as they won four out of five games, with their one loss coming against London Cornish away from home in the dying minutes. One thing is for sure, London 1 South rugby provides good quality, entertaining, high quality rugby and last weekend was no different, with Oaks squeezing past Cobham RFC by six points in a match that went back and forth on the scoreboard, the Paddock faithful will be treated to another mouth-watering encounter this weekend when Oaks face top of the table Brighton Blues.
The Blues have been uncompromising in their victories, going past the 60 point mark twice and garnering a try bonus point on every outing – quite simply, they haven’t missed a beat so far this season. Last term, they also did the double over Oaks, both home and away and will no doubt go into the fixture this weekend as favourites.
‘From the outside, they’ve been very impressive’ said Oaks Head Coach Adam Bowman this week. ‘Not only have they beaten sides, but they have beaten them well and they will be a side full of confidence. They have big ball carriers that like to get them over the gain line so we’ve already spoken about how much we will need to be switched on defensively and ensure that they don’t make easy yards. They will be favourites, but I like to think that the match being at the Paddock will help – we like playing here and the crowd last weekend got us over the line in a really tight encounter, so I am hoping for the same again this weekend.’
The Paddock will be awash with rugby this Saturday, as both Oaks 2nd and 3rd XV take to the field as well against Beckenham RFC and Canterbury RFC, whilst the Gents travel to Ash RFC. The Gents and the 2nd XV will be looking to get back on track, both having suffered defeats last weekend. ‘I understand from the coach’s report that we were just beaten by the better side on Saturday at Old Elthamians – they have a very strong set up there and played some excellent rugby with a young squad. It’s a much tougher league this year -which we wanted – so each week will be a test for the 2nd XV. It also allows us to see players in a challenging environment and whether they are ready to step-up to 1st XV rugby.’
Having the final word on this weekend, Bowman expects his men to empty the tanks, with a weekend’s break to follow. ‘No doubt across the league, the break will be welcome so that sides can rest some bruised and battered bodies and we are no different. We will have to go to the well again on Saturday to get anything out of the game – a number of times across the season the technical stuff can go out of the window and it just comes down to desire and hunger from those on the pitch. That’s always helped when we have a big, vocal crowd behind us – when the players are tired and need that push, the Paddock can be a real energy giver, as it has proven time and time again so I implore as many Oaks supporters to get there this weekend and cheer the boys on.’
Senior Squad Fixtures | Saturday 6th October 2018
1500hrs 1st XV v. Brighton Blues
1400hrs 2nd XV v. Beckenham RFC 2nd XV
1400hrs 3rd XV v. Canterbury RFC 4th XV
1500hrs Ash RFC v. Gents