There are a full raft of fixtures this weekend for Sevenoaks RFC Seniors and after last weekend’s wins across the board, Oaks will be hoping to build momentum as they enter the final stages of September.  Oaks 1st XV enjoyed home comforts again as they overcame league leaders Chobham 27 points to eight, in a match that saw Oaks resolute defence repel the away side for vast amounts of the game.  The 2nd XV put aside the heartache of losing in the last play of the match the week before against Tonbridge Juddians, showing true mettle by beating Sidcup  in the final throws of the game.  The 3rd XV match was unfortunately cancelled, whilst the Gents led the way as per usual with a strong away win against local rivals Tunbridge Wells.

  Oaks   vice captain Nigel Gumbleton in action last weekend against Chobham. Photo credit: David Purday

Oaks vice captain Nigel Gumbleton in action last weekend against Chobham. Photo credit: David Purday

Somewhat of an Achilles heel for Oaks over the last year or so has been backing up a strong performance with another, an area Head Coach Adam Bowman is desperate to improve.  ‘We were in the same situation two weeks ago’ said the Head Coach, ‘where we had a good win against Thurrock, but then were disappointing against Cornish.  If we are to move up the table, we now have to back up that performance and be consistent.  The sides in this league that are at the top, like Medway for instance, build momentum by winning three or four games on the bounce – it’s a mental thing more than anything really and this weekend will be a real test of the players to see if they can back up from last weekend.’

  Oaks celebrate beating Chobham last weekend. Photo credit: David Purday

Oaks celebrate beating Chobham last weekend. Photo credit: David Purday

 Hove have had a tough start to life in London 1 South, losing their opening three matches, but Bowman thinks that they will be targeting the match this weekend as a game where they can get their first win.  ‘It does take about three or four games to adjust to this level and we certainly found that when we came up a couple of years back.  It’s the physicality more than anything which is a step up from London 2 South East, but they will be getting the place now where they have settled and will be starting to get a rhythm, so we will have to be on the money to get anything out of the game.’

Despite it only being three games in, Bowman is pleased with the defensive efforts of his side so far this season, with his the meanest defence in the league at present, alongside Medway.  ‘Historically, we haven’t been known for our defensive qualities, but I think the attitude that Paul Dawson has brought in has been really positive.  I’m not getting carried away, we are only three games in, but we highlighted defence as an area that we wanted to improve and so far, we seem to have done that.  Certainly against Chobham, because of the amount of penalties we were giving away, we had to defend for large parts of the game.  Clearly that’s not ideal to be defending all the time, but to only concede eight points, against a side with dangerous outside backs, was pleasing.’

‘The result from the 2nd XV delighted us all.  I was getting a bit worried when we were 17-0 up and then went to 24-17 down, but to come back and beat a team of their quality, away from home, was brilliant and I was particularly pleased for James Fotheringham to go over for the winner.  The competition for places across the squad is as strong as I have seen since being here, so I am sure there will be players in the 2nd XV chomping at the bit this weekend to put themselves in the frame for the home match to Cobham in a weeks’ time.’

 

Oaks Senior Fixtures | 22.09.18 | All kick off @ 1500hrs

Hove RFC 1st XV v. Sevenoaks RFC 1st XV

Tunbridge Wells RFC 2nd XV v. Sevenoaks RFC 2nd XV

Vigo RFC 2nd XV v. Sevenoaks RFC 3rd XV

Sevenoaks RFC Gents v. Folkestone RFC 2nd XV

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