Sidcup RFC 1st XV 27-12 Sevenoaks RFC 1st XV
Sevenoaks RFC 1st XV travelled to Sidcup RFC on Saturday to take on the newly crowned league champions on a fine April day. After beating Chobham last weekend and following a good week's training under their belt, Oaks felt that they could cause an upset at Sydney Road.
Oaks kicked off and were immediately awarded a penalty, however Isaac Winter was unable to convert and the home side were able to relieve the early pressure with a 22 metre re-start. Both sides were looking to gain physical dominance with some thundering hits being made across the pitch, which led to some handling errors and loose ball in the first quarter. The home side, as expected, were an extremely well-drilled outfit and began to exert some dominance during the middle stanza of the first half. After a number of phases, they broke down the left with the Sidcup hooker diving over in the corner for an unconverted score.
The home side continued to hammer the Oaks defensive wall but were met by some resolute defence with centres Josh Penney and Shadyn Osgood, No.8 Sean Derrick and hooker Scotty Sedgewick particularly to the fore.
Oaks did find some joy with three clear breaks, but the last pass or a handling error meant that the home side were able to scramble the ball clear. With five minutes of the first half to go, Sidcup were camped on Oaks five metre line, but Oaks dug deep and the outstanding Derrick and his back row colleagues were able to stem the tide and ensure the men in white didn't breach Oaks line before the end of the half.
Indeed the men from the Paddock were to go ahead on the stroke of half time after a well worked line out in midfield gave Oaks backs a solid platform to work from. Osgood made a good break, stepping inside his man, before sprinting through a gap. He drew his man and found Adam Field who in turn passed to Dominic Saunders. The winger finished well in the left hand corner and an excellent touchline conversion from Isaac Winter saw Oaks go in 7-5 at the break.
The second half saw the home side show why they are without doubt the number one side in London 1 South. Physically powerful and athletic coupled with a relentless work rate enabled them to work their way into Oaks 22. Forcing a penalty, the home side's scrum half quick thinking saw him tap and go and feed his supporting runner who went in under the bar unopposed for a converted score.
Two more tries were to follow as Sidcup secured the try bonus point as they moved into a 27-7 lead. Oaks were resilient though and continued to make breaks, as Field and Jonny Short combined to almost score in the right hand corner. Indeed, their efforts were to be rewarded on the stroke of full time as Osgood broke through to touch down in the corner for a score that went unconverted to leave the final score 27-12 to Sidcup.
After the match, Head Coach Adam Bowman commented 'As expected, it was an extremely physical battle out there and credit to Sidcup, as they took their chances well. They showed us the level of execution we need to get to if we are to move further up the league next year.'
'I was really pleased with how the squad battled to the last and our first half performance in particular, going in at half time ahead, showed what quality runs through this group. Congratulations as well to Matt Simmons on his 1st XV debut after he came off the bench.'
'We have two more games now and we will fully focus on preparing well for our game against a resurgent Brighton Blues team which will be a tough match for our last appearance at home this season'.
1. D. Power
2. S. Sedgewick
3. A. Rolfe
4. S. Coleman (c)
5. T. Naismith
6. S. Humble
7. J. Baldock
8. S. Derrick
9. S. Goodhuw
10. I. Winter
11. J. Short
12. J. Penney
13. S. Osgood
14. D. Saunders
15. A. Field
16. M. Simmons
17. J. Henley
18. S. Tree