For those taking the coach to Saracens we departed from Sevenoaks RFC at 7.45am and whilst the forecast all week for Saturday morning had been wet and cold it turned out to be dry and not too cold for the whole morning which no doubt complimented the standard of rugby played.
Game 1 – Old Colfeians 1 – Draw 6 – 6
The first game was a good solid start and whilst we could have won it, there were a few tags missed and the boys were not running onto the ball at the speed and varied angles that they are now capable of executing. The result could have gone either way so we were happy with a draw.
Game 2 – Chichester Hurricanes 1– Won 6 – 4
In game two, whilst the tagging was much improved from game 1, the team was still not fully unified. Consequently, it is fair to say this was won by a few individual performances, but with some great back up play by the others. It was a solid win against the south coast boys and girls.
Game 3 – Upminster 1 – Won 10 – 4
Having built a firm foundation in games 1 and 2, but knowing there were still a few elements of their game to improve on, Game 3 proved to be the turning point. All the players started to play a free flowing game of rugby which enabled them to move the ball around with side steps, swerves and even a switch was introduced which resulted in one of the 10 tries.
The other key element was that the players were now trusting each other’s capabilities and so when on the defence they were pushing up in a line on the tag, rather than some hanging back, which continually forced Upminster backwards and resulted in a number of turnovers on the 7th tag or even earlier as a result of Upminster knocking the ball on due to the pressure that Sevenoaks were applying. A couple of the boys tagging efforts were relentless !!
Game 4 – Old Alleyinas 2 – Won 8 – 3
Without wishing to soundblasé, there was much of the same in game 4 that we saw in game 3 and thus another convincing win. It was a pleasure for the coaches to coach and watch them andjudging by the noise on the touch line it was a pleasure for the parents.
Semi Final – Dartfordians Draw 4 -4
We made it, the semi final and only one game away from playing in front of circa 10,000 people at half time. It was a closely contested game from the start with some great team and individual performances and with only 2 ½ minutes to go we were 4 – 2 up with a glimmer of hope. Sadly, with a couple of missed tags Dartfordians ran in two successive tries and the final whistle blew at 4 – 4. The decision as to who went through was based on the team that scored the most number of tries in the group stage and so we thought we were in with a chance given we had scored 30 tries in just 4 games, but alas, we were trumped by Dartfordians.
In summary, it was a brilliant team performance by all 9 players and for us as coaches it was so pleasing to see them applying the skills that we have been coaching this season. They have all come on so much. Well done to all of them.
Players: Callum Le Roux, Edward Smith, Harry Corstorphine, Isaac Rossier, Jamie Williams, Luke Coll, Max Clark, Nick Makura, Raphael Landgrebe.
On a day with every type of weather thrown at us, Sevenoaks Team 2 travelled to Saracens for the Allianz Palter Competition.
Sevenoaks who are normally rather slow out of the blocks again conceded the first turnover – but that was also the last – and in an end to end game against Cheshunt Valley, with some quick passing, the score ended up as a 6 all draw.
Next up, straight after the first game, was Bishops Stortford. The players were tired and here the turnovers conceded made Sevenoaks pay – the overall play by Sevenoaks was top notch, it was just the turnovers that Bishops Stortford secured resulted in a 8-5 loss.
Old Alleynians were next up for Sevenoaks and after the rest, Sevenoaks really started to push on as a team – with some deft running, playing to the whistle and some magic tagging, Sevenoaks came out 6-5 Winners.
Hertford were the last game in the Pool and this time Sevenoaks really let rip – tagging furiously and making sure the support runners were ready, Sevenoaks carved through the opposition to win 8-4.
All in all the Coaches could not have been happier – there was not much else Sevenoaks could have done – the standard of play was good – it is now just a case of keeping on at the basics.
Sevenoaks 2 did not progress to the next round, although they had the same points as the pool winners, the number of tries scored in the games meant they could relax, watch the main game and meet Maro Itoje.
Players: Ediz Karsak (3), Forbes Logan (7), George Rehbein (3), Harry Edwards (4), Harvey Head(2), Hugo Smith (2), Sam Pearl (1), Simba Makura, William Jenkins (3)