Team: William Brook, Kyle Cameron, Benjy Collingwood, Charlie Drysdale, Luca Esposito, Lars Hansen, Thomas Hyde, Hamish McQueen, Brennan O’Keefe, Gerran Prescott, JC Vermeulen, Joel Walter.
The Oaks U10s all arrived bright eyed and bushy tailed for their last tournament of the season at Westcombe Park. Having won all their games at the same venue a few weeks earlier, expectations were high. The team had an hour of warming up before their first game against Gravesend. The Oaks were chomping at the bit and came out all guns blazing putting on a fantastic display of controlled rugby in the first half with the ball whizzing down the line from one side of the very wide pitch to the other. Both wings, Hansen and Cameron, showed their electric pace scoring twice notching up a 4-0 half time score after the most perfect rugby we have seen all season. Gravesend came back to score in the second half when the Oaks missed their first tackle. Sevenoaks switched back on, pulled back 2 tries to make the final score 6-1.
Next up were Blackheath, an old adversary. Again the boys in blue and gold came out of the blocks quickly notching up 4 tries in the first half. The defence was also awesome with Prescott leading at the front with some awesome rucking forcing several turnovers. McQueen put in the tackle of the day running back virtually the entire length of the pitch to stop a try in the corner and keep a clean sheet. The Oaks had to pull a player off at half time to even up the competition. However, they still dominated and Vermeulen used a combination of buffalo bull-dozing and gazelle leaping to score a hat-trick in the second half making the final score 7-0.
Not wanting to stop the theme of first halves, the Oaks scored 4 tries in the first half again against Cranbrook. The pick of the bunch was an immensely strong ‘cannonball’ run from Collingwood, who carried half the opposition with him for 20 metres before he landed over the line. Cranbrook came back in the second half with a quality score from their billy-whizz winger who outstripped the Oaks. The Oaks couldn’t quite reach the heights of their play so far, but managed to score another try to make the fulltime score 5-1. It was time for a well-earned lunch break…..
The first opponents of the afternoon were Upminster or ‘UpOaks’ as Sevenoaks provided 2 players for their team (and the next Upminster game against Cranbrook). Well done to Collingwood, Vermeulen, Walter, Esposito, Hansen and Prescott for volunteering to help out. Again the Oaks scored 4 in the first half, with O’Keefe powering through players for 2 well taken tries. In the second half the Oaks switched on the class again with some great down the line play. Walter and Brook unselfishly distributed the ball out to the wings showing great awareness of space. Hyde scored two crackers in the corners and Esposito showed his strength and power to notch up another ‘through the middle’ score. The final score was 8-0, but the highlight was the joint ‘three cheers for rugby’ sung by all players in a circle at the end.
Finally came Dartfordians, who had been watching and taking note of Sevenoaks play during the day. They had obviously done their homework as they broke the Oaks run of scoring 4 tries in the first half and held them to just one score. The Oaks had a real game on their hands in the second half as Dartfordians came back to match the Oaks scores with one well worked try and an unfortunate interception try. Luckily the Oaks woke up and found their passing game again with some wonderful teamwork and support play. Having scored tries earlier in the day, Drysdale showed great strength in his rucking and tackling to pull the Oaks back. The Oaks scored 4 in the second half, making it 5-2 at the final whistle.
It was a truly remarkable performance by the whole team. Each player should be very proud of their own performance, but most of all they should be proud of how they played as a team. The team spirit was epitomised by Colby Bedford-Eatwell who came along to support. Many thanks Colby!