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Lions & Sharks Rampant at Rosslyn

Sevenoaks Lions

Team : Ethan McKay, Wian Botes, Zac Williamson, James Sumner, Jake Hambling, Isabel Pennington-Legh, Josh French

It was the clubs first time at Rossyln, so we up against teams that were new to us, and overall across both teams, the standard of completion was high, and the Sevenoaks team stepped up, with some excellent running rugby. With the larger pitch

First match was against Battersea Ironsides, with the Lions winning a high scoring game 9 tries to 7 tries. With a try blitz from James (6), and contributions from Ethan, Wian, Jake and Josh.  

The next game was against Barnes, with the Lions winning a close game by 5 tries to 4, with the tries being split between Wian and Zac.

The third game was against Esher, with the Lions winning 6 tries to 4, with Josh showing his speed, which resulted in 3  tries for him, with contributions from Wian and James.

The next game was against London Welsh 2, with the teams confidence growing their game was improving, resulting in another strong winning performance of 7 tries to 3, as a result of strong contributions from the whole team, all playing as a team, with Isabel the top scorer and all the others contributing with tries and some excellent tagging with resulted in a number of turn over balls for the team.

The final games was against London Welsh 1, and for their final game the team had saved some of their best tagging, getting a 7 tag turn over and forcing the opposition out of touch a number of times as a result of some superb pressure, resulted in the Lions winning 8 tries to 4, with the whole contributing with excellent tagging and running.

Sevenoaks Sharks

The Coaches were really impressed by the team spirit and support among the players. 

Match 1 vs Teddington 4

This was a very close match with both teams trading tries blow for blow. Half-time it was 3-3 with the match ending in a well-earned draw for both sides at 7-7. Against a team that had some pretty handy players, our tagging was a bit varied at times. We let a few easy tags slip through but then made it up for it with some great passages of play where the team tagged ferociously, earning us a 7-tag turnover on one occasion. Max Cowie got 4 of the tries in the match – two of which were from great offloads from Theo and Leo, with Max finding good space to receive the pass.

Match 2 vs Barnes 2

The team’s tagging was much better in this game, which they deservedly won 6-5. Cayden, George and Theo all got some stunning tags including Theo going airborne on a number of occasions. Iris scored three tries, one of which was from a great position having found space to receive the pass. George got two tries (despite an injury) and Max completed the scoresheet with one of his darting runs.

Match 3 vs London Welsh 4

This was a great game for the team showing the benefit of persistent tagging and pressure. On three occasions the team managed to force a turn-over – either through 7 tags or through picking up a dropped ball. There were lots of great moments in this game and it is hard to pick a favourite. A contender was definitely Molly’s straight as an arrow run right through the middle of the opposition. Given the number of times the coaches talk about running straight and forward, this was great to see and she deserved the resulting try. Another contender was Max scoring a great try, picking a long pass up off his bootlaces. And also Louis’ trywhere he jumped on a turnover ball right by our try line, picked it up and started running and running and running….being chased the whole way to collapse over their try line. The pitches were pretty long… The end result was a very well-deserved 10-5 to the Sharks with most players getting on the scoreboard.

Match 4 vs Rosslyn Park 5

Match 4 was against a very strong local team who got off to a strong start, running in a couple of quick tries and capitalising on a couple of turnovers. Were the Rosslyn team offside on a number of occasions when they tagged the Sharks? Perhaps we will never know [Ed: they definitely were]. In any event, the Sharks rallied and fought back admirably, tagging well and getting their own turnover. Leo even managed to somehow tag someone when he had his back to them… But time ran out and Rosslyn benefited from having the ball for the last play of the game – to win it 6-5.

Match 5 vs Rosslyn Park 4

This was the team’s best game with some vociferous tagging from everyone. Cayden in particular stood out - he was pushing up quickly and was grabbing tags like he was in the Crystal Maze. This tagging meant we benefited from a number of 7-tag turnovers which allowed the Sharks to win another tough game 5-4.

Overall – the coaches were really pleased with the quality of passing, tagging and running. But even more than that, they were delighted with the whole team’s positive attitude and enthusiasm.

The Sevenoaks Sharks: George Crawford, Iris Fairbairn, Leo Grant, Louis Reaud, Molly Thomson, Max Cowie, Cayden Stenhouse, Theo Maltarp

 

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Festivals Begin with a Bang


Sevenoaks Panthers at Warlingham

Team Benjamin Williams, Cordelia Davies, Emma Coll, Jonty Corstorphine, Ryan Mallet, Don Glanfield and William Ray 

5 matches with 2 wins 2 draws and 1 defeat  

The first match started in drizzly rain and the Panthers didn’t quite get going being pipped 9-7 by Sutton. The larger pitch size was fully exploited by the opposition runners, finding the space with strong runners sneaking a couple of extra tries in the second half. 

However the team bounced back in the second match drawing a really close encounter 8 - 8 against Reigate with then team bonding and starting to play with great support, often scoring after 5 or 6 phases. William made some jinking runs and Ryan charged through the opposition and some ‘tag tackles’. 

With match three came the Panthers’ first victory. Emma was launching herself at the opposition and leading the tagging with some most incredible flying tags. Cordelia ran straight and powerful, scoring some cracking tries. Victory 10 - 9 over Streatham.

Match four saw the team deep dig in their mission and ended with a credible draw against a strong Beccs squad. Jonty was in scintillating form with more dazzling runs supported by the dipping runs and side steps of Ben.

In match five the team came up against the hosts Warlingham and the final game was a spectacle of ding dong scoring. It was left to Don to score with the last play of the game for a 9 - 8 win with a muddy slide in. 

Some very tired children departed having bonded as a team after putting their training to great effect. They all shared the tagging work load and running straight or finding the space on the larger pitches. Great support play led to some very quick phases of rugby. 

Well done Panthers

 

Sevenoaks Dragons at Warlingham

Team: Charlie Warren, Ethan Clark, Henry Birkett, Matt Stignant, Mikhail Timashenko, Ollie McDonald, Seb West & William Beech

Four matches, three wins and one defeat.

Sevenoaks Dragons began their first game against Beccs 2 and immediately realised how much larger the pitches were than the ones they were used to in the U7s last year. This didn't phase them and with some straight running and good support our players got the upper hand. Both sides scored a number of tries but Sevenoaks successfully scored in the last play of the game to win a tight match 6-5.

We had a welcome twenty minute rest to top up on fluids and talk tactics ahead of our game against our hosts, the Warlingham Worms. The team began well and were getting into their stride showing team work and good passing. The children demonstrated strong tagging throughout which was rewarded as it led to a turnover on more than one occasion. In turn, the opposition knocked on a couple of times and the Dragons ended the game 7-5 up.

With no time for a break the team went straight on to play Sutton & Epsom. Tiredness began to creep into the game and our tagging could have been better. The opposition had fresh legs and Sevenoaks inadvertently ran into touch a couple of times handing the ball to opposing side. The score was equal at half time but Sutton & Epsom upped the pace in the second half as they ran in several tries leaving the score 5-7 at the whistle.

The final game against Beccs 1 was thrilling. Everything came together and the team ran some very straight lines and notably always supported the player with the ball. Consistent straight running led to an avalanche of tries with one Dragon scoring four times. A high scoring game with consistent pressure led to Sevenoaks winning the game 10-6.

What a fantastic start to the U8 season and the children should all be very proud of themselves; they put their training to good use and are, I hope, looking forward to representing the club again soon. They should all be commended on their performances and their behaviour. 

 

Sevenoaks Tigers at Foxbury

Excellent day of rugby all round. Team included Austin and Oliver Harwood-Bridgen, James Diamond, Charlie Pierce, James Sumner, Sam Lobo, Pablo Pinto and Theo Andrews.

First game against the hosts Old Elthamians, was a fast close game, all decided on a turnover for stepping into touch by Old Elthamians, with Sevenoaks winning 6 - 5. With some very good straight running from Sam, Austin, James S and Oliver - all scoring tries.

Match 2 was against Westcombe Park, another very close game, this time Sevenoaks lost 5 to 6, all decided on one turnover, with Theo scoring 3 very good tries as a result of some superb support play, but the highlight of the game was Sam running the full pitch for his try.

Next match was against Dartfordians, where Sevenoaks bounced back from their previous game to run in 6 tries to 4 winners, the highlights included a 7 tag turnover which was the swing factor in the game as a result of the whole team contributing and some phenomenal direct running from James S with 5 tries.

The last game ended in a 6 all draw, with some excellent tagging from all, and strong support play.

Well done to all the players, showing that they put into play all the skills that they have learnt over the last few weeks.

 

Medway Pumas

The six gallant girls and boys from Sevenoaks Pumas, overcame the challenge of a small squad to see off Kent’s finest U8’s with panache and a lot of guts.

Cheered on by an enthusiastic and very vocal group of Mums and Dads, that probably gave the team the honour of having the loudest supporters.

Superhuman tagging by the whole team, especially the ever-smiling Farah, put the Pumas into a position where no team could beat their resolve.

Mazy running by Thomas and Felix, wily determination by Matt, dogged defence by Naomi and a bag full of tries by George, following some interesting try line navigation, led the Pumas to an unbeaten festival.

Clubs with such mighty reputations as Maidstone and Old Alleynians, were left crestfallen after playing the mighty Pumas. The team spirit and continuous learning were apparent throughout.

We played four games, won the lot, scored more tries than we could count and conceded very few.

Well done Pumas a mighty effort!

Team:  Farah Hilden, Felix Morris, Naomi Wright, Thomas Saunders, Mathew Trenter and George Coulter

Guildford - Sevenoaks Lions

What a ROARING start to the season!!!!

Sevenoaks Lions came out the blocks with pace, support and penetration. A couple of knock on’s was disappointing to give turn over ball, however, their understanding of the offside rule and not getting caught in this position was great to see.

The first match against Guildfordians blue, was a great starter with good all round skills being shown. This match ended as a 7-5 win.

The second match against Dorking Red was a competitive game with Sevenoaks two scores down at half time. With much tenacity we fought back with tag turnover and drew the match in the last move of the game.  5-5.

The third match was against Dorking Blue which proved to be a difficult game, with some very good running from the opponents. Our tagging could have been a little stronger in this game, and we’ll take this back to the training ground. A loss at 6-4.

All or nothing in the fourth match, we could not go home on a loss. The team dug deep, brought all their experience from the first three matches together to produce a commanding and successful win over our hosts, Guildfordians red. A victory to complete the day, 6-3.

A great start to the year and both RJ and Julian were very proud of the Lions.

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Mighty Oaks Magnificent at Meday - Kent festival reports

Sevenoaks U7s took 6 teams to the Kent U7s mini festival, hosted by our good neighbours at Medway Rugby Club.

The number one objective of the day was enjoyment and without a doubt, enjoyment won the day. The enjoyment of playing with friends, eating ice creams, running the obstacle course, and most important, achieving together as a team.

All six Mighty Oaks U7 teams played with the passion we are used to and again demonstrated our squad culture, with superb supporting and sporting play.

Overall results were: Played 24, Won 20, Drew 1 and Lost 3.

While winning is rightly secondary to the enjoyment of playing rugby in the minis, six teams achieving results on this scale is testament to the all the players commitment to the one team, one squad, one club ethos.

The coaches are extremely proud of the players’ performances at the Kent festival, at the end of this U7s season, and are looking forward to taking these players through to the next stage of tag at U8s.

SEVENOAKS DRAGONS

Team:

Josh Flame thrower French

Austin The Tooth Mitchell

James Smoke Diamond

Winged Olle McDonald

Jake Smiler Walton

Legs Logan MacDonald

Coaches: Julian & Charlie

Match 1 Dragons v Dover Won 9-7

Post an intense warm up given by Mr French and some detailed instructions from the coaching staff, the boys went out onto the pitch with gusto. Tagging was immense from the outset with all boys crossing the pitch from break downs to cover potential tries. On the attack Josh, Austin, James, Olle, Jake and Logan all proved they had great running legs with all boys scoring, ending in a 9 – 7 win.

Match 2 Dragons v Aylesford

Our joint training partners down at Aylesford, otherwise known as the Bulls were carefully dissected and consumed with vigour. No parts left on the pitch. The hungry Dragons finished them up 10 – 6.  5 tries from Austin, 3 by Josh and singles from Jake and Logan. The Dragons were hungry for the ball and turnovers came a plenty which resulted in clean tries. A faultless example of tag rugby.

Match 3 Dragons v Beckenham won 9-8

A closer match was had with Beckenham. They proved a better trained side with some strong runners, however the insatiable appetite of the Dragons was not fulfilled after the carpaccio of beef they had just had. Beckenham’s weaknesses were observed and then the crunch happened, 4 tries from Josh, 3 tries from Austin and singles from James and Logan finished the game with a win of 9-8.

Match 4 Dragons v Old Dunstonians

The final show down, an intimidating Dragon team stepped onto the pitch with their chests puffed out, laces tied tight and smoke billowing from their nostrils. The tagging was immense hit after hit after hit. The Dragons were pushing them backwards and this invoked confusion within Old D’s ranks. With turnover balls coming our way, the dragons converted them into tries. Double tries came from Josh, Austin and James with singles from Jake and Logan. The support play from the Dragon players ended the day with a formal back line and passing along it. This proved they really knew how to play the game and create space.

During the event, the Dragons did not have one offside given against them, nor a forward pass and we didn’t ever run out of pitch, unlike a lot of our assailants.

The coaches were very pleased about the quality of play and the boys really listened and understood what was required to make their games flow and score tries.

The team showed humility in successfully scoring each and every try and enjoyed shaking hands with the opponents and thanking them for the game.

The boys did keep asking during the games “are we winning?” of course at the time I was not able to comment as this would be against RFU Tag Rugby guide lines, but suffice to say, we had a clean sweep ;)

SEVENOAKS EAGLES

Team:

Aurelia Rothery, Emma Coll, Elizabeth Crosby, Erin wimble, Iris Fairbairn, and Molly Thomson

Coach: Cory

The Eagles walked up the slope to Pitch 14 with nervous energy. History was about to be made, with the Eagles representing the first all-girl team for Sevenoaks Rugby Club at the Kent Minis Festival. Playing the opening match of the Pool, there was little time to absorb the atmosphere or assess the opposition. 

Match 1 Maidstone Won 9-6

Maidstone were the Eagles’ first challenge. The Eagles had a little playful banter with the referee, before lining up an attacking arrow formation to start the match. Direct running by Iris and Aurelia and excellent support from Elizabeth and Emma caught Maidstone on the back foot and the Eagles established an early lead that was never surrendered.  Some impressive tagging by Molly and Erin, a taster of what was to come in the later matches, forced a couple of turnovers as the pressure squeezed Maidstone into touch. A victory in their debut match, with nine tries to six.

Match 2 Blackheath Lost 7-5

After the first victory, the Eagles were excited, enthused and desperate to get stuck into Blackheath. It was clear from the kick off, the Blackheath team were well drilled in defence, putting pressure on the Eagles as they drove forward and pushing them toward touch. A turnover close to the opposition’s try line was enough to give Blackheath the advantage. Molly sliced through the Blackheath defender a couple of times, with strong mazy runs, to keep the Eagle’s in touch. But with most scores going with the play, Sevenoaks couldn’t get the critical turnover to even the score. Blackheath scored last to inflict the first and only defeat for the Eagles. However, our defence improved through the match and the platform was set for the next matches.

Match 3 Ashford Won 8-7

The Eagles lined up to face a strong looking Ashford side, and it proved to be the toughest match of the day. The Eagle’s had to dig deep and work hard as a team in both defence and attack. The powerful running of Iris and Aurelia and bursts of speed by Erin (finding the smallest of gaps in the Ashford defence) kept the Eagle’s in the game throughout the match. A diving tag from Emma in the final quarter won the turnover which Elizabeth converted to a try after a flowing team move with at least one pass from every player. With the two try cushion achieved, the Eagle’s locked up the defence and there was no way back for Ashford. Not a single stray foot near the touch line throughout!

Match 4 Sidcup Won 8-6

The teamwork that had grown through the morning hit new heights in the final match against Sidcup. The Eagle’s tagging was ferocious with Emma leading the charge again (ably assisted by some touchline encouragement (!); the Sidcup players went as white as their shirts, looking like rabbits in headlights facing the Eagle’s gold and blue line. Three turnovers were won from incessant pressure on the ball carrier, and the Eagle’s took advantage of each.  The tries were spread throughout the team, and on the final whistle there was triumphant jubilation from players and a crowd alike. 

What a morning!! The expectations were high from the start and the girls certainly did not disappoint. The team was superb - Iris and Aurelia leading the direct charges forward, Molly and Elizabeth crafting gaps to break through, Erin and Emma bursting with pace to the corners. However, it was in defence that the team shone, recycling players to tag and tag again.

It’s possible amidst all the celebrations and photo opportunities at the end, the Eagle’s coach may have forgotten to referee the next match!

SEVENOAKS LIONS

Team:

Isaac Monks, James Daniell, Jonty Corstophine, Lucas Bowen, Pedri Van Der Merwe and Xavier Fontaine

Coaches: Rupert & Rory

The Lions shone for the Sevenoaks Lions at the Kent Mini Festival despite the early start and bitter wind.  

First up the lads faced the host club Medway, who matched the Lions score for score, as cold hands meant a few tags didn't quite stick.  However Pedri and Xavier showed the way and the boys' defence held out (just!) in a tough and skilful encounter. The final whistle came at a moment that suited the Lions and they finished up a score in front.  This set the bench mark for the rest of the morning.  

Pedri had whetted his appetite for tries with his mazy running and bursts of pace.  Everyone else wanted to join him in touching down too.  Xavier and Isaac took inspiration and added their mix of pace and an eye for space, eluding some good Gravesend defenders, to score well in Match 2. Jonty got involved too with splendid line speed to execute some top drawer tagging and also to score.  James wasn't going to be left out either marking up two tries of his own; squeezing past players where there looked to be no room to manoeuvre.  

Blackheath were the oppo for match 3 and, with some good runners, amongst them set off at a canter.  However, there was an excellent run of tags by the Lions to slow the pace so, when tagging pressure forced a couple of mistakes and the ball went loose; the Lions had a chance to pounce and did not look back.  Lucas led the charge and bagged himself a hat trick of scores.

The final match was against the blue and white of Bexley.  And the Lions did not disappoint. They really wanted to go out on a high.  Some great execution when tagging forced Bexley onto the back foot and the boys followed this up with some excellent support play to score well and often. Imagine if you will England v Scotland at Twickenham a few weeks back and you will get a sense of the game (sort Rory!).

The coaches could not have asked for a more consistent and accurate tagging display over all four matches and equally the quality of the lad's passing and support play meant that the teams having to defend fast Lions' attacks found it a real challenge.  To be able to stop start defences as easily as the likes of Xavier, Isaac and Pedri did today was fabulous to watch and for everyone to score showed what a brilliant effort the whole squad made.  

The purpose of the festival was for the players to thoroughly enjoy themselves, and I think the Sevenoaks Lions did just that (an unofficial tally of tries scored shows that the boys crossed the whitewash 37 times over 4 matches).

Rory and I would also like to congratulate the boys on the good grace, team spirit and sporting smiles they showed when we changed the teams up at half time, so that everyone could get involved and enjoy the fun.  Any Mum would have been proud of these boys and a great testimony to them, particularly, on Mother's Day!

Well done.

SEVENOAKS PUMAS

 

To follow:

SEVENOAKS SHARKS

Team:

Theo Maltarp – aka Bull Shark for his straight charging runs forward

Wian Botes – aka Sharkuille O’Neal for great support running and always being well-placed to get the pass

Edward Blackmore – aka Hammerhead (for pouncing headfirst on any turnover ball with no thoughts for his own safety…)

Coby Sherlock – aka Mako Shark – the fastest shark in the ocean

Hugo Read – aka Tiger Shark for some ferocious running through the defence

Leo Grant – aka Great White Shark – for attacking every tag like it was a baby seal

Coaches: Damien & Louis

Match 1 Sharks vs Beccehamians Won – 8-7

The team quickly settled into their stride with some solid tagging from the outset. This was despite our defensive line being more of a defensive huddle in the middle of the pitch but this definitely improved as the game went on. There was some good tagging from Leo and a nice piece of play when the oppo dropped a ball allowing Theo to pick it up, passing to Wian for the try. The team work was really good with strong support running. This meant that the tries were pretty evenly distributed with everyone getting one try (with Wian and Leo both getting two). This was a close game but won by our better discipline.

Match 2 Sharks vs Old Elthamians Won – 9-4

The highlight of this match was some superb tagging. OE were a pretty decent team but some ferocious tagging by the Sharks kept OE at bay. One passage of play resulted in at least 8 consecutive tags by the sharks with OE making no progress. This forced some errors and dropped balls which the sharks (led by Edward and Leo) pounced on. Coby got some great tags and four well-deserved tries. Wian’s good support work saw him getting a brace of tries. The best try of the match was a superb long pass from Leo to Hugo who was in acres of space to touch it down to give him his second try of the match.

Match 3 Sharks vs Vigo Won 12-11

This was a high-scoring and very close game with the Sharks narrowly coming out on top. Some good tagging from Theo and also some straight running which earned him 3 tries. Wian scored an impressive five despite coming off for a while with a knock to the head. Again, this was another game where everyone got on the scoreboard demonstrating the good team work and support play. Leo got a number of great tags with some good running with the ball from Hugo, Coby and Edward. Head Coach Blackmore had to be sent to the stands after trying to get Edward to pose for a photo mid-match…(evidence above!)

Match 4 Sharks vs Medway Won 9-3

Another all-round team effort with some strong tagging and try-scoring across the board. Edward had a cracking game but it was ended short after he got a knock on the nose when pouncing bravely on a turnover ball. Main try-scorers in this match were Leo, Coby and Hugo who used their blistering pace to good effect. Medway found themselves in deep water with no shark nets to protect them…

Overall – some great team-work and passages of play from the Sharks. The highlight was really the quality of the tagging which bodes well for next year.

SEVENOAKS TIGERS

Team: Alex Neale, Elliott Stratton, Finn Ravens, Luke Harris, Nilan Van Assche, Robbie Williams

Coaches: Stuart and R-J

Results and Reviews

Overall, the boys did themselves proud with great running, fabulous support play, wonderful teamwork, respect for the opposition and a plethora of tries! Areas for us to focus on – speed of restart leading to missed tags and confidence at the breakdown (it clearly doesn’t always pay to be polite!)

Match 1 Tigers vs Maidstone  – Won

The Tigers got off to a winning start, with plenty of tries from Finn, Nilan, Alex and Elliott. The great support work from Luke & Robbie showed that rugby is first and foremost a team game. The Tigers clearly had success in their sights!

Match 2 Tigers vs Gravesend   – Lost

Whilst the opposition adopted an “interesting” approach to the non-contact aspect of tag rugby, ably supported by their fifth player on the pitch, the Tigers were out manoeuvred at the breakdown and didn't quite manage to maintain the brilliant standard of tagging they showed in the first game. However, the Tigers still scored some fantastic tries. Luke 'Crash Ball' Harris really stepped up to the challenge of coming from behind, and showed the team the positive impact of running straight, and how his awesome support play could result in a try. Despite the challenging conditions, the Tigers never gave up and more tries came from Elliott and Finn's light footwork.

Match 3 Tigers vs Whitstable  – Drew

Luke again proved the art of running directly at the opposition. The whole team were excellent at moving the ball around and keeping it alive, with some mazy runs and successful tagging from Nilan and Alex. The match was a feast for the eyes for those who like their tag rugby fast and furious: for every try that Whistable scored, Sevenoaks came straight back with a try of their own. All credit to the running skills of both teams with no turnovers or running into touch for the whole game.

Match 4 Tigers vs Bromley – Won

A solid victory in the last game with support play and tries abound. Sevenoaks started slowly and Bromley edged ahead. But cometh the hour, cometh Robbie Williams.  A flash of brilliance saw him unleash a turn of speed that left Bromley standing; Robbie's try marked a turnaround for the whole team, which forced a Bromley turnover late in the first half. Their intensity continued into the last 5 minutes, which saw brilliant play, support running, and the tries we needed to bring home the victory.

Well done Team Tigers and thank you to the parents and grandparents who came to support on Mother’s Day.

 

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Sevenoaks Shine at Dorking Festival

DORKING FESTIVAL

Team:

Don Glanfield, Joseph Newman- Browne , Elliot Bellringer Oscar Harrison and Tyler O Reilly

After getting over the first challenge of the day - getting through the traffic jams and finding each other among the 50 Under 7 teams, it was time for a very quick warm up and then straight into the matches.  

These included matches against Old Cranleighan, Old Wimbledon Warriors, Old Emanuel and Old Whitgiftian, all of which were close matches with the teams separated by no more than one or two tries in each game.

Tyler unfortunately had to drop out after the first game leaving the remaining players to play the last 3 matches without any substitutions.

Across all the games there was great running, tagging and support from all of the boys with Joseph, Elliot and Don crossing the line numerous times, leading to us leaving with a couple of wins, one draw and one loss -  if anyone was counting the scores.

Well done to all the boys for playing with such great attitude and thanks to the parents for their support.

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Beccs & Edenbridge

Beccehamians

Sevenoaks Blue – Match Report

Team: Jasper Gregory, Austin Michell, Matthew Stigant, Oliver Somjee, James Sumner

A very successful day for the Sevenoaks Blue team, one of the key take-a-ways for the coaches was the significant progress that has been made by all players this year, and how each member of the team today contributed to the result and all once again developed their own skills through the day.

Vs Mid Whitgiftian

The team had a slow start, must have been attributable to the strong wind, losing a close game by 5 tries to 7. Jasper, James and Austin all contributing to the score line.

Vs Bechenham

After the first game, the team were eager to show their true skill, which they did, with a flawless performance, winning by 11 tries to 5. The margin was a result of some very good tagging from James and Oliver, coupled with straight running from the whole team. Tries were from Matthew, James and Oliver, and Austin having a super run in with 6 tries as a result of always being there is support of the rest of the team.

Vs Beccehamians

A very competitive high scoring game, which went right down to the final play of the game, with the win by 9 tries to 8. Strong tagging from the whole team, and some very impressive passing between the whole team, with Oliver as the top try scorer in this game, with contributions from Austin and James.

Vs Old Whitgiftiams

For the last game of the day,  the players put on a true team performance with every one scoring a try, and all getting some impressive tags, coming though as victors by 6 tries to 4. With the turnovers as a result of some sustained pressure.

Overall a very good of rugby, thank you to all the players and parents.

Sevenoaks Gold – match report

Team: Lucky Hayes, Felix Morris, Liam Hawkins, Alex Kelly, Jake Hambling and Theo Andrews

Beccehamians vs Sevenoaks - Result 3-5

Dunstonians vs Sevenoaks - Result 7-5

Bromley vs Sevenoaks - Result 5-5

Gravesend vs Sevenoaks - Result 4 - 6

The boys were consistent in their offence, some great running straight down the field with support always just over the runners shoulder. A good result in our first game against Beccs, fantastic tagging by all and a good defensive line on a turnover ball meant we kept some breathing space in the scoring, Theo, Jake and Felix running in the tries.

Dunstonians were a well drilled side and we lost a little focus after they ran in 2 quick tries. However this showed the boys not to sit too deep on the turnover to allow the opposition space and to make sure we kept a strong defensive line on the restart.

We secured a hard draw against Bromley, Felix, Lucky and Liam making some key tags with Alex showing pace to run in a great try to level the game.

Against Gravesend, the score line flattered the opposition, the boys were keen to finish on a high, we kept at Gravesend with frantic tagging, and managed to force a couple of turnovers as a result, with tries by Felix, Jake and Theo we comfortable won that encounter.

 

Edenbridge

Teams:

Sevenoaks Blue – Edward Collins, Elliott Stratton, James Quin, Max Cowie, Pablo Pinol, William Arnold

Sevenoaks Gold – Jack O’Leary, Lloyd Smith, Lucas Spearpoint, Nilan Van Assche, Noah Hagger, Oscar Harrison, Zac Williamson

Coaches Scott and R-J

All boys arrived energised to play and whilst split into two teams, acted like one unit.

Rather than pick out individual excellence on the day, the coaches felt it was more appropriate to reflect on the group as a whole – after all we are all one big team!

The boys were an asset to the club both on and off the pitch. The high energy levels in the morning continued until the final whistle and heightened at the well-deserved medal giving!

Team Sevenoaks showed resilience in running & tackling, leading to try after try and it was wonderful to see everyone make or score tries – a true team effort. A big thank you must go to the parents too, who were a great support and on hand when needed. As ever with our U7s, success abound – well done team!

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U7s at Old Colfs, Foxbury & Guildford

Old Colfeians Festival

Team: George Coulter, George Gallivan, Zoe Gallivan, Ollie Low, Logan MacDonald and Wian Botes

You could feel the excitement on the ground as the team arrived on a beautiful spring morning at Old Colfeians. Eager team members were warming up with their favourite games, immediately there was camaraderie and team spirit.  

This was followed by a drill for all players to have both hands on the ball while running and passing.

Before the Oaks U7s took to the pitch it was coach Coulter Snr up first, as he refereed the opening match of the festival.  Performance - 10/10.

Match 1: Sevenoaks v Old Elthamians (score win 4 tries to 2)

The warm-up proved key as the team was focused and ready for kick-off. Logan was straight out of the blocks with some strong running and Sevenoaks went 1-0 up. Brilliant tagging inspired by George G resulted in Sevenoaks securing a turn-over. Fast running and accurate passing from Ollie set Zoe up for a score in the corner. Logan produced his own version of the “Campese-shuffle” opening up the defence and offloading a brilliant pass to George C and another score for Sevenoaks in the corner. Straight running from Wian opened gaps in the defence and a flying Ollie went down the touch line to gently dot down for Sevenoaks.

Match 2: Sevenoaks v Old Colfeians (score 5 tries each)

The 2nd match was against the favourite home team. However, the locals knew this would be no walk-in-the-park. A straight pass from Logan to Wian from kick-off saw Sevenoaks taking the lead. Cross the pitch running from George C, similar to a Jonathan Joseph opening try (Eng v Scotland), had Sevenoaks well placed in the match.

The brother and sister combination of George G and Zoe saw some flying tags and fantastic defence. Ollie’s passing saw another try for Logan in the corner. A great run from George C had a passionate Ollie scoring to equalise the match.

Match 3: Sevenoaks v Edenbridge (score 5 tries each)

The match opening try, a crash-ball through the middle and no-tags taken saw Wian scoring in the opening seconds of the match. Zoe followed this with a great line-break and some zig-zag-running and beautiful pass for George C to score. Ollie running fast down the touch-line had the defence in disarray and another pass saw Logan score. Lovely hand-to-hand passing from George G to George C and it was match-on. Try-saving tags from all and great rugby match ending in a draw.

Match 4: Sevenoaks v Barbarians (score win 6 to 5)

All was surprised with the arrival of the Old Colfs version of Barbarian rugby. Sevenoaks was up against an open team, any player from any club could join the Barbarians to face the mighty Sevenoaks. Outstanding talent was displayed and a scintillating game of rugby was enjoyed by all. 6 tries scored by all members of the Sevenoaks team.

Match 5: Sevenoaks v Beccehamians (score win 4 to 3)

As the weather was closing in on a beautiful Spring morning, so was the energy of this young inspired team. Eating foot long hotdogs and having wrestling matches under the gazebo while ‘resting’ for the next match, was now showing on some tired faces. Wian scoring 3 tries and George C closing the tournament nicely for Sevenoaks.

All in all, a great day for players and parents, building friendships on, and off, the pitch.

 

Foxbury Festival

Sevenoaks Gold

Team: Cordelia Davies, Elizabeth Crosby, Iris Fairbairn, Molly Thomson, Lexi Kirkpatrick, Erin Wimble

We had our first all-girls U7 team playing at the Foxbury festival. They worked together and showed some true team spirit, learning from game to game, and developing as a team. By the end of the festival they proved to be a formidable and cohesive unit, able to run in some excellent tries as well as tagging collectively.

Sevenoaks vs Vigo

A strong first performance from the team, however, it took them a while to get into their stride, which resulted in them playing catch up throughout the match. The Vigo team had a number of very fast players, who managed to evade our early tagging efforts. Elizabeth and Iris both showed their pace scoring a number of very well worked tries.

Despite a late surge, the team lost narrowly with 7 tries to 9.

Sevenoaks vs Dartfordians

A very high scoring game, with a total of 21 tries scored between the two teams, resulting in a high passing game which came down to a single turn over, unfortunately we lost by 10 tries to 11. There was good straight running from Molly, Lexi and Elizabeth, with support from our top try scorers in the game namely, Iris, Cordelia and Erin.

Sevenoaks vs Old Elthamians

The team as whole worked together and the tag count improved significantly in this game, which resulted in game coming down to a single turn over. With the improved tagging the number of tries scored against them was halved from the previous game, but unfortunately we lost narrowly by 4 tries to 5. The whole team contributed in different areas, with surge in tags from Cordelia, Iris and Erin.

Sevenoaks vs Gravesend

For our last game of the day, the girls took on board all that they had learnt from the earlier games and put it all together in a smooth demonstration of tag rugby. A well earned victory was secured with the last play of the game, winning by a final score of 7 tries to 6. The team impressed in all areas of play, and the work rate of the whole team was outstanding.

Sevenoaks Blue

To follow.

Guildford Festival

Sevenoaks Blue

Team: Jonty Corstorphine, Matthew Trenter, Zander Reay, Charlie Warren, Sam Lobo and Luca Brunning. 

Match 1 v Old Alleynians - The opposition only had two players, so we lent them our initial reserves, which proved to be an error as Charlie caused our team's defence plenty to worry about running in try after try!  We managed to bounce back from the initial shock of our team mates charging through for OAs to record an 8 - 6 victory.  Overall, Sevenoaks players scored at least 11 of the tries! Won 8 - 6

Match 2 v CranleighWe were hitting our stride at this stage with Luca showing real pace to run in a couple of tries and Matthew tagging well.  Won 9 - 3

Match 3 v Reigatians.  Zander constantly pushed up in defence and his pressure created the crucial turnover which the team held onto through the final minutes to claim a close victory. There was also some impressive tagging / tracking by all. Won 8 - 7

Match 4 v Windsor.  Despite the opposition having a considerable size advantage, our boys continued to hassle.  Sam showed balance and pace running one try from his own half and scoring others.  Jonty supported well to add further tries, enabling the team to finish with a final narrow victory.  Won 7 - 6.

The boys were now caked in mud and tired yet never complained, showing great resilience.  Well done!

Sevenoaks Gold

Team: Aiden Rosier, Benji Rosier, Harrison Curd, Tom Weston-Simons, Cayden Stenhouse, Charlie Kalaher and Zac Williamson. 

Match report for Sevenoaks Gold at Guildford

The first match saw Sevenoaks take on Guildfordians. Sevenoaks had warmed up well and were ready for the first match. The well prepared Oaks took Guildfordians by surprise with their initial defensive onslaught and Benji picked up a ball dropped by them and run over for an early opening try. Some strong individual runs from Zac , Harrison and Charlie resulting in tries kept the score board ticking over. Aiden and Tom proved to be great support players to the tagged player and provided a good link to the oncoming runners. Cayden was persistent in defence and never gave up. Even when a tag was not achieved the continued pressure forced the opposition to make mistakes and kept them on the back foot which was to Oaks advantage.

Oaks finished match 1 as winners 8-6.

Match 2 and Chobam Blue were the next team to challenge Oaks. It was almost a replay of the first match and the boys continued playing to their strengths. The conditions were horrendous and the ball weighed about twice what it should have with all the mud on it. The team adapted to the conditions and strong running rather than passing became the strategy. Good support play of the tagged player allowed oaks to continue their attacks on the try line .

Oaks won 7-5 with a good team performance.

Weybridge Vandals lined up against Oaks for match 3. Both teams were undefeated on the day and looked to keep a clean sheet. The Vandals came out strong and got in some early tries. The strong running and support play resulting in some good tries kept Oaks in the game. The Vandals defence was fierce and upset the previous attacking rhythm Oaks had got into in the first two matches.  When the final whistle sounded Oaks trailed the Vandals and the unbeaten run came to an end.

In the team talk before match 4 against Chobam Green the boys decided they did not like to lose and were not going to in this final game. Particular focus was on defence for this match. It was the performance of the day both individually and as a team and all the players registered at least one score in this final encounter. Zac continued his strong running and scored some good tries , the opposition unable to deal with his pace or running lines. Aiden, Benji and Tom all scored an opportunistic try each , scavenging  off dropped balls from the muddy ground. Tom had a lot of work to do after he scooped the ball up midfield but still managed to dot down in the corner. Harrison scored a superb try in the corner as well after running millimetres from the touchline for most of the length of the pitch. Although they also registered on the scoresheet the outstanding performers of the match were Cayden and Charlie. It was the first match I have seen where the defence has outshone the attack and this was by some distance. Cayden and Charlie were so dominant over the opposition in defence and never allowed them an inch.

This performance resulted in a comfortable win for Oaks 11-5.

Well done to all the boys for their efforts on a wet and muddy day.

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Sevenoaks Return To Saracens

Sevenoaks Return To Saracens In Style

Six U7s squads that qualified in the Autumn Saracens festivals returned on 5th February for the Storm Core Values Festival.

The six teams performed superbly throughout the festival and carried their enthusiasm through to cheer on Saracens as they destroyed Leicester.

Some match reports below.

Sevenoaks Sharks

Team: Iris Fairbairn, James Sumner, Aurelia Rothery, Zac Williamson, Erin Wimble, Edward Blackmore

Won 4 Lost 0

The Sevenoaks Sharks returned to Saracens with excitement and dreams of building on the 4-0 whitewash of the Autumn. They didn’t disappoint, notching up a second 4-0 clean sweep with tremendous commitment and team work.

First up was Finchley RFC, who fought hard and were in the game throughout with tries being scored regularly by both teams. However, the pressure of the Sharks defence finally forced a missed pass, and the loose ball was picked up swiftly by Iris who ran it in for the crucial turnover try. The final score a 9-7 victory to the Sharks. James scored 4 tries with powerful running into the corners, Iris and Zac scored (2) apiece and Edward (1) after a mazy run.

Old Grammarians were steamrolled in the second match, with the Sharks triumphing 8-4 with incessant tagging and the quick shift in the defensive line creating three turnovers. This time the tries were shared between Iris (3), Zac (3) and Erin (2), with Erin’s second coming from delightful diagonal run that cut through a shell shocked defence.

The third game against Westcliffe was the toughest of the day and looked to be heading for a draw as neither team could quite get on top. At the death, the Sharks defence managed to squeeze a Westcliffe player out of touch and with the turnover finally in the bag, the Sharks wrapped up their third win 8-7. Iris (4) dominated the tries, successfully picking out the few gaps in Westcliffe’s defence. James added another 2 to his hall and both Zac and Edward chipped in with a try each.

Boyed by the victory in the third match and with the clean sweep within their grasp, the Sharks charged out of the blocks in the final game. Old Merchant Taylors didn’t know what hit them at times they looked clueless as Blue and Gold stripes cut through them.  The Sharks stormed to their highest victory margin of the day, 9-4, with tries spread around the team.  Having set up countless tries for her team mates throughout the morning, from direct running at the restarts, Aurelia scored the try that had been eluding her.  Iris (3), James (2), Zac (2) and Edward (1) completed the try fest.

Smiles all round as the Sharks complete their U7s two-part Saracens adventure undefeated.

 

Sevenoaks Dragons

Team: Pablo Pinol, Jake Walton, Harrison Curd, Finn Ravens, Elliott Stratton, Pedri van der Merwe

Coaches: Stuart Ravens, R-J Stratton

Won 3 Lost 0

Sevenoaks Dragons vs. Old Grammarians Purple – 6-4

Sevenoaks Dragons vs. Finchley RFC 1 – 8-4

Sevenoaks Dragons vs. Heathfield Hurricanes – 8-7

The day started out with some great running from the team but tagging was a little lack lustre. A win under our belts, a team chat and the Dragons started their second game with a clear focus…tagging. To their credit all the boys stepped up to the challenge with a great performance. The running and passing continued at pace but this time supported by some fantastic tagging, leading to another win.

The third game began with a quick try by Heathfield, followed by a response from the Dragons. It was clear this was going to be an end to end game. There were leaders across the park for the Dragons, all the boys put in a storming team effort. Recognition goes to Pablo, Elliott and Finn for some sterling tagging & Harrison, Jake and Pedri for some mazy runs. All the boys scored a try and certainly all made tries.

Congratulations and a job well done!

R-J and Stuart

 

 

Sevenoaks Pumas

Team: George Coulter, Sebastian West, Austin Mitchell, Alex Neale and Felix Morris

Coaches: Andrew Coulter and Julian Mitchell

Won 3 Lost 1

The Pumas had the excitement of being drawn in the same group as Sevenoaks Lions. A derby played on neutral territory on the Sarries first team pitch, sprung them into action, with their first game against their friends from the U7’s.

A slightly below par tagging performance led to a disappointing defeat in the first of our double headers vs their club mates. The next three games saw a massive improvement, and this carried over to the final match which ended with a stunning victory vs the Sevenoaks Lions.

Geographically challenging runs from George, silky skills from Sebastian, Guscottesque swerves from Alex, steely strength from Austin and great footwork from Felix, all contributed to a great day enjoyed by players, coaches and some rather cold parents.  

Great teamwork, support and passing skills were evident throughout the matches and Coaches Julian and Andrew cheered “”enthusiastically”” from the touchline, (although no one had a clue, including themselves as to what they were shouting about). The referee gave the side high marks in respecting the true spirit of Rugby throughout.  

Well done Sevenoaks Pumas you did the U7’s proud!

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Sevenoaks Sensational at Saracens

Four U7s teams left Sevenoaks at 6.45am looking forward to competing in the first Saracens festival of the season against teams from around the South East. While there was a good buzz in the air, the rain that arrived halfway round the M125 dampened any early expectations of free flowing rugby. However, what was to unfold during the morning was simply incredible.

From the off, all four teams demonstrated superb team work to create and hold the defensive lines they have been practising at the Paddock and to support the ball carrier at all times. From simple direct runs and well timed offloads, tries were scored at a sensational pace by all the teams.

In between the matches, as experiences were shared and the plays retold, the belief began to flourish in the children, coaches and parents. Victory followed victory. Each match a different player stepped up and stood out, whether for tagging, support, running or scoring.

At the end, each of the four teams had accumulated four victories from their four matches, a clean sweep of 16 wins from 16 matches. A phenomenal result across the four different pools, and against opposition ranging from Hertford, Chelmsford, Bancroft, Finchley and Deal, to local rivals Dartford and Aylesford. 

Well done to all the U7s players who took part.

Sevenoaks Tigers

Sevenoaks Tigers performed from the first whistle, notching up a 9-5 victory over the Maldon Trojans. Not a single horse to be seen in the Sevenoaks camp, Tigers all round with incessant tagging resulting in a couple of turnovers and the breathing space for the team to enjoy running in the tries. Max’s close support running was rewarded with a hat-trick of tries. The Harpenden Harps were a lot tougher to break down. Starting the match, the Tigers remained 1 try ahead with the run of play. Late pressure deep in the Harps half, forced the single error of the match and with the turnover, the Tigers secured the advantage. The final play saw the Harps score but the turnover gave the Tigers a 10-9 victory. The direct forward running was the highlight of the second match with Iris leading the try scoring this time with a hat-trick. 

Chelmsford presented a different challenge. A much scrappier affair, partly created by regular offside tagging against the Tigers from the whistle. Lose balls were quickly snapped up by Lucas who became the third player to score a hat-trick. Edward enjoyed a couple of mazy runs to set up the team, throwing in a pirouette for the fans. Last up were Hertford. A more one-sided affair as Pedri came into his own as a tagging machine, creating three turnovers. More foraging from Lucas, powerful running from Iris and on the shoulder support from Max saw tries being scored across the team. A 6-2 victory to wrap up the day.

Team: Edward Blackmore, Lucas Bowen, Max Cowie, Iris Fairbairn, Pedri Van Der Merwe

Sevenoaks Lions

The Lions opener against Dartfordians was cold and wet yet the team tagged well running in tries aplenty with Leo and Jonty leading from the front. A clinical 6-4 victory.  Tougher opposition was to come in the Aylesford Bulls but by then Aurelia had found her mark scoring one try with a great turn of pace and we came through with reasonable comfort for a 7-5 win.  The Lions hunted down Finchley from the first whistle with strong defensive lines pushing up much more effectively and this was led by Charlie, who also touched down.  Aurelia ran in a hat trick of tries and Liam showed real pace to add to the total for another victory (8 tries to 4).  Harpenden played well but The Lions were supporting well, tagging as one unit and finishing tries off at will to record a second 7-5 victory for the morning. So it was another four from four.  All five members tagged, scored and supported each other with not one forward pass all day - great work Lions!

Team: Jonty Corstorphine, Leo Grant, Liam Hawkins, Charlie Kalaher, Aurelia Rothery

Sevenoaks Dragons

Despite the foul weather, Sevenoaks Dragons never looked like losing all morning, winning all four games by at least two tries. All five players excelled, displaying all the key skills necessary for a successful tag rugby team. In attack, all the players ran fast and straight, with notable runs from the mazy Coby, mercurial Erin, and masterful Finn. Even more pleasing was that every runner always had a team mate following in support. On the rare occasions the opposition were able to tag one of our players, there was always a support player ready to take a pass and continue the move. 

Our defence was resolute and kept their structure. George was the superstar tagger of the day and his relentless determination helped turn the tables in every game. The continuous pressure Sevenoaks exerted on the opposition led to a number of turnovers. Elliott, master of opportunism, demonstrated the importance of speed at the breakdown, getting first to a couple of dropped balls and sprinting home for two turnover tries.  

Team:   George Gallivan, Finn Ravens, Coby Sherlock, Elliott Stratton Erin Wimble

Sevenoaks Sharks

REPORT TO FOLLOW

Team: Nilan Van Assche, George Coulter, Zoe Gallivan, Isaac Monks, Zander Reay

 

 

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U7s Perform on Chilly November Morning

Four U7s teams hit the road on Sunday 6th, for what proved to be the first chilly festivals of the season. Each team performed exceptionally well, reports below.

Sidcup U7s Festival

Sevenoaks Sharks

The Sevenoaks Sharks were drawn against some very stiff competition in the form of Sidcup 1 and Beckenham 1, who were very well drilled. Whilst our running with the ball was very strong, the opponents being quick up on us to tag from the initial pass meant we were on the back foot quite quickly. Tagging was also proving to be very difficult. However after close losses to the aforementioned teams 6-5 and 5-4, the Sharks were not demoralised and rose to the occasion, increasing their tagging rate and support play to secure three wins on the bounce against Edenbridge 8-5, Old Colfeians 1 6-4 and Old Colfeians 3 8-6. A great day was had by all.

Team: Cordelia Davies, Edward Collins, Rocco Frazer, Jack O’Leary, Oliver Somjee, Austin Mitchell.

Sevenoaks Tigers

The Tigers had a successful day winning all 5 of their matches in what were typically tight contests. First up was one of the two Sidcup teams in the group, with Sevenoaks winning comfortably 8-6 in a high scoring game. Sevenoaks then defeated Old Colfs 8-6 before a narrow victory over the second Sidcup team 8-7. A tight win over Park House 6-5 set up a final match against Beckenham, a great game with some excellent rugby. Sevenoaks scored in the last play of the game to take it 7-6. The day included some wonderful examples of team passing, tagging and running from all of the players.

Team: Josh French, Elizabeth Crosby, Felix Morris, William Beech, Barney Elrin

Aylesford U7s Festival

Sevenoaks Lions

The Lions faced stiff competition in Thanet in their first game, showing grit and determination right to the end of the game with Joseph and Seb running in tries. Against Aylesford (3) the Lions missed out narrowly, some super tagging from Lucky and Ciaran keeping the opposition’s scoreline low. By the third match the Lions’ had really started to gel, and it showed with a hatful of tries in the game against Aylesford(1), Seb scoring 3 tries with Joseph, Lucky and Jasper making the scoresheet. The Lions took confidence in their last 2 games, soundly beating a well organised Gravesend team, Lexi scoring a great try through good support work from Ciaran. And to finish the day a closely fought game vs Canterbury, Joseph and Jasper putting down some important scores with all contributing to a firm defensive line . So in the end much like The Coaches attempt to assemble a gazebo, the Lions got there in the end!

Team: Ciaran Doyle, Jasper Greogory, Joseph Newman-Browne, Lexi Kirkpatrick, Lucky Hayes, Sebastian West

Results:

•  Lions 2 Thanet 5

•  Lions 2 Aylesford(3) 3

•  Lions 6 Aylesford(1) 2

•  Lions 5 Gravesend(1) 2

•  Lions 4 Canterbury(2) 3

Sevenoaks Dragons

On a cold day at Aylesford the Dragons warmed the crowd with their fiery defence and blazing attacks. From the opening exchanges the Dragons showed their quality with Sam and Luke dominating with their strong runs. Oscar showed superb awareness in defence to make numerous tags and Molly grew in confidence with some excellent runs and superb passing. James and Zander lead the defensive line well and found space to score some important tries. A hugely successful morning was epitomised by a passage of play where the Dragons made no fewer than 15 tags before turning the ball over to run the length of the field to score. The team played with smiles on their faces and with energy and positivity throughout. They could even be heard at one point chanting "Tag, tag, tag" as they lined up against the intimidated opposition. Well done all.

Team: James Dimond, Luke Harris, Molly Thomson, Oscar Harrison Sam Lobo, Zander Reay

•  Dragons 4 Thanet 3

•  Dragons 7 Aylesford A 5

•  Dragons 6 Aylesford B 1

•  Dragons 6 Gravesend 5

•  Dragons 8 Canterbury 8

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U7s On The Road

A hectic and successful weekend for the U7s – two teams travelled to Cranbrook for a festival and the rest of the squad travelled to Aylesford for a joint training session.

Aylesford welcomed the Sevenoaks players with open arms and we enjoyed a clockwork session, with both the Sevenoaks and Aylesford players mixing together for games and matches. At the end, Aylesford delivered trays of hot dogs to finish off a superb morning.

The Cranbrook festival provided an opportunity for our latest group of U7s, the Tigers and Sharks, to experience the ups and downs of festival rugby – dominated by the ups!

The Tigers Results

Team: Elliott Stratton, James Quin, Jonty Corstorphine, Robbie Williams, Thomas Saunders, Tom Weston-Simons

Played 5 – Won 4 (Haywards Heath, Cranbrook, Beccehmanians and Tonbridge Judds), Lost 1 (Sidcup)

The Tigers got off to a sluggish start, at the same time meeting a Sidcup team full of confidence who showed a great turn of speed and ferocious tagging skills to inflict the only defeat of the day.  The Tigers regained their composure before the second match and with solid teamwork built on a growing belief in their ability. The boys themselves called out why their game improved, “attacking tagging, supportive teamwork and fast running” – and this was demonstrated by all The Tigers in spades!

With the turning point complete, the game play improved with each match:

Fabulous defensive structure from James, coupled with some demon running and textbook tagging

Robbie had a keen sense to find and fill the gaps in our defensive line helping to hold the opposition back

Thomas proved that even with an injury you are still a valuable member of the team and how important for team morale to support from the side line. Prior to injury Thomas showed great all round rubgy skills and we look forward to seeing him back on top form

Tom showed the team what a turn of pace can achieve, with try after try scored from inside his own half

Support play was showcased by Elliott and Jonty, who between them managed to offload many balls to each other, ensuring we secured tries.

A great days rugby from a wonderful set of boys determined to do the best they could. Thank you also to the Mums and Dads who travelled to support their boys.

The Sharks Results

Team: Aiden Rosier, Benj Rosier, Ollie McDonald, Alex Neale, Cayden Stenhouse, Matther Trenter.

Played 5, Won 4, Lost 1

The Sharks started off winning the first two games against Juddians and Old Colfes.

In attack, the whole team took what they had learned in training to work through the phase and cross the try line – tries all round. Strong and straight running were the key but the team also demonstrated good judgement, passing to the person who was in the best place to receive the pass. More often than not there was someone in support of the tagged player which led to a lot of our tries. It was great to watch.

Westcombe Park was the third game and they had two very good players who effectively won the match on their own – the players reacted superbly to an unexpected onslaught.

The final two matches included a slightly more relaxed interpretation of the rules, and while a number of tries scored against the Sharks were possibly ‘generous’, the Sharks came out on top.

A wonderful morning for parents and players alike, full of fun and real development for the two teams.

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Barnstorming Morning at Blackheath

Blackheath 8th October

Sevenoaks Sharks

Team: Tyler O’Reilly, Theo Maltarp, James Sumner, Zac Williamson, Edward Blackmore

Match 1 vs Whitgiftians 1

The first match was against a well-drilled Whitgiftians side.  The match started off at pace and stayed that way throughout the whole game. Sevenoaks were a bit slow in getting into their tagging but this improved throughout the game with the second half much better than the first. It was a high-scoring game with tries being traded blow for blow and the score remaining very close throughout. There was some good running from Zac and James who were both running forward, picking good angles and finding holes in the Whitgiftian defence. We showed very good discipline throughout the game and it was eventually won after we got a turnover after a Whitgiftian player was penalised. The final whistle blew at 10-9 to Sevenoaks, which was lucky as the coaches were running out of fingers to count on.

Match 2 vs Hampstead

After a good first game Sevenoaks went into their second game in confident mood, playing Kings College Pirates (or so we thought – it was actually Hampstead). This confident mood was apparent from the whistle when Sevenoaks dominated Kings College (sorry, Hampstead). The tagging and pressure was much better than in the first game, particularly in the first half, with Sevenoaks pushing up hard, tagging well, and forcing Hampstead backwards. This pressure resulted in a number of missed passes for Hampstead which Sevenoaks capitalised on with some good pick ups. We saw some great tagging from Theo and Tyler and the support of the runners became more effective. In the second half, Hampstead got back into the game and managed to claw back a few points after our tagging discipline slipped a bit. But Sevenoaks held on for the win, beating Hampstead 6-5.

Match 3 vs Tonbridge Judds

This game was all about tagging. Judds started off tagging well but Sevenoaks showed great discipline and composure, waiting for the support and passing well to their team mates. Zac got some good runs into the corner and James was a tagging ninja, pushing up hard and putting the other team under pressure. Theo scored a great try after he picked up a wayward ball on the bounce and bolted for the corner. Tiredness was beginning to show on both teams and there were a few turnovers in the second half. But Sevenoaks held their nerve and generally came out on top of the loose balls, to win the match 10 to 8

Match 4 vs Blackheath

The fourth match was against Blackheath. Blackheath had a very simple game plan: pass the ball to the fast kid, score try, repeat. Blackheath therefore got off to a good start. Our passing wasn’t as good as it should have been which meant a few dropped passes and the resulting turnovers. By half time we were trailing by a few points but the whole team rallied round well after Coach Mark gave a rousing half time team talk that was reminiscent of Shakespeare’s Henry V. Sevenoaks did then “stiffen the sinews, summon up the blood, set the teeth and stretch the nostril wide”. Some good running and support work from Eddie helped us claw back some of the deficit but time was not our friend and the whistle blew at 6 to 8

Match 5 vs Blackheath 3

The team left the best for last and finished the tournament on a high. There was some great support running from Eddie, which gave him a nice try in the corner after Zac got tagged and he was in the perfect place to receive a quick pop-pass. Tyler had really gained in confidence by this point and when given the ball ran straight and forward, passing the ball nicely when tagged. This match was all about great team work. There was fantastic support when attacking and strong defensive tagging from everyone which meant Sevenoaks beat what was very strong opposition. The final score was 8 to 7.

 

Sevenoaks Tigers

After a traumatic week for selection, 6 names were on the team sheet;

James Daniell, George Coulter, Wian Botes, Noah Hagger, Henry Birkett and Harrison Curd, and each was itching for action on a cool Saturday morning in SE London at Blackheath’s junior festival.

The Sevenoaks lads took a little while to make the jump from their familiar Sunday morning environment to festival match conditions and conceded early points in their first contest despite valiant tagging attempts.  However, they grew into the game and Henry scored a great try, despite an inadvertent clunk of heads with a robust opposition player, which seemed to break the flow of the game and settle the Sevenoaks team; although they could not quite pull back the deficit. Still it was all happy faces at the end as they lined up for the traditional three cheers and handshakes.

The boys proved to be fast learners, taking heart from their second half performance; they stepped it up for the remaining four matches.  Remembering training up at the club; they took it upon themselves to set up some splendid defensive lines and the result was tag-tastic!   Great awareness, speed of foot and bravery saw many an attack thwarted by some accurate tagging.  Such pressure can lead to panic passing; from which opposition players suffered at times.  This only helped boost Sevenoaks' morale.

Not only did the boys set up well; their solid defence gave them confidence and when presented with an opportunity to attack they performed brilliantly with ball in hand.  Brains were switched on; pausing before passing, getting into accessible supporting positions ready for a pass; they also quickly spotted space and accelerated into it which was a delight to watch and proved to be a winning formula for the remainder of the festival.

 The goal of these events is for everyone to come away smiling and the coaches certainly were.  It was really encouraging to see the team’s awareness; Wian’s mazy running, Harrison eluding taggers to get into the corners and some lovely dodging and darting from George, Noah and Henry who all managed to elude their courageous opponents to touch down. But tries are the icing on the cake; tagging and support play are essential.  Henry led the way with his focus and tenacious attitude, Noah and George were both heavily involved too and this rubbed off on James who tagged well and also helped release his team mates into gaps with some accurate passing.  Wian and Harrison showed they are not just try scoring machines and made some super tags to make this a successful team performance overall.

TIGERS' RESULTS:

Old Whitgiftians          L

Old Dunstonians          W

Blackheath                    W

Tunbridge Wells          W

Hampstead                 W

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First Festivals for Under 7s

After four lively training sessions at the club, the U7s kicked off their first weekend of festivals with swagger and style. Five teams headed out to festivals at Guildford, Foxbury, Warlingham and Medway. The players went straight into top gear and from a total 20 matches played, walked away with 14 wins and 4 draws.

One of those draws was at Warlingham where, after the two Sevenoaks teams each won their pools, they drew in a wonderful final sharing the spoils.

Full festival reports below.

Guildford

Farnborough Dark Blue (7 - 4) Sevenoaks

A well-drilled Farnborough side capitalised on some early Sevenoaks hesitancy, running in three tries in quick succession in the opening minutes of game. However, the fearsome Sevenoaks foursome soon found their stride, with some gutsy tagging from Emma and Ollie. Several darting runs from Aiden were stopped just shy of the try line, before Benji put Sevenoaks on the scoreboard with a scything run from inside his own half. 

By the second half, Sevenoaks looked steadier on their feet, pairing a more confident defence with some surging runs. One passage of play, in particular, saw the ball pass through the hands of every Sevenoaks player at least once, before Leo bounded over for Sevenoaks’ second try. Emma continued to pick off Farnborough runners and both she and Will were unlucky not to score. The Sevenoaks resurgence continued throughout the half, with Leo scoring twice more before the final whistle.
Try scorers: Benji: 1 Leo: 3

Sevenoaks  (5 - 5)  Effingham and Leatherhead Green

The first half saw Sevenoaks mount a great defensive effort, with Ollie, Leo and Aiden keeping up a furious rate of tagging. Will also proved himself to be a workhorse in the midfield, tagging countless opponents, before a looping run yielded him a well-deserved try. Leo, too, capped off his defensive efforts with a try before half time. 

Emma’s confidence in attack continued to grow in the second half and her numerous supporting runs finally paid off, allowing her to dart over for her first score of the day.

Aiden's committed running was also rewarded with a fine try, while Benji contented himself with a series of territory-stealing half-breaks and scalping himself a steady stream of opposition tags. 

Finally, Ollie too got on the score sheet, with a lovely run up the wing, drawing Sevenoaks level with Effingham and Leatherhead. 

In the final minutes, every Sevenoaks player could be credited with preventing at least one opposition try, clinching a well-deserved draw. 

Try scorers: Aiden:  1 Emma: 1 Leo: 1 Ollie: 1 Will: 1

Sevenoaks  (8 - 7)  Guildfordians Stripes

Emma’s scoring run continued into the third game and she notched up another two blistering tries in the first half.  Meanwhile, Benji and Will maintained their defensive wall of steel, ensuring that the score line remained evenly matched. It was also pleasing to see that on several occasions, Will was spotted quietly darting from one side of the pitch to another in the moments between play, in order to plug gaps in the defensive line - something which had been stressed in previous training. Leo also played his part defensively, snatching several last-gasp tags with strong, corner-flagging runs. 

Aiden made his presence felt in the second half with several strong runs, pushing Sevenoaks within striking distance of the try line on several occasions. Three tries from Leo were matched by a further three great scores from Ollie, giving Sevenoaks their first win of the day!

Try scorers: Emma: 2 Leo: 3 Ollie: 3

Sevenoaks  (6 - 6)  Guildford Dark Blue

What a difference three matches make. As Sevenoaks took to the field for their fourth and final game, they didn’t just appear to be a different group of players from the timid souls who had faced off against Farnborough two hours earlier … they were an entirely different species.  Gone were the hesitant hedgehogs of old, replaced, instead, with a pride of swaggering lions. 

The game quickly fell into a fierce back-and-fourth tussle, with Aiden and Benji both repeatedly denying Guildford tries. Meanwhile, Ollie had transformed into a try-scoring machine. Set in motion by strong running from Emma and the Rosier boys, he ran at the Guildford lines with reckless abandon, matching Guildford’s four first-half tries with three of his own. Of these, the most spectacular was surely his third, which he somehow scored whilst manfully clasping his dislodged glasses to his face AND keeping two hands on the ball. 

Benji came agonisingly close to grabbing another try in the second half; a beautiful side-step turned into a barn-storming run which was stopped just short of the line. Will, meanwhile, made repeated, scampering runs up the centre of the field, forcing the Guildford defence into disarray and making valuable yards. Leo capitalised on the forward momentum, bringing the scores level with a further three great individual tries. 

As the game hung in the balance, the defensive effort from all of the Sevenoaks players was unflinching. However, special mention must go Emma, who claimed one of the tags of the tournament in the dying moments of the game, leaping, salmon-like to deny Guildford a match-winning score in the corner and ensuring Sevenoaks the draw. 

Try scorers: Leo: 3 Ollie: 3

Team: Emma Coll, Leo Grant, Ollie MacDonald, William Ray, Aiden Rosier, Benji Rosier

Warlingham

Two teams headed to Warlingham, placed in separate pools. Both teams won their three pool matches, topped their pools and faced each other in the final. The two teams battled out a great final, with a DRAW being the final outcome!!! Everyone left happy...especially the coaches who were elated with the overall standard of play and character of the two teams. Picture of the combined winning teams.

Team: Austin Mitchell, Lucas Bowen, Rocco Frazer,  Alex Kelly, James Dimond, Aurelia Rothery, Iris Fairbarn, Jake Walton, Harrison Curd, James Sumner, Logan MacDonald, Oliver Harwood-Bridgen, Austin Harwood-Bridgen (in no particular order!)

The overall level of play from game one was amazing. There had been a little concern amongst the coaches that these first festivals may have come too early in the season, having spent a couple of weeks refreshing the players on key principles of play. However, as often the case, the coaches were proved wrong by the players and they took to the pitch like ducks to water.

Sevenoaks Two’s first victory against Streatham was built on dazzling running by all in the team. The final score being 14 tries to 2.

The second game against Old Caterhamians went a similar way, with 11 tries to 3 points victory. However, the players showed much stronger support play during the match.

The third match was against a home side, Warlingham Blues. The players were not fazed by the home crowd and utilising their strong defence and tagging prowess, prevented any serious penetration through the flat line. The final winning score line was 11 tries to 4, and Sevenoaks Two finished top of their league.

Sevenoaks One played exceptionally consistent rugby throughout the morning. They started off strong against Old Alleyians, winning by 10 tries to 6, which was a result of some very good passing and straight running. The second game was against Chipstead, which they won 10 to 6 again, as a result of strong defence.  The last pool game was against another of the Warlingham home teams, where they won by 10 tries to 3, with some exceptional tagging and running into the corners.

What impressed the coaches most was the game awareness that all the players had, setting a very good example of defensive lines for the opposition, and the support play by all, which resulted in all the players scoring tries.

With the 3 wins, Sevenoaks One also topped their pool leading to the epic final with Sevenoaks Two.

A good day all round for both Sevenoaks teams and two trophies to deliver to the clubhouse.

Medway

We travelled to Medway on Sunday with some very excited and committed boys. They played in five games in total winning four and losing one. Sevenoaks dispatched Maidstone 1 in the first match, 8 tries to 6, trading tries but staying ahead throughout the match. Strong running by the team was not enough to overcome Edenbridge in the second match, which was narrowly lost 8 tries to 9. Three more matches followed in quick succession, with Sevenoaks putting together a run of three consecutive and exciting wins. First Sevenoaks powered past Blackheath 2 running in 11 tries to their 6. The boys demonstrated some excellent skills, passing well and regularly running into the corners. The match against Cranbrook 1 was more balanced with Sevenoaks pipping Cranbrook 1 with a winning try, 10 tries to 9. This victory was built on strong defensive. After two quick victories, they were still raring to go by the fifth and final game showing no obvious signs of lethargy. The same could not be said of the opposition. Crankbrook 3 couldn't hold out against sustained attacks by Sevenoaks and several turnovers resulted. The game ended in a 9 to 5 victory to Sevenoaks. All the team had an excellent day with each and everyone one of them running in tries.

Team: Max Cowie, Oliver Whitton, Xavier Fontaine, Jonty Corstorphine, William Beech and Zac Williamson

Foxbury

Sevenoaks were unbeaten, winning three matches and drawing one in an exciting morning of tag rugby, against some excellent opposition. The matches were filled with strong tagging, plenty of passing and lots of tries.

Team: Charlie Warren, George Mickleburgh, Jake Hambling, Pedri Van Der Merwe, Wian Botes and Joshua French

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