Oaks IIs travelled to Medway on Saturday for their first and eagerly anticipated Kent Invicta League 1 match of the season.
It was no surprise to find that the opposition were physically bigger across the team as this situation seems to be the norm. However, with an attitude to defence of never taking a backward step and the will to carry it out, coupled with a desire to attack at all times and the fitness to carry that part of the game plan out, Oaks will always be unfazed by sheer size.
With a strong wind across the pitch but otherwise excellent playing conditions, both sides threw themselves at each other in an opening period.
Oaks were first to score. A lineout on the Medway 22 was taken at the back by Barry and on to Dodd at pace who brushed aside tacklers to touch down with Saunders adding the extras.
Medway came back strongly, using their big forwards up the middle mainly, and were rewarded with a lineout catch and drive over from short range to level.
Back came Oaks with some slick handling in the backs, a quickly tapped penalty and King was over with Saunders successful again.
At half time the wind seemed to pick up and in Medway’s favour. An Oaks indiscretion almost cost them 3 points from the tee but from the drop out Medway again rumbled over from short range, and at this point the game was anyone’s. But Oaks have an extra depth of fitness to draw on and the last quarter is where they tend to pull away, this match being no exception.
Saundes sold a dummy to almost the entire Medway back line, Aspinall carried strongly and from a quickly tapped penalty Cantlay forced his way over by the posts to give Saunders and easy kick.
Shortly after the impressive Dodd broke up the middle to win a penalty that Saunders slotted for a 12 point cushion.
A final score saw Dodd again make the break, a few offloads between the forwards stretched the defence and Henley was allowed to stroll over, Saunders converting for a final tally of 31 -12.