Try scorer: Will Dulley. Kicks: Will Chenery (1 x con & 3 x pen)
Oaks 3XV completed the long journey to face a similar opposition in Canterbury 3XV. Some late changes, saw 16 Sevenoaks’ men making the trip, with Dylan Angus kindly stepping up from the Gents.
Canterbury kicked off with the wind behind them, and were quick out of the blocks with a complement of youth and experience making life difficult for the Sevenoaks’ defensive line. This eventually crystallised in a Canterbury penalty, which they elected to kick for goal 3 - 0.
Oaks quickly responded and made their way into Canterbury’s 22, Will Chenery slotting a penalty 3-3.
The two packs, were fairly evenly matched with Oaks having a slight advantage in the scrummage. Scrum ball in the Canterbury 22 came out to the hands of scrum-half Andy Driscoll, and made its way to outside centre Will Dulley, who cut a hard running line and crashed over for a try - being decapitated in the process. The Canterbury player guilty of the high tackle being sent to the bin.
Dulley was okay and had a standout performance, making significant yardage on the ball and marshalling the backline’s defence with some monstrous hits.
Oaks failed to take material advantage of the extra man. A try-scoring opportunity went begging from a lineout maul. The Oaks’ pack getting very close from Dylan Angus’ precise lineout throw to jumping Jamie Weaver but with Dave Backhouse eventually being held up over the line. Canterbury kicking another penalty before half time 6 - 10.
James Upson came off with a strain at halftime, with David Melville-Jones coming on to the wing and Rob St Pierre to inside centre. St Pierre chasing down the restart ball and getting into the mix with Canterbury pack.
Oaks put some good pressure on Canterbury in the first 10 minutes of the second half. Yas Shiraishi-Miles barrelling through to get held up over the line in a melee of players. Canterbury’s discipline waned slightly giving Will Chenery a few opportunities to kick at goal, eventually kicking a penalty 6 - 13.
Canterbury then stepped up the tempo, scoring an unconverted try and kicking another penalty, edging into the lead 14 - 13. Despite some hard yards from the likes of Dulley and Harry Barber, Oaks failed to capitalise on their forward momentum.
In the closing minutes it looked like Oaks wouldn’t be able to get back into the game. But a crossing incident just outside the Canterbury 22 saw Oaks awarded a penalty in the final minute of the game. Chenery calmly stepping up to kick Oaks back into the lead 14 - 16, and to ultimately win the game.
A hard fought victory, which could have gone either way, and Oaks 3XV winning ways continue.
Rory Innes (Captain)
Peter Wilson (Coach)
David Backhouse (Vice Captain)
Robert St Pierre
William Dulley (Vice Captain)