As days go, Saturday 24th November proved to be a rollercoaster of emotions for Sevenoaks RFC players, coaching staff and supporters. After a bus journey down to Havant RFC, the 2nd XV put in a solid all round performance to beat their Havant counterparts by 44 points to 10. The 1st XV match looked to be going the same way after 15 minutes when Oaks found themselves 14-0 to the good, but a combative home side refused to lie down and for the majority of the match, Oaks were second best, only winning by one point thanks to a Josh Pettet try at the death.
‘As a group, we set a target of coming away with two wins and we achieved that’ said Head Coach Adam Bowman. ‘We have never won at Havant RFC, so for both teams to come away with a ‘W’ was significant. I thought the 2nd XV played really well – they were patient in their build up and accurate in their finishing. To come away scoring 44 points and only conceding 10 is excellent – a big thanks as well to Havant RFC for hosting us as it would have been a fallow weekend for those players, so to be able to play in a really competitive match was really good.’
‘I said after the 1st XV match that whilst I was pleased with the outcome and the way we got ourselves back into the game, our performance levels will need to be raised in the coming weeks if we are to maintain our league position. It was tough conditions for both sides in the rain and Havant are a good side – they will shoot up the league, I have no doubt about that. It shows as well that you can’t rest on your laurels in this league – you have to be on your game each week otherwise you will get turned over. But I think Saturday was an important step forward as a squad – to be behind the eight ball, not be playing well and to dig yourself out of it is something that we wouldn’t have done a year ago.’
Oaks renew acquaintances with Dartfordians RFC this Saturday, welcoming the Kent side to the Paddock for the first time in two and a half years. Back then, Dartfordians prevailed, winning 33-26 in a physical encounter and Bowman is expecting much the same this weekend. ‘They are a very physical side and will get stuck into us early’ said the Head Coach. ‘They are new to the league this season and have acquitted themselves well and have had some good results away from home. We haven’t lost at the Paddock yet so they will see that as a big opportunity to take a scalp and spoil the party. We just have to go back to being more accurate in our play and ensure are processes are on the money.’
And as expected, despite Oaks good start to the season, the Head Coach is not one to rest on his laurels saying ‘Of course it’s been an enjoyable start to the season – I’m pleased for the players and importantly our supporters. Everyone works so hard and the Senior Squad have had tremendous support. But our good start will mean nothing if we lose concentration and take our foot off the gas before Christmas. Now is the time to really buckle down and work hard to ensure that by the start of the year, we are still in the top end of this league.’
Three of Oaks Senior teams are at home this weekend. Entry to the Paddock is free, with matches kicking off at 1400hrs.
Senior Fixtures | Saturday 1st December (All KO at 1400hrs)
1st XV v. Dartfordians RFC 1st XV
2nd XV v. Dartfordians RFC 2nd XV
3rd XV v. Deal and Betteshanger RFC 2nd XV
Whistable RFC 2nd XV v. The Gents