Dartfordians 24 Sevenoaks 34

Oaks season spluttered into life on Saturday with a mixed performance against league new boys Dartfordians. After a relatively smooth pre-season an Oaks XV, beset with injuries and last minute changes, took to the paddock against a young Dartfordian side determined to make their mark at a higher level. 

Playing down the hill in the first half Oaks failed to take advantage of a host of early opportunities that would have calmed the ‘back to school’ nerves. A passage of play involving a series scrums on the Darts line was typical of the first thirty minutes of the game. Oaks looked certain to register a pushover try only to be thwarted by a series of infringements by the home team that resulted in a string of penalties being awarded. However, despite having reasonable claims for a penalty try, Oaks contrived to knock on at the crucial moment and the chance was gone.  To rub salt into the wounds Darts opened the scoring shortly afterwards with virtually their first foray into the visitors half to open up a 7-0 lead.

Oaks response was swift with two quick fire tries from Streather and Hoekstra, who was on debut, to make the score at the break 12-7 to the visitors. Despite harsh words being uttered at half time Oaks continued to play too much rugby in the wrong areas of the pitch and conceded a penalty early in the second stanza to bring the score to 12-10. Things went from bad to worse as with each side exchanging tries the scores were levelled at 17 all and a game that should have been done and dusted early was back in the balance.

However, Oaks finally realised that when they held on to possession and strung four or five phases of play together they scored. Power barrelled over from 3 metres, the assist from Anderson, before Unwin scored the crucial bonus point try. Saunders, on an encouraging debut scored the final try before Winter, who kicked four out of six on the day, added a penalty making the score 34-17 before Darts registered their final effort.

Coach Vaughan commented after the game ‘After the week we have had I am just pleased we picked up the bonus point win. Without wishing to take anything away from Darts who have some excellent young backs, we just couldn’t find a consistent rhythm today, which is not unusual when you have so many new combinations and goes some way to explaining why we missed a plethora of chances. We also tried to force things too much rather than just building pressure and playing to our patterns. In this league any away bonus point win is a good one so we move on to the challenge of Thanet at home next week in the confidence that we will be all the better for our first competitive run out’.



1 Charlie Naismith

2 Connor Browne

3 Dan Power

4 Stuart Coleman

5 Kelly Anderson

6 Will Thorpe

7 Tom Swallow

8 Ollie Robinson

9 Ollie Shirtcliff

10 Isaac Winter

11 Ben Hoekstra

12 Atino Vaihu

13 Robbie Unwin

14 Dom Saunders

15 Rob Streather


16 Scott Sedgewick

17 Conor Smith

18 Charlie Nohre