Sevenoaks 40 Horsham 7
Oaks welcomed Horsham to the Paddock last Saturday for their latest London 2 encounter knowing that the green and whites were one of the few teams to deny Oaks a bonus point win this season. With the prevailing weather conditions being less than clement Oaks knew they would have to be at their best to gain the required five point win against a much respected opponent .
On a day when Oaks knew they had to score tries they relied on their defence to create the early attacking opportunities. Oaks pressed the visitors hard in the first twenty minutes and were rewarded with four excellent tries. Their line speed aligned with superior physicality and precision around the contact areas of the tackle and the breakdown presented chances that were gratefully accepted by Messrs Vaihu, Thorpe, Bates and Shirtcliff. Outside half Winter slotted three of the conversions to make the score at the half 26-0. Contest effectively over, bonus point earned, job done.
The second half continued much as the first had finished with Oaks dominating the tempo of the game. That Oaks only scored two more tries through back three flier Streather his thirteenth and fourteenth of the season, was a testament to the dogged resistance shown by a proud Horsham team. Winter notching the extras on both occasions. Horsham registered the first try from open play against Oaks in over a month with their winger Watts registering an absolute peach that was roundly applauded on all sides. As the final whistle blew Oaks had run out winners by 40-7.
Coach Vaughan commented after the game ‘For me, the first half today was our most complete forty minutes of the season to date. Our defensive press was outstanding and whilst our backs, who regularly sparked the crowd with a frisson of excitement, scored most of the tries, I thought that the big ball carriers in the pack were superb creating numerous openings for us to exploit. Winter had a tremendous game and moved us around the park really well. We need to keep this momentum going for the exacting challenges we face over the coming month, starting with Deal away next Saturday. That isn’t a place for the weak of heart or mind.’