Sevenoaks Rugby 1st XV 47 Gosport & Fareham RFC 1st XV 0
Last Saturday 3 September saw Sevenoaks Rugby 1st XV open their 2016/17 league campaign by welcoming Gosport & Fareham RFC to Knole Paddock. After promotion last April and with a hard pre-season under their belts,  the players and coaches were keen to dip their toes in the uncharted waters of London 1 rugby and, judging by the result, found them much to their liking.

With the pitch and facilities looking in showroom condition the vociferous local faithful were looking forward to seeing the new look and youthful Oaks squad take to the field for the first time in anger this season. Oaks dominated proceedings from the first to last  whistle registering seven tries along the way and leaving a few more scores on the pitch.
Oaks played with an excellent tempo throughout and registered first half scores through lock Wheedon, playing in his first senior match and wing three quarter Adams who also had an excellent day with the boot notching six from eight from the kicking tee. Despite leading 14-0 at the half having played some fluent rugby, the new Oaks coaching team were certainly looking for more reward on the scoreboard in the second stanza.
Five second half scores from Humble, Aspinall, Osgood, Winter and a particularly plucky effort that had the home crowd in full voice, from hooker Sedgwick were just reward for the teams efforts on the day. There were excellent shifts from any number of players but the tireless link play and work at the breakdown of the back row stood out.
After the match Coach Bowman was in contented mood, commenting, "I have been really pleased with the effort that the whole squad have put into our pre-season and today our general level of fitness and vitality was excellent. With the 2nd XV registering a healthy 50-5 win at Tunbridge Wells we are in a good place in terms of competition for places and reaping the rewards from all of the hard work the players and particularly our strength and conditioning coach Jonny Short have put in over the summer. This is a particularly arduous competition over 26 rounds with significantly more travel than we are used to. The plan Jonny has put in place will stand us in good stead for the coming months.
"We are, especially in comparison with last season, a young squad with an average age of well under 25. We are trying to play a high tempo game and are improving all the time. The next two weeks we take on two really tough opponents in Tunbridge Wells and Maidstone. We are approaching those matches as underdogs, but regardless of the outcomes the fixtures present fantastic opportunities to further the experience of the squad."  
1 Simmonds J
2 Sedgwick
3 Power
4 Wheedon
5 Coleman (Capt)
6 Derrick
7 DeSmith
8 Humble
9 Goodhew
10 Winter
11 Briggs
12 Phoenix
13 Osgood
14 Adams
15 Owen
16 Simmonds T
17 Aspinall
18 Shirtcliff