Friday, July 12, 2024
HomeRUGBYMighty Oaks utilises squad depth to secure 33-10 win over Sidcup

Mighty Oaks utilises squad depth to secure 33-10 win over Sidcup

A difficult Covid affected week for Sevenoaks’ players and coaching staff required eight changes from last week’s away win at Havant and saw stricken coach Adam Bowman forced to watch the game on a live feed from home. Opponents Sidcup RFC were also not without their Covid disruptions so credit must go to both teams for fulfilling the London and SE Premier fixture.

Understandably not at their fluent best, the bonus point had however been secured by Oaks after 50 minutes, with enough daylight to suggest victory was safe. Helped by good defence, Sidcup were kept scoreless in the second half, but the home team made life more difficult for themselves with two yellow cards in the match and a stream of penalties against, stymieing momentum. That said, this was a good performance with Oaks able to draw on excellent squad depth to score five tries. They move up to second place in the league, now level on points with Hertford above them and Dorking in third place..

The game was only one minute old when Sidcup took advantage of early Oaks’ defensive disorganisation, moving the ball from what was a near perfect lineout all day, to score in the corner. Unconverted, they led 0 – 5. Sevenoaks started to find some rhythm and following an excellent ‘fifty – twenty-two’, a penalty won, an efficient catch and drive, Oaks’ Josh Thorneycroft crashed over to score. The try was converted by James Fotheringham to make it 7-5. A few moments later Oaks suffered their first yellow card when Adam King was penalised for a high tackle. Pressure followed from Sidcup who unfortunately for them knocked on with the try line beckoning. The Paddock faithful were delighted to see the home team’s early scrum dominance continuing even when a forward down; culminating in the retreating Sidcup pack being penalised. Pressure and more penalties followed, with the ball arriving with Matt McRae to score the Oaks’ second try of the day; conversion missed 12-5.

The final ten minutes of the half saw some fierce midfield exchanges and good defence from both teams. However uncharacteristic sloppy play by Sevenoaks led to them turning over the ball at halfway, allowing Sidcup to put their speedy backs away to score the visitors second try. With the conversion missed, the referee blew for half time with Oaks leading 12 – 0. The home team’s coaching staff headed for the tunnel knowing error count and discipline would need to improve in the second half if victory was to be theirs.

Taking the field early, Oaks looked in the mood to start quickly; and they did. Stealing the kick off led to concerted territory and possession for the opening minutes, forcing Sidcup to badly slice a clearance straight to Henry Galligan, who ran unopposed to score a try. Converted to make it 19-10. A good response by Sidcup came from the restart but they missed the attempted three-pointer when awarded another penalty. Two minutes later captain Josh Pettet stole the ball in midfield and handed on to Matt McRae who ran 40 yards to score under the posts. Converted to make in 26 – 10 and the bonus point achieved.

The remainder of the game saw some intermittent valiant offensive efforts by the visitors, stopped by great Oaks’ defence, some right on their own line. Anther yellow card arrived, this time for Oaks’ Josh Thorneycroft, with the referee warning Pettet when the infringements continued. Discipline was certainly a negative on the day for the eventual winners. Oak’s use of the boot was however impressive, putting them in good attacking positions from which they then started winning a number of penalties themselves. From one of these, a kick to touch saw their maul heading for the try-line only to be pulled down illegally. The referee immediately awarded a penalty try. 33-10. The game finished with Oaks keeping Sidcup pinned in their own twenty-two, the players celebrating a well-deserved victory at the final whistle.

Next week weeks Oaks travel away to Brighton, hoping for a more trouble free week of preparation.

Proud to entertain Judge Jeff Blackett – Strength in depth!
Our good friends and local rivals Sidcup RFC weren’t the only competition Sevenoaks RFC senior squad faced this weekend! Despite Covid doing its best, we only lost 14 players to the virus last week, so it was unable to complete a full team of our players itself, even lead by our Director of Rugby! Needless to say, our senior squad players and management stepped up to deliver strong performances against tough opposition in both games.

We were honoured to put on a worthy performance for Judge J Blackett, President of the RFU and his lovely wife Sally – we hope they both enjoyed the afternoon and we look forward to seeing you again in the not too distant future – wear the tie with pride!

M Wooldridge (Oaks President), Judge J Blackett (President RFU), R Horner (Oaks Honorary Life Member, President RFU 2003-2004), Sally Blackett, T Nicholson (Oaks Chairman). Photo credit: Sevenoaks RFC.

Match report and photo provided by Sevenoaks Rugby Club.

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