By Tony Wiercx
A performance to be proud of
It was dubbed a friendly but off the back of two losses it was essential we switch on from the get go and return to delivering a performance we can be proud of. The team talk was tougher than usual with a message to train in the warm up like we wanted to play in the match and well done to all players who listened, concentrated and stepped up a level. The communication was far better on the attacking drill with some good decision making which was transferred into the match later.
The focus was on tackling, playing our patterns and gaining confidence in the backs by simple straight hands to use the width of the pitch. The tackling was much improved and apart from a short spell in the second half we stopped the big Sevenoaks runners, taking them down early and before any momentum was gained. The forwards set a strong platform with some very quick rucking which allowed Sam to play at scrum half with great composure, delivery clean ball in very windy conditions to eager backs outside. Clubbers stepped in whenever the ball needed to be cleared off the floor and to good effect when Sam was off injured. The scrummaging was far stronger with some very quick and clean strikes from Ciaran.
An early try from Sevenoaks was the wake up call we required and following a strong attack on the defenders from KO, the ball was turned over and within a minute Tom S scored with Max S converting the first of three conversions. This was a mixed A and B team from Sevenoaks so we could not afford to relax and Max S followed up very quickly with a further try, gliding through the defence and converting. Sevenoaks would not give up and after continued pressure in the opposition half Tom M made a break to put us ahead.
The second half saw two tries from Oaks, the result of missed tackles and too many penalties. At 19-17, one conversion was the difference and the response was great returning to a quick game applying pressure and just rewards of a try at the end which was again converted.
Jonny Rogers had been receiving accolades for his performance in every game and his effective rucking, strong scrummaging and pick and go sniping gave him Man of the Match honours.